The Indiana Pacers applied for a Disabled Player Exception from the Paul George injury, and today the NBA decided to grant them the exception. Indiana now has around $5.3 million to spend on a player o via trade, but the issue is that the exception does not impact the Pacers’ tax situation. They only have about $1.9 million to spend in order to stay under the cap, and that simply won’t be enough to bring in a player that can make the difference that they are looking to acquire.
Shawn Marion is the biggest name that the Pacers have been pursuing, and he met face-to-face with Larry Bird yesterday. The Pacers are adamant that they are going to compete for a playoff position this season, and they will need to add more help in order to do that. There are a few different ways that the Pacers could free up more space underneath the tax in order to make a move.
First of all, the best thing that they could do is to cut Luis Scola‘s partially guaranteed contract. It would free up a good amount of room for them to go after a new player via trade or free agency. They could also waive Shayne Whittington’s contract as well, which would free up a little more money to work with. Either way, the Pacers are going to need to make some sort of move in order to free up the necessary money to go after a player that can make an impact on the upcoming season.
Outside of Marion, there are not many pieces that the Pacers would be interested in on the free agent market. One name that has been mentioned is Michael Beasley, which actually might not be a bad idea at this point in time. Beasley still has the potential to become a solid scorer, but he also has the potential to become a major locker room issue.
Perhaps the forgotten possibility in this entire situation is Rasual Butler, who played with the Pacers all of last season. He showed the ability to score and shoot the basketball off the bench, and even made a couple spot starts. His age is a definite concern, but he could be an option if Indiana is unable to sway Marion away from the Cavaliers.
Overall, it’s going to be a very interesting end to the offseason for the Pacers. They are still looking to make a big move if it presents itself, and there are plenty of options out there for them to work on. All that being said, it’s more likely that the Pacers will sign one more player and then go into the season with the current core of players that they have on the roster.