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Should the Pacers trade for Andre Miller?

  • Yes, Andre Miller-Jermaine O'Neal gives the team an excellent 1-2 punch for the next 4-5 years.

    Votes: 6 50.0%
  • I'd rather keep my fingers crossed and hope that Jonathan Bender turns into a star!

    Votes: 6 50.0%

  • Total voters
    12
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Discussion Starter #1
The Pacers DO, as many of you point out, have a lot of talent, a lot of cheap young talented assets. But the bright young future that you fellers keep talking about isn't necessarily going to happen--unless the team makes some moves.

The thing is, QUANTITY does not win in the NBA--QUALITY wins in the NBA. Take a look at the Los Angeles Lakers--this team's fifth-best player is DEREK FISHER. How many teams in the league have a better fifth-best player than Derek Fisher? Maybe all of them. What makes the Lakers great is that they have two STARS, the best 1-2 punch in the league HANDS DOWN. The key to winning in this league--and I mean WINNING, not going 41-41 and making the playoffs only because teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks, and the Miami Heat totally collapsed (and because MJ got hurt; don't forget how the Wiz were coming on around the All-Star Break!)--is to find two GREAT players (not good, GREAT) and surround them with role players.

The Pacers have only one guy who is great--Jermaine O'Neal. And he's not even GREAT yet, but I will admit that I think he WILL be fairly soon. Other than him, the Pacers have a bunch of guys who will NEVER be great--Jamaal Tinsley is a Mark Jackson-caliber point guard (i.e., good but not great), Reggie Miller is on his last legs, Jonathan Bender has no idea how to play the game of basketball (great athlete, mediocre player), Ron Artest is a nice role player but that's it, Al Harrington is a solid starter who brings a lot to the table but he'll never be a STAR, Brad Miller is an above-average center. So the team has only one star--they need another one, peoples!

Another thing that is killing this team is money. We all know about Austin Croshere's godawful contract ($6.6 mil next season, $7.3 mil in 2003-04, $7.9 mil in 2004-05, $8.6 mil in 2005-06--and keep in mind that this dude is the ninth or tenth man for a .500 team), but that's just the beginning. Ron Mercer makes way too much money for a one-dimensional bench scorer ($7.4 mil next year, $8.0 mil in 2003-04), but that's not the main problem, either. The main problem is that this team will have SIX key guys to re-sign next offseason: Jermaine O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Brad Miller, Jonathan Bender, Ron Artest, and Jeff Foster. The team simply CANNOT re-sign all of these dudes. Take a look at what these guys figure to get in the open market next July:

Jermaine O'Neal--max player
Reggie Miller--$7 mil/yr for 3 years
Brad Miller--$7-$8 mil/yr for 4-5 years
Jonathan Bender--$6-$7 mil/yr for 5-6 years
Ron Artest--$5-$6 mil/yr for 4-5 years
Jeff Foster--$3 mil/yr for 3-4 years

Now you guys understand why the team is wanting to trade Jamaal Tinsley and Austin Croshere and Primoz Brezec to the Celtics for Kenny Anderson--they need to free up some money so they can re-sign these guys! Anderson makes $9.2 mil next year--but then his contract is up, so that'll free up quite a bit of money. But even THAT'S not going to be enough!

If the team signs all six of those dudes up there, their payroll for 2003-04 is going to be around $65 million--which is simply way too high. Even if the team let both Foster and Artest walk, the payroll is at around $57 million, which is way too high for a .500 team. And what guarantee do you have that Bender will ever turn into the player that you guys seem to think he's going to turn into?

Which brings us back to the team's OTHER major problem--they have QUANTITY but not QUALITY. Here are two trades that would make the team an INSTANT contender for the NBA Finals (starting next year). And they should REMAIN a Finals contender for the next 4-5 years. Take a look:

Trade #1: Tinsley, Croshere, and Brezec to the Celtics for Kenny Anderson. This trade works for the Celtics, too--Boston doesn't have to re-sign Rodney Rogers after this trade, and they upgrade at the point guard position with Tinsley. Croshere was too damn good two years ago to sit at the end of the bench for the rest of his career--he needs a change of scenery. Both teams save money--and Rodney Rogers signs elsewhere (Chicago, maybe?).

Trade #2: Ron Artest, Jonathan Bender, Kenny Anderson, and Ron Mercer to the Cavs for Andre Miller, Zydrunas Ilgauskus, Lamond Murray, and Bimbo Coles. The key to this trade for Cleveland is getting rid of Ilgauskus' contract and getting SOMETHING in return for Miller. The Cavs will hope and pray that Bender turns into a star, but even if he doesn't, this deal guarantees that the Cavs will be one of the two worst teams in the league, which increases their chances at getting hometown hero Lebron James. The key for the Pacers, of course, is Miller, who obviously gives the team the other STAR that it truly needs. The team also doesn't have to worry about re-signing either Artest or Bender anymore. Coles' contract is up after two years, Murray's contract is completely reasonable, and as for Ilgauskus, well, who knows, maybe he'll be able to give you a solid 12-15 minutes/game, anything more is gravy.

Fellers, here are your 2002-03 Indiana Pacers:

PG Andre Miller--Bimbo Coles--Jamison Brewer
SG Reggie Miller--Fred Jones
SF Al Harrington--Lamond Murray
PF Jermaine O'Neal--Jeff Foster
C Brad Miller--Zydrunas Ilgauskus

Payroll: around $55 million

Of course, the Pacers will have to max out both Miller and O'Neal, which means that the team won't be able to re-sign one of the Millers. I know this is an outrage, I know Pacers fans love Reggie, hell, so do I, but he's still got a few good years left, he'll be able to get more money elsewhere, he'll have a better shot at winning an NBA title elsewhere (he'd be a great fit in San Antonio in 2003-04, especially since Steve Smith won't be coming back). And you need Brad Miller more than you need Reggie for the next 4-5 years, right? The key here may be the development of Fred Jones--if you're going to let Reggie go, this dude needs to be able to be a decent starter, he needs to give the team a solid 30 minutes/game during his second season.

Fellers, here are your 2003-04 Indiana Pacers:

PG Andre Miller--Bimbo Coles--Jamison Brewer
SG Fred Jones
SF Al Harrington--Lamond Murray
PF Jermaine O'Neal--Jeff Foster
C Brad Miller--Zydrunas Ilgauskus

Not quite the depth that you used to have, but you only need 7-8 players in this league, anyway. Again, take a look at the Lakers, take a look at how many minutes/game it got from its 8th and 9th guys. Here's the minutes/game breakdown for the 2003-04 Pacers:

Andre Miller--36 minutes/game
Coles and Brewer split the remaining 12 minutes/game at PG
Fred Jones--30 minutes/game (at SG)
Al Harrington--36 minutes/game (at SF)
Lamond Murray--30 minutes/game (18 at SG, 12 at SF)
Jermaine O'Neal--36 minutes/game (all at PF)
Brad Miller--30 minutes/game (at C)
Jeff Foster--18 minutes/game (12 at PF, 6 at C)
Zydrunas Ilgauskus--12 minutes/game (at C)

Again, the key to winning in the NBA is QUALITY, not QUANTITY. Andre Miller and Jermaine O'Neal give the Pacers two of the top 15-20 players in the league for the next 4-5 years, these are the two STARS that this team needs.

This team's payroll: around $60 mil. Which IS high, but only $3-$4 mil higher than the team below:

PG Jamaal Tinsley--Kevin Ollie--Jamison Brewer
SG Reggie Miller--Ron Mercer--Fred Jones
SF Al Harrington--Jonathan Bender
PF Jermaine O'Neal--Jeff Foster
C Brad Miller

Honestly, how is this team (the one right above this sentence) going to be one of the top 2-3 teams in the Eastern Conference? They have ONE star and that's it. Like I said, Tinsley is good but not great (he'll never be GREAT, he'll be Mark Jackson, who was GOOD but never GREAT), Reggie is on his last legs (what is he, 37, 38?), Mercer is one-dimensional and overpaid (and he takes minutes away from Fred Jones, who they just drafted with the #14 overall pick, so he needs to play), Harrington I like but he's not going to be a STAR, I have no clue why people think Bender is ever going to live up to the expectations of a #5 overall pick, and Miller is a good C in the East but he's nothing special. This team will continue to play right around .500 basketball, people. The only way it becomes a legit Finals contender is if either Bender, Jones, or Harrington get a WHOLE lot better. [NOTE: If you honestly think that Jonathan Bender is going to be a STAR--i.e., 20+ ppg or whatever--well, I just don't know what to say to you! He's done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to suggest impending stardom! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! You want to get something via trade for this guy NOW, while you STILL CAN, while there are suckers out there JUST LIKE YOU! Bender MIGHT become a star--but Andre Miller IS ALREADY A STAR!]

The other team, however--the one with Andre Miller--can and should be TERRIFIC, really terrific. And what are you giving up for Miller? Ron Mercer, who is taking minutes away from Jones and who is no better than Lamond Murray, and who actually makes more than Murray and Jones COMBINED; Kenny Anderson, who you obviously aren't going to re-sign after 2002-03 in the first place, who you only acquired so as to dump Croshere's contract on the Celtics; Ron Artest, who is an excellent role player but who is taking minutes away from Al Harrington and who you probably aren't going to be able to re-sign ANYWAY (and who is a real headcase); and Jonathan Bender, whose stock will probably never be any higher than it is right now. And AGAIN, you're getting ANDRE MILLER, who might just be the best PG in the NBA in two years. QUALITY, people, not QUANTITY! One more time--TAKE A LOOK AT THE LAKERS' ROSTER! When a team is GIVING AWAY a guy as good as ANDRE MILLER, you go get him! PERIOD!

Anyway, I know some of you fellers think I'm all anti-Pacers--but I'm not. If the Pacers don't do something to turn their QUANTITY into QUALITY--and this Andre Miller trade isn't the only possibility (it's the BEST possibility, but there are others, I suppose)--well, I'm sorry, I just am not getting how this team is going to be "the team of the future" or "one of the top four teams in the East next year" or "the next NBA dynasty" or whatever. I just don't. I'd love to see this team go out and get a STAR like Andre Miller, a SURE THING, a PERENNIAL ALL-STAR. It's all about getting the best possible 1-2 punch. The two best 1-2 punches in the East last year were Kidd-Martin and Pierce-Walker--so, unsurprisingly, those were the two representatives in the Eastern Conference Finals. Andre Miller-Jermaine O'Neal is as good or better than Kidd-Martin and Pierce-Walker, and the Pacers' supporting cast is significantly better than the Celtics' supporting cast. A trade for Andre Miller would create a nice old-school ABA Nets-Pacers Conference Finals rivalry for the next several seasons. But no Andre Miller trade? Expect somewhere between 38-42 wins--and another borderline playoff team (maybe they squeeze in, maybe not, but they certainly won't advance past the first round).
 

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Well obviously I'd rather have Miller before Bender, who's a bust anyway.

You're idea is certainly far-fetched, but it would really make the team a contender for the Championship, and not just some other lousy team coming out of the East. With that lineup we would have Reggie to help in a big way get us through the playoffs, and our two all stars, Dre and Jerm. But one thing you forgot to point out when you said that one of the Millers would have to go - I'm not sure when Big Z's contract is up, but it would certainly be over by the time Reggie's 3 year deal (starting in 2003, as you proposed) would be in the 2nd, or even 1st year. I'm not exactly sure, but we could buy him out, or if he actaully plays well (HIGHLY unlikely) then we could trade him for a draft pick or something, save a LOT of money, and that way we wouldn't have to lose Reggie.

Still, that was pretty creative. Props to you for that.
 

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Why did he add numbers to the end of his screen name?

You can't call Bender a bust yet. He is 21 and just got done growing. He has never been given significant minutes. And when he has been given 20 minutes he has produced. When he has been given 4 minutes he has not. This coming year will tell a lot about Bender. it would have been his senior year in college. If he does not break out this year, like harrington did last year and jermaine the year before that, you can call him a bust.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Some more thoughts...

The thing is, if the Pacers go get Andre Miller, I just REALLY don't see how the team can keep both other Millers. And, it pains me to say this, but I think that BRAD Miller is more important to this team over the next 4-5 years than is REGGIE Miller. God, I CANNOT BELIEVE I just wrote that! I love Reggie!

In any event, ESPN.com is reporting that the Sonics have finally found a team stupid enough to take on Vinny Baker's godawful contract--the Celtics. And Kenny Anderson is a key part of that deal (because of his contract). If that deal happens, well, the Pacers will have to find another taker for Austin Croshere, which may be impossible. I don't think you can substitute Croshere for Kenny Anderson in that Cavs-Pacers deal I proposed, either--the Cavs are trying to save money here, Anderson's contract is up after next season, while Croshere's contract isn't up until after the 2005-06 season (!). Although if you threw in Jamaal Tinsley, maybe the Cavs would bite; how about this:

Tinsley, Bender, Artest, Mercer, Kevin Ollie (in a sign-and-trade at a super-reduced price, maybe $1.5 mil/yr), and Croshere to the Cavs; Andre Miller, Ilgauskus, Murray, and Coles to the Pacers

The Pacers get the same four dudes as before, the Cavs take on Croshere but get yet ANOTHER nice young player (Tinsley). And the Cavs may be so grateful to be getting SOMETHING for Andre Miller AND for dumping Ilgauskus' contract on SOMEBODY that they will agree to take Croshere. And I STILL THINK that Croshere would really benefit from a change of scenery, Cleveland might be a good fit for him.

Incidentally, here's what the Cavs would look like after this deal next year:

PG Jamaal Tinsley--Kevin Ollie
SG Dajuan Wagner--Ricky Davis--Ron Mercer
SF Ron Artest--Jonathan Bender
PF Jumaine Jones--Austin Croshere--Tyrone Hill--Carlos Boozer
C Chris Mihm--DaSagana Diop

Now make no mistake, this team is awful, GODAWFUL--but they DO have a lot of cheap young assets. They would PROBABLY even be able to get SOMETHING for Tyrone Hill from SOMEBODY--after all, you really don't want that guy taking minutes away from these young guys, he's a free agent after next season, SOMEBODY will give the Cavs a draft pick and filler for the dude. Even if it's just a lousy second-round pick, at least it's SOMETHING!

AND MALAKIAN:

I feel pretty comfortable calling Bender a bust, but maybe I'm wrong. In any event, I still say that if you can trade the dude in a package for The Great Andre Miller, well, you do it. Maybe Bender turns into a star--if the Pacers are lucky--but Andre Miller ALREADY IS A STAR! Why gamble?

And, by the way, for those of you who don't want to give up Jamaal Tinsley--the dude is a nice player, but he's never going to be a STAR, he'll never be one of the ten best starting point guards in the NBA. Take a look at a list of the top 15 starting PGs in the league:

1 Gary Payton (will continue to be top ten for the next 3-4 years)
2 Jason Kidd
3 Mike Bibby
4 Steve Francis
5 Stephon Marbury
6 Andre Miller
7 Baron Davis
8 Steve Nash
9 John Stockton (will retire after next season, probably)
10 Jay Williams
11 Tony Parker (please do not tell me that Tinsley is better)
12 Sam Cassell
13 Jamaal Tinsley
14 Eric Snow
15 Terrell Brandon

Tinsley will move up to #11 in a couple of years, ahead of the retired Stockton and the declining Cassell. But he'll never make the jump into the top ten, NEVER. And there will be guys coming into the league via the draft over the next several years (like Jay Williams this upcoming season) who will INSTANTLY be better than Tinsley, pushing Tinsley back down to #13 or so. I've said it before and I'll say it again--Jamaal Tinsley is the next Mark Jackson. And Jackson was never one of the ten best PGs in the league--he was GOOD but never GREAT. [If he were GREAT, he wouldn't have kept getting traded around so much!]

So yeah, if you can trade a non-top ten PG, a probable bust (Bender) who still has some trade value, a guy who is taking minutes away from Al Harrington and who you're going to lose via free agency anyway (Artest), a one-dimensional overpaid bench player (Mercer), and the tenth man for a .500 team making $7-$8 mil/year (Croshere) for ANDRE MILLER, who is A STAR, you do it! PERIOD!
 

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Oladipo for the people
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True

Bender is no where near a bust. Hes just young and we have a bad coach. He needs time to develope but never gets a chance. Hesa great scorer, can jump over and guy, and can block very well for a guy whos at the 3 spot. If we trade Artest ( I can hear the boos already) then it will be Bender and Harrington at the 3. Having all 3 of them is too much. Harrington is almost as good of a defender as Artest and can score a whole lot better.
 

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Al Harrington has a very good chance at being a star. I'd be willing to bet that either Al or Bender will be an All-Star in the near future. I'm not gonna sit here and defend it, I'm just gonna say this...

We'll continue this discussion around New Years.
 

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Oladipo for the people
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Wish I had the patiente you have Absolute. First off, Tinsley is going to be the man, next year he'll be a top 10 point, and in 3 years max he'll be a top 5. Name another point who had 2 triple doubles his first year, oh wait you can't? Ok, didnt think so. Second, Reggie haters get out. Budweiser if you seriously think we're gonna trade Reg for a draft pick (are you serious?) or buy him out you should realy tone down on how many bud's you consume in a day. The fact that you said you doubt if he will be good next year is laughable. Maybe you didnt see game 5 like we all did, but Reggie is the man. Not 1 clutch shot to put it in overtime, but 2. I dont know about you, but I think that deserves a little respect. I wonder if some of you even actualy watch pacers games or just talk your mouths about how your fans when you realy don't know anything about the team. Tinsley, for the last time, was a rookie. Before he hit the wall he WAS rookie of the year. And now Harrington and Tinsley are working out like crazy this summer. I could keep going and going about how you are wrong, but I guess when the ASG comes around and you guys either arent posting on this board anymore or you've jumped the band wagon, you will know how wrong you were. A minor tweak or two is all we need, just wait and see
 

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Oh, and RobyG, if you dont think Tinsley is better than Parker, all you have to do is look at the stats to find out. I could save you time though, 2001-2002 stats prove Tinsley is the better player. Your just one of those guys who thinks because his team got farther hes the better player. And I don't know how you thought that list up but I can't even phathom how you put Payton over Kidd, and Bibby was the man in the playoff's, true, but hes not number 3.
 

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Well, doesnt this make me look like a jackass hey? Sorry about that Bud, I read the post wrong and appologise. Guess from now on I should start double reading posts. Anyways, again, sorry about that.
 

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Originally posted by R-Star
Well, doesnt this make me look like a jackass hey? Sorry about that Bud, I read the post wrong and appologise. Guess from now on I should start double reading posts. Anyways, again, sorry about that.
Heh, don't worry about it. We all make mistakes... even me. :D
 

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Jamaal averaged more points, rebounds, and assists than Tony Parker. And don't give the argument parker was on the first team because his team went farther, because how far did Gasol and Battier's team go?
 
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