The Indiana Pacers kicked February off with a bang with the signing of Andrew Bynum who has made the news for all the wrong reasons this season. His reputation may have been hurt from things that have happened in the first few months of the season, but can change things around for the better in Indiana.
The Bynum saga started back in 2012 when the Los Angeles Lakers traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers, but he never played in Philly after being held back by knee injuries. His roller coaster career continued when the Cleveland Cavaliers took a chance on the former All-Star and NBA champion. A few months after his stint with the Cavs began, he was suspended, traded to the Chicago Bulls, released and then found himself on the market for about a month. After some time to hopefully get his head straight and start focusing on basketball again, the Pacers gave him a call and met with him in Indianapolis. The Pacers later announced they had signed Bynum to a deal with the terms not yet available. Bynum will impact the Pacers’ already deep bench, but could things be shaken up even more in the coming weeks?
The NBA’s trade deadline of Feb. 20 will be here before we know it and there are some big names that are rumored to possibly be on the move. Pacers president Larry Bird stated he isn’t afraid to make a move in order to improve the team, and after the Bynum signing, this would be the perfect time to shake things up just a little more before they have a set roster throughout the rest of the season. Those moves could include George Hill and Ian Mahinmi.
Indiana has been the talk of the league this season with their outstanding record and the emergence of Paul George and Lance Stephenson, but something else being talked about is their weakness at point guard. As the season goes along, Hill has proved he cannot put up consistent numbers and his defense isn’t up to par with his fellow teammates.
A lot of people critic Hill for his lack of passing, but I don’t think that’s the problem. Every other player in the starting lineup keeps the ball moving no matter who has it and don’t need just the point guard to distribute the ball. If Hill was consistently scoring 15 points a night and shooting efficiently, sure, I would assume they’d keep him, but he’s just not.
Just looking at his last two games, you can already see inconsistency. Last Thursday against the Phoenix Suns, he put up 17 points on 7-8 shooting. That is good I must admit, but then look at their next game vs. the Brooklyn Nets, where he scored 10 points on 3-8 shooting.
Now, let’s take a look at Mahinmi. Mahinmi has certainly turned things around this season and has given Indiana some good minutes off the bench behind Roy Hibbert. He’s no Bynum, but he isn’t a scrub, either. However, the signing has put him in a situation where he really won’t play much anymore unless either of the other two centers got hurt, but if they can package him with Hill in hopes for an upgrade at point guard, Indiana would be smart to make a trade.
As for possible trades, it’s a toss-up. The two most popular options would be for Rajon Rondo or Kyle Lowry, but either of those could be a reach. The Boston Celtics would most likely want someone who could score a lot of points each night, and would rather have a Danny Granger and Hill package to seal the deal.
However, if the Pacers took a risk and threw in a draft pick, maybe it would happen. As for Lowry, this one is a little more realistic, but still a reach. The Toronto Raptors are building something up in Canada with a lot of young talent and taking their leader away could cause some issues. The Raptors, however, aren’t in a contending situation yet and taking a risk with another big and someone who can shoot the lights out wouldn’t be shocking to see.
There will be talks across all the internet until the much anticipated deadline is here, and this is just another one of the many possibilities and rumors you’ll see in the coming weeks. We’ve seen some crazy things happen right before the trade deadline before, and another Pacers move wouldn’t even be that crazy.