Should Pacers Trade David West?

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The Indiana Pacers are amidst a 5 game losing streak, and are struggling to find any sort of rhythm. David West has been his normal self, averaging 13.2 points, 6.3 rebounds per game, and as always his tough guy persona.

With a 7-14 record, things arent looking great. With only 5 players under contract next season (6 if you count Hibbert, player option). It seems likely, or at least makes sense that they would trade David West to a title contender, for younger players or possibly a draft pick. The Pacers will need to move in a different direction soon, and this seems like a move that makes a lot of sense.

Now its not to say that Larry Bird wont trade West, and they will make a run at the playoffs. But it seems unlikely, and if they’re record is like this when all star weekend rolls around; he just might pull the trigger.

Possible Landing Spots for West:

1. Phoenix Suns: This trade could make sense for both teams. The Suns are in desperate need of more talented veterans and need that extra boost to make them more of a contender. As for the Pacers, they’ve expressed much interest in point guard and Steve Nash prodigy Goran Dragic. After they offered Roy Hibbert for him last offseason, this offer could look a little more enticing. If the Pacers did make an offer it would be West and a 2nd rounder for Dragic and someone low on salary like T.J. Warren or Archie Goodwin. According to the ESPN trade Machine, it would have a negative effect on the Suns. So if they would not be willing, they could offer this for young talent Isiah Thomas. Regardless it would be somewhat easy to work a trade with Wests’ team friendly contract.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: This trade might be the most enticing and helpful to both teams. The Cavs with maybe the worst bench in the NBA this year, in terms of scoring; this could help tremendously. I’ve put together a trade on ESPN’s Trade Machine, that involves David West and Rodney Stuckey being sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. It works money wise, and would help both teams in the most needed areas. The Pacers with age and the Cavs with bench scoring. Also considering Waiters has been struggling in his new role with Cleveland and has had trouble adjusting. He would be better off in a Pacers uniform and his talent would not have to take a backseat to the Big Three.

3. New York Knicks: This is of course the least game changing, for either team and wouldn’t likely make a huge difference, unless draft picks are involved. The trade that works money wise is yet again David West and Rodney stuckey, for Andrea Bargnani and Iman Shumpert. This provide another solid veteran to the Knicks and younger talent to that Pacers. Now this would be the least likely of trades and probably wont happen. But still is an interesting thought none the less. According the ESPN’s Trade Machine, it would not effect the projected wins of either team.

Other Options: Recently the Charlotte Hornets have apparently been ‘aggressively shopping’ a struggling Lance Stephenson. And just so happens that they are in need of a solid power forward with the struggles of Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh. This could work money wise as well, that is if Larry Bird is willing to trade back for the player he groomed that ran away. The ideal trade would be Lance Stephenson and Noah Vonleh/Cody Zeller for David West and Rodney Stuckey. However this also seems unlikely, it is possibility.

Now, none of these trades are eminent and I do not have a source confirming that Bird is shopping West; but if the Pacers struggle. The likelihood of a trade will grow, and the possibilities will widen.

West and Watson return to Lineup

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This week David West and C.J. Watson returned the the Pacers lineup. West returned as a starter, and Watson off the bench.

This is exactly the boost that the Pacers needed. They’ve struggled with depth, only played 7 or 8 players in the rotation.

With West coming back, they get back the anchor, on offense. He brings a toughness in the post that Scola lacks. West scored 18 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in his season debut against Orlando.

Watson will bring back much needed 3 point shot, and run the offense a little smoother than it did under A.J. Price (who was picked up off waiver by the Cavaliers).

George Hill should be returning soon. Hes projected to return mid-December. Roy Hibbert has also missed a few games of recent, and is day-to-day.

It would really help if the Pacers could got healthy soon. They’ve got a difficult schedule coming up soon, facing Phoenix, Portland and Sacramento.

David West is going to need to lead this team. Hes always been the tempo setter, and leader of this team. At 34 years old, he hasn’t got a lot of time left, but we all know hes going to go 100% and perform at a high level as he usually does.

The Pacers sit at 7-10. They’ve got a tough December scheduled ahead, and should be ready for the challenge.

 

Pacers Injury Issues

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Indiana Pacers Injury Update:

David West:

The Pacers starting power forward and anchor David West has been out since preseason with a severe ankle sprain. Luis Scola has started in his place, and has done a fine job averaging 8.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game; but ultimately
West cannot be replaced. The Pacers have missed his West’ toughness in the post on offense and defense. He should be back soon, an estimated 3-5 games. His return will help the Pacers greatly, as he’s still the go to guy when the team is struggling. On defense hes a better post defender than Scola and should give the defense a boost.

George Hill:

Hometown hero George Hill has been out all season as well, along with West. He suffered a minor knee contusion in preseason, but has missed more time than expected. His return is still in question, but a December return seems likely. His entire college career he played shooting guard, but when drafted he was moved over to point. This year will give him more of a scoring opportunity than last. In the past hes been the 5th scoring option, and sometimes 6th. That should change when he returns. Without Lance Stephenson and Paul George, he should become a primary scoring option.

C.J. Watson:

Watson has been out all year as well. A bruised foot has kept him on the sidelines. Watson brought the Pacers jump shooting and some defense. Which is what they need off the bench, but might not receive a lot of minutes when he returns. Donald Sloan has done a fantastic job for the Pacers. Averaging 12.5 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds a game. Hes also brought a level of clutch play to the Pacers. Hitting late game shots, and taking care of the basketball in crunch time. Watson should return in the next couple of games, but playing time is not guaranteed.

Rodney Stuckey:

Rodney has been off and on the court, battling a bruised foot. Throughout the year hes played limited minutes, and missed several games; but he seems to be back in the lineup somewhat regularly. Hes a basket-attacking specialist, and will bring a quick spirt of scoring when hes back to 100%.

C.J. Miles

Miles started the season healthy, but has missed games due to migraines and a minor calf issue. When he has played, he’s struggled greatly. With a -.26 PER, hes been horribly inefficient, but I do not expect this to continue. C.J. has been a great NBA 3-point shooter and will get out of this current funk when he returns from this minor calf issue.

 

Pacers Sit at 1-6/ Stone Sports Report

Pacers Sit at 1-6
Stone Miller

1 and 6

The Indiana Pacers sit at the bottom of the Central division, they have a 1-6 record; and are the most injury prone team in basketball. They’ve got injuries to George Hill, David West, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Watson, and C.J. Miles and for the time being Roy Hibbert. Miles and Hibbert should play tonight against the Utah Jazz; but that’s beside the point.
The Pacers have been in every game so far this season, they very well could’ve won each one. The losses usually come because of a lack of offense down the stretch. When the Pacers get George Hill and David West back they’ll get that extra push they need to win games. For now keep your eyes on Donald Sloan and Solomon Hill, the 2 young players who have showed potential and promise. Each of them having career games so far this year and showing they’ve learned something from the older players on the team; after riding the pine all last year. Otherwise the Pacers have some decisions to make on what to do about the team’s situation.
The Pacers front office sit at a crossroads, with a lot of cap room last season, and only 6 players officially under contract (2 with player options; David West, Roy Hibbert), they’ll have to go in one of 2 directions. The first direction (best), trade away players with expiring contracts and tank for a number one pick, then wait till the offseason to try and get a big name sign like Paul Millsap, Rajon Rondo and Goran Dragic. The other direction is to resign players on the current roster and look to make a run at a low playoff seed and in the offseason try to add minor pieces around Paul George.
The first option would be far better for many reasons; new young players, a possible big offseason sign, another star piece next to Paul George and a new look Pacers team. The negative side of this is our possible high round pick would be a bust, and no one else would sign with Indy. Those 2 events both taking place is highly unlikely, so it seems like a reasonable that the Pacers front office would take a shot at it.
The second option is far less appealing, but is safer. If Roy Hibbert picks up his player option this offseason that removes any worries of signing another Center, and would help keep some of the core team the Pacers already have. The issue with resigning some of these players is age, David West and Luis Scola have 3 to 4 years left, max. They likely are not players we want for the future, we need to rebuild the core with younger players so we do not get caught in the middle of the pack, as many franchises do.
To avoid any high-level risks I believe the Pacers take a look that’s in the middle ground. It would be smart for Roy Hibbert to pick up his 15 million dollar player option, because he might not get paid that much buy anyone else. So we should expect Roy back next season. David West should be traded to a title contender, possibly for draft picks or young players. This will free up cap space and give David West the shot he wants at a championship, it also helps the Pacers to make moves for the future.
Best case scenario the Pacers resign a few players on the current roster, get a big free agent sign to go along with Paul George and get a decent draft pick to develop.
Worst case scenario the Pacers try to make a playoff run, don’t get in and have to depend fully on free agent signs next year.
Either way the Pacers will be in good hands with one of the best front offices in the NBA. Donnie Walsh, Larry Bird and Kevin Pritchard. They will do whatever it takes to make this team better and make the trades that need to be made. Do not worry Pacers fans, the fate of Indiana lies in very capable hands.

Offensive Struggle Cost Pacers Game/Stone Sport Report

Offensive Struggle Cost Pacers Game
Stone Miller

pacer lost

The injuries are an obvious problem for the Pacers; with no David West, George Hill, and C.J. Watson; but it was no excuse for Tuesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Chris Copeland led the Pacers in scoring again, dropping 19 points; but also shot 6-15. Roy Hibbert yet again had another solid game and is (for now) the only consistently positively playing starter. He finished with a line of 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. The large issue for the Pacers turnovers. They committed 19 turnovers; they Bucks took advantage of this and scored a whopping 28 points off of them.
The Pacers shot the ball very poorly Tuesday, 39% from the field, 25% from 3 and an absoutly awful 59% from the free throw line. The Bucks had a solid night overall, only committing 12 turnovers, compared to their average 21, and didn’t have trouble scoring the ball with 87 points on the night.
Brandon Night had himself quite a night scoring 23 points and dishing out 7 assists. He led the offensive tempo well on the fast break and helped spread the floor with his confident shooting. Larry Sanders lead his team with 10 rebounds, but however was held scoreless by Roy Hibbert.
The few positives from this game are the performances of Roy Hibbert and Solomon Hill. Solo scored a career high 12 points, posted 5 rebounds and 2 steals. He looked confident shooting the 3 and had a sweet spin move for a layup in the 4th quarter. Let’s hope Solomon becomes more confident; because he passed up many open shots and ended up turning the ball over 4 times. If Solomon Hill can improve this season that would really help the Pacers find more scoring options in the starting lineup. With a deeply struggling C.J. Miles and Luis Scola we could use the offensive help.
The Pacers will next face a 3-1 “new-look” Wizards team, and will try to grab a victory before heading out to 2 more games in the next 3 days. The Pacers badly need a confidence boost on the offensive side of the ball, hopefully they get the 3s popping early and often to get out in front of a Bradly Beal-less Wizards team.

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener/Stone Sport Report

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener
Stone Miller

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener

Injury Report:
Pacers:
David West PF; out, ankle
George Hill PG; day-to-day, knee
C.J. Watson PG; out, foot
Rodney Stuckey SG; day-to-day, foot
76ers:
Micael Carter Williams PG; out, shoulder
Jason Richardson SG; out, foot fracture
Jeremi Grant SF; out, ankle

In the Pacers season opener they will be missed 3 key players. David West, Georg Hill and C.J.Watson; possibly for the first week of the season. They will be facing up against a very young and banged up Philadelphia 76ers team.
Indiana shouldn’t have too much trouble facing this group of youngsters, but I do expect a close game. Roy Hibbert will need to lead the offense and bring his defensive presence if they Pacers want to win their season opener. Hibbert was under much scrutiny last season; after having a bad second half of the season, and a few scoreless playoff games. This off season he worked with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and expects to drastically improve his offensive efficiency and confidence. He also lost 15 pounds to thin himself out a little to be more mobile and agile in the paint.
Donald Sloan will be starting at point guard for the Pacers; with C.J. Watson and George Hill out. He led the Pacers in scoring during and preseason, and will likely get increased minutes off the bench this season at the 2 guard and possibly running the offense.
The Pacers will falter a little more this season without Paul George there to guard every teams star. They should hold their own though. ‘SmashMouth’ basketball will not disappear and will most likely be seen even more this year. Defense will be important against the 76ers, as they have a lot of 3 point shooters and young talent.
As for Philadelphia they will struggle without MCW. He is out with a shoulder injury and is at this point their best player. Tony Wroten will be the player to look out for; he has a plethora of scoring ability and triple-double capabilities.
This should be a fun game to watch with K.J. Daniels and Nerlens Noel making their debuts. The Pacers will face a scoring challenge of sorts; but in the end the veterans will prevail. Luis Scola will be starting and might possibly lead us in scoring. Should be a low scoring game, but a Pacers victory to start the year off.

Copland Leads Pacers to Victory/Stones Sport Report

Copland Leads Pacers to Victory/Stones Sport Report
Stone Miller

Pacers

On Saturday night the Indiana Pacers found themselves facing against the Mavericks bench players. Dallas had decided to rest all 5 starters and start the unguaranteed contract players. This was most likely to see who was worthy of making the team and who would be cut. As for the Pacers they started an interesting rotation; Rodney Stuckey was out with a left foot injury and Frank Vogel decided Chris Copeland and move C.J. Miles to shooting guard.
The Pacers got off to rough start, turning the ball over 7 times in the first quarter and it seemed like David West took most of the shots in the first. Thing didn’t change for the Pacers come the 2nd quarter and Dallas got out to a 10 point lead. The score at halftime being 52-42. Dallas was led by rookie point guard Gal Mekel (finished with 19 points).
David West went down in the first quarter with a minor ankle injury and will miss the last 2 preseason games of the season. He expects to be back for opening night on October 29th.
In the second half things changed a lot, Chris Copeland and Richard Jefferson had a battle. It seemed like every other play Copeland or Jefferson was scoring. The Pacers very clearly made it mission to shoot a lot of 3 pointers. As a team they shot 27 threes; 14 being from Copeland.
George Hill really ran the offense well, making sure things flowed with ball movement and always found the open shooter. He finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Frank Vogel made sure that Chris Copeland got his shots up and I think you’ll see plenty more of that throughout the season. Don’t expect them to take 27 threes a game but expect the numbers to rise from last season. In 2013 the Pacers shot 18.8 3s per game, and shot 35%. Expect both of those numbers to go up considerably.
In the 4th quarter the Pacers shot 75% from the field in the 4th quarter, and went on a long 18-3 run to take the lead. That due to Donald Sloan scoring 12 of his 15 points in the 4th and Copeland hit 2 straight 3 pointers to give the Pacers a one point lead. Chris Copeland finished with 22 points, 5 rebound and 2 steals to lead them to their 2nd preseason victory.
The Pacers will make a trip Tuesday to Minnesota for their 2nd to last preseason game of the season. You’ll most likely see Vogel rest the starters more and they’ll play the bench and extras a lot more. Remember they’ll be making cuts soon, so look out to see the final roster released.