Indiana Pacers Need a Top-Tier Point Guard, But a Trade Could Be Dangerous
The biggest disappointment last season for the Indiana Pacers was the play of starting point guard George Hill. Although he is the fifth best player on the team in the starting rotation, elements of leadership and basketball IQ are always expected from your point guard. Many times those were things that Hill lacked.
The unfortunate fact is that this has been the case for four years now in playing with the Pacers; he is a team contributor, of course, averaging at least 10 points a game in each season in Indiana, but he is not a starter. The problem that comes with this is that although he may not have the skills to be a starter, he is making starting point guard money at $24 million over the next three seasons. This makes it tough to bring in somebody else at the position, especially when the team is already so close to hitting the Luxury Tax mark.
That being said, this is not stopping Larry Bird and the Pacers from trying to make a move in which they can upgrade the position. Reports have recently surfaced that they are looking at possible trades that would bring in either Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns or Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics. Both would immediately become the starter and move this team to a new level are far as competitiveness goes.
Big names are always fun to hear rumored with your team, but the Pacers need to be careful with what they would give up to get one of these guys. Dragic would bring in an addition $15 million total for two seasons, and he would demand much more than $7.5 million a year when it came time to sign a new deal. Rondo is an extraordinary talent, but he is only under contract until the end of next season ($12 million), so you could be giving up some key assets to essentially loan him for one season if he chooses to sign somewhere else next season.
The contract terms and money are not the only issue that these players could bring to Indiana. The Pacers have seen success in the past by playing great defense and running their offense through their wings (Paul George and Lance Stephenson). So although bringing in a Rondo or Dragic would be incredible, it would mean less touches for these guys and having to essentially look at a new offensive structure — which would not necessary be too awful given their offensive woes at times.
In the end, either one of these players is obviously an upgrade and should make any fan of the Pacers ecstatic for what could come next season. But you have to keep in mind that when a trade is made you also have to send some players their way, and the Celtics likely aren’t looking to swap Rondo and Hill straight up. In order to take money on you have to let money go, meaning Stephenson, Roy Hibbert and/or Hill could be putting on a new jersey next season.