Raise your hand if you heard of Donald Sloan before the Indiana Pacers signed him in free agency? No, knowing him only from NBA 2k does not count. Well apparently Larry Bird was one of the handful of people to raise their hand, which is impressive because Sloan has only appeared in 56 games over the past two seasons. While Sloan appears – on paper – to be a nice replacement for Ben Hansbrough, he is still a player no Pacers fan will want to see on the floor this year.
Sloan was picked up to be the Pacers third point guard, which means he will occupy the end of the bench and likely only see playing time during garbage minutes or if someone gets injured. And it’s the injury scenario that would make Pacers fans cringe because Sloan hasn’t shown over the past two years to be a solid NBA player.
During the past two seasons Sloan has appeared on three teams, and in those 56 games he has started 11, all with the Cleveland Cavaliers when Kyrie Irving went down. His inability to stick with a team for longer than 25 games is a bit concerning. His defense isn’t up to par for this Pacers squad and his shooting is pedestrian. He shot eight percent from three-point range in 2011-2012. Eight percent…how is that even possible?
Either way, Sloan is signed with the Pacers for the next two seasons – making only $45,000 less than Lance Stephenson this year, think about that – so he will be able to mesh with a team for a full 81 games. He will also get playoff experience, and the Pacers could always use him in the D-League to make sure he isn’t going weeks without stepping on the court besides practice.
Sloan’s signing boils down to one thing: Money. It was cheaper for the Pacers to sign him this season than to pay Hansbrough. Teams need at least 13 active players during the season and Sloan makes number 13.
Welcome aboard, Sloan. Try not to get too many splinters.