On Saturday, the Indiana Pacers closed a deal with the Phoenix Suns for Luis Scola. The trade sends Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, and next year’s first round draft pick to the Suns in return for Scola.
Early rumors suggested that the Pacers were trading Danny Granger, who sat out the majority of the last season with a knee injury. That turned out to be false, and Indiana was able to shed a lot of dead weight for a solid bench player. Scola averaged 12.8 points per game and 6.6 rebounds as a starter for the Suns last season. Scola, who could start for a number of NBA teams, will likely come off the bench and backup David West.
The departures of Green and Plumlee won’t hurt the team in the slightest. Green isn’t all that talented at anything besides dunking the basketball and doesn’t appear to have a very high basketball IQ. Plumlee only saw minutes in 14 games and didn’t show signs of developing into the type of player who could really contribute to the frontcourt.
The biggest hindrance in the Pacers playoff run was the bench, but a number of moves in the offseason appear to have solved that problem.
The Pacers front office has been extremely busy this past month. They signed Chris Copeland from the Knicks, CJ Watson from Brooklyn, and selected Solomon Hill in the Draft. This level of activity, and quality of moves, shows that the Pacers are trying to win a championship immediately. They were so close to beating the Heat in June, but were really held back by the bench. These four new players are all upgrades for the Pacers.
Couple these moves with the return of Granger and the Pacers won’t be struggling to score points when the starters are out.
Ditching Green’s horrible contract will also allow the Pacers more cap flexibility to sign Paul George, and probably Lance Stephenson, to an extension.
The Eastern Conference has a number of quality teams at the top, and the Pacers have to make big moves to contend with the likes of the Heat, Bulls, and Nets.
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