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News » Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-06-30


Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-06-30


Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-06-30
DRAFT PICKS:

Roy Hibbert, C, 7-2, Georgetown -- Drafted by Toronto but will be sent to the Pacers as part of the Jermaine O'Neal trade when it becomes finalized July 9. Hibbert is considered a fundamentally sound big man who is known more for his defense than his offense. He will immediately help the Pacers' horrendous defense.

Brandon Rush, G/F, 6-6, Kansas -- Was drafted by Portland at No. 13 but sent to the Pacers for Jerryd Bayless and forward Ike Diogu. Rush can shoot from long distance, he's a good rebounder and can play multiple positions. He'll team with Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy to give the Pacers a solid three-man rotation at the swingman spot.

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 and has been traded to Toronto.

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Pacers addressed a lot of needs with two big trades; the next step is to fit the pieces together. One piece that probably doesn't fit, with G T.J. Ford on board, is G Jamaal Tinsley.

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

PLAYER NOTES:

--It may be premature to give him the title, but all indications point to small forward Danny Granger being the Pacers' new franchise player. Granger, who is heading into his fourth season, has gradually improved each season in the league.

The small forward out of New Mexico averaged a career-high 19.6 points, which led the Pacers, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Team president Larry Bird has challenged Granger to become a better ballhandler and leader inside the locker room.

The knock on Granger, also the team's best perimeter defender, is that he plays selfish at times.

--Call it bad luck for Ike Diogu. Diogu, who spent one-and-a-half seasons with the Pacers, looked as if he was going to have a breakout season last year with the Pacers. He was on pace to average a career high when he tore his left calf early last season.

Diogu, who was traded to Portland on draft night, missed more than a month because of the injury. He was never the same player when he returned. Diogu played more than 10 minutes just six times in the 28 games he appeared in following his injury. Diogu is hoping Portland will be a fresh start on a three-year career that's gotten off very slowly.

--The writing on the wall about point guard Jamaal Tinsley's career with the Pacers is starting to show up in permanent ink. Team president Larry Bird said they had a point guard for "sale" in reference to Tinsley at his pre-draft press conference.

The Pacers will attempt to trade Tinsley, who fell out of favor with coach Jim O'Brien early last season, but it's going to be hard because opposing general managers are aware of Tinsley's injury problems, how he's butted heads with his previous three coaches and that he's got three years remaining on his contract. The last resort for the Pacers, which they hope to avoid, is to buy out his contract.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 30, 2008

 

 
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