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Indiana Pacers 2009 Summer Moves
Indiana Pacers 2009 summer moves
The Indiana Pacers have made a few subtle moves in the summer of 2009. I have read where several Pacer fans are unhappy because there has not been a major deal made. In fact may "fans" are complaining that Larry Bird has destroyed the Pacers and should be fired if the Pacers don't win immediately.
First I would like to address the job that Larry Bird has done since Donnie Walsh left at the end of the 2007-08 season. Bird has done a very good job. He accomplished his first goal of cleaning up the Pacers image. He also now has 4 good players that should be starters for the Pacers for many years. Danny Granger has proven he is an all-star. Hibbert and Rush were starting at the end of last season and rookie Tyler Hansbrough has the potential to be a solid power forward. One of the things the "fans" that are complaining about Bird are forgetting is the fact that Rush and Hibbert were rookies last year. The simple fact of them gaining experience and working hard in the off season will help them and the team improve. Look at Danny Granger. He averaged about 7 points per game as a rookie, he then went to 13, 19 and 25 points per game respectively. I don't expect Hibbert and Rush to improve by 6 points per game each of the next 4 years, but they each will improve.
Another obstacle Bird has had to overcome is the fact that the Pacers are having financial problems. He has gotten rid of some high salaries by letting Marquis Daniels, Jarrett Jack and Rasho Nesterovic go. With his moves this summer, he has freed up some money so the Pacers can sign a very good free agent in the summer of 2011. The contracts of Murphy, Dunleavy, Ford and Foster will all expire. The Pacers will have money available as they will be cutting around 35 million dollars in salaries. Even if the Pacers should decide to sign one of those players (most likely Dunleavy) for 7-10 million dollars per year, they will still have plenty of money left to sign a high priced free agent.
The Pacers moves in the summer of 2009 has added depth and defense to the team without giving up the potential young starting line up. The one area the Pacers still need to address is finding a quality point guard. Ford is adequate but the Pacers can improve in that area.
While the Pacers are waiting for their young players to develop, they still have Troy Murphy at power forward to help Hansbrough, Jeff Foster at center to help Hibbert and now Dahntay Jones to help Rush. They also have Mike Dunleavy lurking in the background recovering from an injury. I firmly believe that when Dunleavy returns he will be a very good sixth man, much in the mold of John Havlicek.
I think the 2009-10 Pacers may be flying under the radar. I can see them making the playoffs and they are definitely on the raight track to return to a top level NBA team
Indiana Pacer Roy Hibbert
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