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News » Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-05-30

Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-05-30

Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-05-30
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Mike Dunleavy finally lived up to the expectations of being the No. 3 pick in the 2002 draft. Dunleavy, who had four-plus mostly miserable years in Golden State, averaged a career high in points (19.1), field goal percentage (47.6) and three-point percentage (42.4) this season. The Pacers plan to build their team around Dunleavy and Danny Granger.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: This was supposed to be the year that Jermaine O'Neal didn't have to worry about taking a beating in the post. Coach Jim O'Brien's up-tempo offense was supposed to allow him to get single coverage in the post. Too bad none of that happened for O'Neal this season. The six-time All-Star averaged only 13.6 points a game this season. His future with the franchise is up in the air because president Larry Bird is expected to shop him for an athletic big man that can run the floor and play above the rim.

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Pacers have targeted point guard and a defensive-minded big man as areas they hope to address through the draft and trades. They'll definitely need players at those positions if they're able to trade starters Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: The Pacers know they need to get better, but they're going to have a difficult time doing it because they don't have any salary cap space and they don't have a very enticing roster outside of Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy.

The Pacers could get some salary cap space if power forward Jermaine O'Neal opts out of the final two years of contract, but that's not going to happen because the six-time All-Star will have a difficult time getting any type of contract close to the final $44 million he's scheduled to make.

The Pacers aren't scheduled to lose any significant free agents off their roster this summer.


--F Jermaine O'Neal and G Jamaal Tinsley are the two players the Pacers hope to trade before or shortly after the draft. The problem the Pacers face, though, is that teams aren't showing heavy interest in either player.

O'Neal carries a hefty $44 million on the final two years of his contract and Tinsley's history of injuries, along with three more years on his contract, don't make him an attractive player to pursue. It wouldn't be surprising if the Pacers are stuck with both players again next season.

--F Ike Diogu is spending part of the offseason living at teammate Jermaine O'Neal's house in Las Vegas so that the two can work out together at the Abunassar Impact Basketball academy. Diogu looked like he was going to have a career year and be a regular in the rotation early in the season, but a torn left calf put him way behind his teammates. He could never work his way back into the lineup when he returned from the injury. Diogu averaged 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 30 games last season.

--G Travis Diener will be wearing a wooden shoe on his foot for a couple of weeks as part of his rehabilitation from surgery to remove bone spurs on his left big toe in early May.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: May 30, 2008


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