The Indiana Pacers are looking to replace Lance Stephenson, and they may have their eyes on their target. According to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Pacers are expressing serious interest in signing former Detroit Pistons shooting guard Rodney Stuckey. It is unclear what role Stuckey would fill, but he would likely be the Pacers’ starting shooting guard with C.J. Miles as his backup.
Also hearing Pacers are expressing serious interest in Rodney Stuckey to fill backcourt void created by Lance Stephenson’s move to Charlotte
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 16, 2014
This isn’t the type of move that will make Pacers fans happy, but it could end up being a very nice fit. Stuckey is a very capable scorer when he gets to the rim, but the downside of his offensive game is that he cannot shoot the three-point shot. His ability to get to the rim will help Indiana’s offense, but he isn’t as good of a playmaker as Stephenson was either.
All of that being said, he won’t be the type of distraction that Stephenson was on the court or in the locker room, and that could end up being a very big factor. He is a veteran that knows how to handle himself and is simply looking to compete for a championship. Larry Bird had interest in Stuckey two days into free agency, and that makes it obvious that he believes that Stuckey’s game would fit what Indiana needs.
It is still possible that the Pacers could view him as a bench piece with Miles stepping into the starting lineup. If that is indeed the case, he would simply be filling the role that Evan Turner had down the stretch last season. There is absolutely no doubt that Stuckey would be a better fit in the Pacers’ offense than the Turner that was seen last season.
Overall, there are plenty of moves that could be made by the Pacers and this likely wouldn’t be the last one. Bird has made it clear that he is looking to bring in a true point guard, and that won’t change with the signing of Stuckey. This move would simply be made to add depth to the shooting guard position, and it likely wouldn’t cost the Pacers much at all. Don’t be surprised to see this move go down in the near future, as the interest has been reported as being mutual.