If the Indiana Pacers want to get another shot at an Eastern Conference Championship then they must re-sign power forwards David West and Tyler Hansbrough. Indiana recently offered Hansbrough a $4.15 million qualifying offer as his presence off the bench is necessary. However, there is no question West needs to be the organization’s top priority during the offseason.
“We have a budget and we’re not going to go over the (luxury) tax for any reason,” president of basketball operations Larry Bird said, according to NBA.com. “David is our No. 1 guy.”
West averaged 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the field last season. Center Roy Hibbert and he combined to form a devastating front court that helped the team almost defeat the Miami Heat in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Simply put, without West in the starting lineup next season the Pacers will be taking a huge step backwards.
Hoping Hansbrough accepts the qualifying offer is another big step for Indiana.
“We have to do what we can to have a better bench,” Bird told NBA.com. “Our starters are pretty good players, but we need guys to come off the bench and not lose the lead like they did last year.”
The Pacers need Hansbrough’s energy and intensity off the bench in order to be successful. However, they cannot afford to pay him the same amount of money that other organizations could. With that being said, Hansbrough is a loyal guy and there is no question the Pacers have something good brewing in Indiana, which is a huge reason why he would accept the offer.