The Indiana Pacers had one of the most productive off-seasons of any team in the NBA. They looked at their biggest weakness from last season, production from their bench, and went out and addressed it this summer by adding solid components like Chris Copeland, C.J. Watson and Luis Scola, all of whom should be key contributors as reserves this season.
The Pacers also added even more depth to their backcourt when they signed Donal Sloan to a league minimum two-year, $1.8 million deal. Presumably, Sloan will be the third point guard behind George Hill and Watson. Even with that, the Pacers have to be praying that they don’t see much of Sloan this season.
Reason number one why the Pacers shouldn’t want to see Sloan this season is pretty obvious: it would likely mean that one of their top-two guards is injured. Nothing negates a team improving their bench quite like having one of your starters or one of those newly acquired bench guys getting hurt.
The second reason, though, is the fact that Sloan hasn’t shown any signs of being a quality player in the NBA. In two seasons in the league, Sloan has appeared in only 56 games and has averaged just 4.7 points, 2.6 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game while shooting only 38.4 percent from the floor and 20.5 percent from three. Granted, he’s shown flashes of being a slightly above-average defender, but he’s not been good enough to outweigh his offensive shortcomings.
For all we know, Sloan could get an opportunity this season in Indiana and unleash something that we didn’t know was there. Based on what he’s done in his first two seasons in the Association, though, it’s hard to imagine that happening. Pacers fans should want to see him on the bench more often than not.