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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the time we traded for Rose last year, one aspect of the trade i didn't like was that we included Mercer rather than Oakley. This was somewhat born out by the fact that shortly after the trade, we went on a horrible loosing streak.

I felt at the the time, and still do, that Mercer would have helped us avoid that. By himself, he certainly wasn't a difference maker, but with another legit scoring option on the team (Elton his first year here, Rose if he had been kept) he was more productive. Better, by providing a real scoring threat opposite Rose, he would have made us a better team over the course of last season after the trade.

Keeping Mercer would have:

* Having Rose as a primary threat would improve Mercer.
* Having Mercer would relieve scoring pressure on Rose.
* Increase depth at the wing positions (given that we'd just traded Artest and ERob was hurt).
* Keep around another veteran.
* Provide better players for the kids to play with.

Now, the main justification I've heard for trading Mercer rather than Oakley was that we got more salary cap relief from Mercer. In retrospect though, we didn't spend that money on any major FAs, and it's clear that we never planned to (no runs at Lewis, Clark, Kandi, etc.). So basically, we just dumped salary at the expense of competitiveness on the court. What's more, it's not like Mercer has a horribly long contract. In fact, it expires after this season. If we still had him, we'd be in a more flexible position, both with regard to potential trades, and with respect to picking up a FA this offseason (when there's a much better FA class). In other words, from the perspective of the free agent market, it's clear to me that we'd have had more benefit from keeping Mercer around.

OK, so trading Mercer both made us less competitive in the short-term and had 0 to negative impact on our approach to the free agent market.

So what justifications remain? In my mind, no good ones.

1. The DESIRE to make the team less competitive in the short-run, in order to loose games and hopefully gain draft position. Even if this is beneficial in the long-run (and given the probabilities of the lotto, that's an iffy proposition at best), I find the idea of tanking a season, or part of it pretty lame.

2. The idea of cutting overall salary (as opposed to unloading bad contracts that hamper the ability to make the team better through trades and free agency) regardless of whether it affects the team on the court. In other words, being cheap.
 

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I thought Mercer was signed through the 2004 - 2005 season? Didn't he sign a five year deal with the Bulls in the Summer of 2000? I'm fairly certain he did, but my memory does tend to fail me now and again.
 

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I don't know the exact numbers, but could the Bulls have signed Marshall if they still had Mercer's contract? I don't think so. Marshall may not be a Lewis or Clark, but with our glut of guards I'd much rather have Marshall than Mercer.

I think another big factor in getting rid of Mercer was the fact that he just doesn't get the concept of team offense. He doesn't seem to have a clue as to how to move the ball, and how to move without the ball within a team offense. As anyone who has played with such a player knows, one player like that can kill an offense. Mercer defenders will point out his number of assists (which was respectable). But that doesn't take into consideration all the times he refused to feed the ball into open post players, took ill-advised shots, or simply held the ball within the offense, stagnating it in the process.

I also think he was not a positive off-court influence. He's always been known as somewhat of a loner. Not that he was a negative influence, but I suspect he didn't get caught up in the team energy that seems to be building.

Let's see what Mercer's contribution to the Pacers is this season is. In Lizzy's "bold prediction" thread, Mercer's name wasn't even included in a post listing the Pacers young core of players.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A couple responses.

1. D'OH, you're right. Mercer's contract has a player option for one more year at the end of this year. Thus, he wouldn't help us (since he can reasonably be expected to not opt out of his contract) in the FA market next year.

However, one point that kind of deflects this is the fact that we might be over the cap anyway (even if Mercer's contract was ending). That is, we've already got $34 million under contract next year (assuming we pick up options). Hence, Mercer (if he had an expiring contract) would not put us under the cap, so we'd still have only our mid-level exception to spend next year (just like this year).

My bad on this point... I should have researched it better.

2. We still could have signed Marshall this year. We were over the cap and used our mid-level exception to sign him, and if we still had Mercer, we'd be able to do the same this coming year.

3. I still would argue that Mercer was a "valuable commodity" in terms of his contract in the sense that, as it approached its end, he would have become more and more attractive to other teams in trades.

4. Kneepad, you raise valid points about how well Mercer fit into the offense and how well he fit onto the team. I would not completely argue against them, but I will point out the following.

- Part of my hypothesis is that Mercer would play better in the offense with better players (Rose, Best) around him. I think part of the reason he was forcing a lot of stuff because he was the only guy on the court who could score (or even knew where to go) in a lot of cases (you saw him do this a bit less the year before when Elton was here). I'm not saying he was a great player or anything, only that he might have produced better with better results.

- Off the court, it's true that Mercer's supposedly a shy, quiet, and low-key guy. However, I think that's not a problem in and of itself. The problem is that, by default, he was thrust into the role of being a leader and primary cog on a team. That bad fit would have subsided with the additions of Best and Rose. With a couple more vocal guys around, he wouldn't be asked to do something he shouldn't have been asked to do in the first place.

Further I'd also point out that while Ron's probably not a born leader, he's definitely not a "bad guy". I remember that he started/participated in quite a few charities while he was here. Of course, that doesn't have much to do with basketball, but it's a good example to have around.
 

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i agree somewhat with you mike. I was hoping that oakley was going to be in the trade. But mercer was. I saw that as a salary dump. And it was clear to me after he was traded that he was holding the TEAM back. I agree with the poster who said that Mercer is not a team player. But then with Rose, Mercer would not of been the go to guy and would have been part of the offense as another scoring weapon. But remember, Mercer didn't play a lot for us either. He was hurt. So just how much help he would have been to us last year is hard to say. But you bring up some good points!!
 

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http://www.basketballboards.net/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2264&perpage=25&pagenumber=1

The signing of Marshall is the only new impact on what was being discussed in the thread... the first page of the thread is where Mercer is talked about.. the rest of it is an interesting debate between BCH and KC about Jerry K and his motives on trades.

To this day, I still think Mercer could have greatly helped our team. Was he worth the money? No. We traded salary that was allocated to Mercer and turned it into salary allocated towards Rose, someone much more worthy of the contract.

Was Mercer as a player valuable to the Bulls? I think that until Rose was moved to the SG, it was our weakest position. With Rose there now, we have a good rotation at SG, with our most seasoned veteran and best player there and strong backups that make up for his deficiencies (Hassell comes in on more difficult defensive matchups, etc.) and if Rose needs to stay on the floor, he shifts to PG or SF. The Rose-Hassell backcourt is a pretty cool one if you think about it.

Having Mercer stuck in there doesn't make as much sense, although it could have still worked out. If we didn't sign Marshall, then we'd have Mercer as the starting SG with Hassell as his backup, and Rose and E-Rob sharing time at SF. It's not as strong as it is today, but it's not horrible and there's a lot of offensive firepower in the lineup.

Overall, he's a decent player but with salary issues and the roster the Bulls are trying to assemble, Mercer gets left out in the cold...
 

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I think trading Mercer was a good move. As someone pointed out earlier, he doesn't understand the concept of team offense. He bogs down the o by holding the ball too long, and he isn't dynamic enough to get other players involved when the defense collapses on him. On top of that, he has no range on his jumpshot.

The guy is a journeyman already. And he has put up some decent numbers whereever he's been. However because he's such a black hole, no team wants to keep him.
 

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in retrospect... trading mercer didn't bother me at all.
IMO, for Brad Miller, possibly a top-5 center, for Ron Artest, possibly a top-5 defender, we should have gotten a first-rounder instead of a second-rounder. We could have chosen Chris Jefferies, a defensive minded forward, who would have fit nice in here.
I mean centers are very rare, G-F are very common, we could have at least done a little bit better than (in fact) just Rose(Richardson, Best are gone and Baxter is a ?)
 

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I agree that having Mercer around last year alongside Jalen would have produced more wins. However, knowing what we know now, I think it's a very good thing we didn't retain Mercer.

In my opinion, last season ended about as positively as could've been expected. While post-trade we certainly did not become a force, we ended the year on a positive note. We strung together that 3 game winning streak plus a couple of encouraging victories (such as against the Lakers). And with these moral victories, we still did not jeopardize our lottery position, eventually allowing us to draft JWill.

IF Mercer had remained a Bull, it very well would have given us a few more victories. If we had had just ONE more victory, we would've reduced our lottery chances, and if we had gotten as much as 4 more victories it might've meant we'd have gotten the 5th or 6th pick rather than #2.

Of course, there is no real way to know how thing would've turned out, but you know what they say - hindsight is 20/20. Things definitely turned out for the best by having a relatively encouraging end of the season and the draft pick we wanted/needed. If we had kept Mercer, things only could've changed for the worse with the excpetion of a few relatively meaningless wins.

So let's just thank our lucky stars things turned out the way they did.
 

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errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

From what I remember the pacers were in 1st place in the East the day of the trade....

WHAT HAS MERCER DONE FOR INDIANA?

Given them bad defense and poor shot selection from a miscreant clubhouse guy.

At the end of the season, wasn't it it Indiana STRUGGLING to barely make the 8 spot in the playoffs? YES IT WAS!

Krumbs will only make a trade that will seriously benefit HIS team. And boy did it do that!

the pimp :wbanana:
 

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Re: errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Originally posted by <b>the_disco_pimp</b>!
From what I remember the pacers were in 1st place in the East the day of the trade....

WHAT HAS MERCER DONE FOR INDIANA?

Given them bad defense and poor shot selection from a miscreant clubhouse guy.

At the end of the season, wasn't it it Indiana STRUGGLING to barely make the 8 spot in the playoffs? YES IT WAS!

Krumbs will only make a trade that will seriously benefit HIS team. And boy did it do that!

the pimp :wbanana:
uhhh, the pacers werent anywhere near first in the east at the time of the trade, in fact i dont think they were even in the top 8 of the east. And Mercer was injured at the time of the trade and didnt even play in a Pacers uniform for a while after the trade already happened. The trade made the Pacers better, though mercer wasnt the reason. I agree that we could have gotten more in the trade but Im glad that we have JWill now.
 

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Yeah, I looked it up and the Pacers were ranked 10th in the East at the time of the Trade, heres a little bit of the article I found.



The deal was completed two days before the NBA trading deadline.


The Pacers (26-27) are one-half game behind Philadelphia and Charlotte in a battle for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Bulls (12-40) have the worst record in the NBA.

http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/020219/5/kstx.html
 

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I've seen enough of Mercer's game. I saw him play for the Nuggets and I watched him play far too many games for the Bulls.
I agree with George McCloud, Mercer ain't *&^%.
He's a fashy player that lacks substance. He often times tried to play above his skill level. He is one heck of a cherry picker though. When the Bulls were somewhat successuil last season, Mercer was hurt.
 

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I really liked Mercer. Two things in particular:

1) He played excellent defense. This word is something I constantly heard during the telecasts I was able to see.

2) He was able to make his own shot, and usually got off a very good one. In the triangle, when the clock runs down to near zero, you need guys with this ability.

If we included Mercer instead of Oakley, we really made the wrong choice. I'd think Mercer would have better trade value when he wasn't injured (i.e. healthy again) if that were the route we wanted to take.
 

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But Mercer's salary became Jalen's salary last year. You can argue that Oakley's salary could have served this purpose equally well...

But what about this year? If we kept Mercer instead of Oakley, we'd still be paying him this year. So, this year and for the successive years, Mercer's salary will translate into Marshall's salary. I think dollar for dollar, Donyell Marshall would be the better buy.

Someone said that we could have paid for Marshall if we still had Mercer, because we'd be over the cap and could use the MLE. But I think it would crowd the roster. Someone would get shafted out of minutes, probably Eddie Robinson and Marcus Fizer. This year, both of those players have a chance to contribute and both of them should.

If we kept Mercer and got Marshall, then three SF's = Rose, Marshall, Eddie Robinson. 2 SG's = Mercer and Hassell.

If Marshall took minutes at PF, then three PF's = Chandler, Fizer, Marshall.

The way it works out now is that Rose and Marshall both get their share of minutes, which is important to the success of the team in the present, while Chandler and Robinson continue to get THEIR minutes as well, which is important to the success of the future of the team.
 

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We can only guess as to what the Bulls would have done, regarding Marshall, if they had Mercer signed and on the roster.

I'll add this thought... If they could have substituted Oakley for Artest, I would be really happy about it now.
 

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I was one of Mercer's biggest defenders last year, but he clearly is worse than Rose and Marshall and is marginally, if at all, better than Robinson and Hassell. The emergence of Hassell really made Mercer expendable.

Perhaps more importantly, Mercer likely is costing the Pacers $15M this year in salary, luxury taxes, and lost disbursements. He also will make it very, very difficult for them to re-sign all of their key players next year. In effect, by including Mercer in this trade, Krause has put Indiana in a huge financial bind, a bind that could result in them letting go of some of their promising players.

With Indiana having one of the most impressive groups of young players in the league, I think this was a brilliant move on Krause's part to insist that Mercer rather than Oakley was included in this deal.
 

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Mercer seems to be one of those players that just breeds losing. Can't really explain why.

He has bounced around like a pinball, and despite being able to score we seemed to be the only team interested in signing him a few years ago.

Rose plays the same position as Mercer. I also think Hassell was more effective overall then Mercer, and Mercer was going to be on the bench. He wouldn't of liked that.

Oakley was off the books at seasons end anyway. Mercer, who contributed little if nothing in the way of victories, was stuck for another year. If you look at the roster now he would of had no position.

I don't like most things Krispy Krause does, but I have to agree that dumping Mercer at the time was a good move.

To be honest, if Indiana sent him back here for free I wouldn't want him.

As I said, for some reason he seems to have a "loser" tag around his neck.
 

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I think everyone is missing a big issue here.

Including Oakley instead of Mercer, would have been given Indiana too much salary relief.

Neither Mercer or Oakley figure into Indiana's plans. Each was luggage to balance salaries.

Taking on Mercer's salary for two more years does create a lot of problems for Indiana considering they have to resign J'Oneil, B.miller, Bender, Artest, and Foster esp. since Indiana still has Croshere on the payroll.

Why help Indiana out with $7 mill in cap space which is
what Indiana would have picked up had Oakley been included in the deal instead of Mercer?

It will be every interesting to see who Indiana retains next year or what trades they make to consodlidate talent.

Regarding Travis Best, he was good insurance to get in the deal.
In retrospect, it may not appear that way. But when the trade occurred due to the lottery, the Bulls still could have ended up with the fourth or fifth pick in the draft despite having one of the worse two records.

Had the bulls drafted third, not selected JWill, Travis would have been kept around and been the back-up PG.
 

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Great points by NCBullsFan and ztect about how having Mercer on their payroll will affect the Pacers. I agree that Krause did a masterful job of increasing their salary commitments next summer, and I'm sure that Walsh wishes he didn't have Mercer's $8 mil on the books for the 2003-2004 season.

Neither Oak or Mercer were in the Bulls' long-term plans- even if we wouldn't have landed JayWill, we would have kept Best (another great point, ztect). Between JC, Best, Hassell, ERob and Rose, there still wouldn't have been enough minutes for Mercer- certainly not at $7 mil for this season. And IMO we still would have signed Marshall or Harpring, so why not screw the Pacers' cap situation?
 
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