Indiana Pacers: NBA Draft Team Needs
2007-08 Record: 36-46
Draft Picks: 11, 41
Key Free Agents
C David Harrison (restricted)
G Ronald "Flip" Murray
How they got here and what they need
The Pacers made a run late but fell just short of making the playoffs, the second straight season in which Indiana took in the second season by way of television. And what's a season in Indiana without Jamaal Tinsley doing something else stupid off the court? I'm thinking, better yet hoping, that the Pacers cut ties with the talented yet troubled lead guard. Jermaine O'Neal missed most of the season due to injury and also has the option to terminate his contract and become a free agent. But given his production the past couple of seasons, he won't command as much money on the open market.
The Pacers need two things: a point guard and some more help inside. Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger look like two players Larry Bird can rebuild around, but they need a floor general. The interior help can be found at pick 41, unless someone they regard as a "can't miss" prospect is still on the board.
Who they take
They're going to take a point guard, but do they go for the better floor general (Texas' D.J. Augustin) or the better athlete (UCLA's Russell Westbrook)? Given the Pacers' recent history in drafting athleticism over basketball sense, I'd lean towards Augustin being the selection.
Draft History (since 2000)
2007: No Picks
2006: Shawne Williams (17), James White (31)
2005: Danny Granger (17), Erazem Lorbek (46)
2004: David Harrison (30), Rashad Wright (60)
2003: James Jones (49)
2002: Fred Jones (14)
2001: Jamison Brewer (41)
2000: Primoz Brezec (27), Jaquay Walls (56)