The Indiana Pacers signed Rodney Stuckey to a one-year contract yesterday afternoon, and they were able to get him for an absolute steal. He may not be a Lance Stephenson talent, but signing him for a veterans minimum contract is an absolute steal. There are not many players that will sign that type of deal at the age of 28, and be extremely happy to join the franchise that they signed with.
He’s the type of offensive punch that the Pacers needed last season, and while losing Stephenson will hurt he will still be able to add a nice scoring punch to the lineup. There is no questioning his aggressiveness to get to the rim and to the foul line, and he also has a very solid mid-range game. His three-point shooting has been the biggest question mark by a lot of analysts since Indiana brought him on board, but that is simply not what he was signed to do.
Stuckey isn’t going to be the savior of the Pacers’ 2014 season, but he will be a very key piece to any hopes that Indiana has of making it to a third-straight Eastern Conference Finals. Perhaps having a veteran presence like Stuckey instead of a young, inconsistent Stephenson will be addition by subtraction. If the Pacers can work Stuckey into their offense and mold him into a role, he is going to surprise quite a few fans.
That being said, head coach Frank Vogel has had some issues working with players that Larry Bird acquires for him. Stuckey is the type of player that needs the basketball in his hands to be aggressive offensively, but he can also be used as a slasher. The Pacers need to make sure that they don’t make the same mistake of asking him to stand outside the three-point arc that they did with Evan Turner.
Overall, this signing could end up looking brilliant at the end of the coming season. Stuckey has experience as a starter, and has had quite a bit of success on the offensive end of the court during his career thus far. It will be very intriguing to see what he’s able to do with an extremely talented Pacers squad.