Indiana Pacers: Reasoning Behind Trading Collison & Jones for Ian Mahinmi
On the surface, the deal may seem kind of crazy, especially when you consider Collison started 56 of 66 games last season, and arguably outplayed George Hill in the playoffs.
Also, Jones is probably the best wing defender the Pacers had. Then you trade those two players for Ian Mahinmi, the Mavs' backup center, who averaged 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds last season.
Why make that trade?
Collison and Jones were not in the Pacers' future plans
Collison was entering the final year of his contract, and would not have been happy being the backup point guard. The Pacers just agreed to re-sign George Hill. He's their starting point guard for the next five years. Knowing that, the Pacers weren't going to bring Collison back after next season, and Collison wouldn't want to come back. He wants to start.
Jones is a good veteran presence and a solid defender, but he's seen his playing time decrease since signing with the Pacers in 2009. That time was likely going to dwindle even more next season, as he would be behind Danny Granger, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Orlando Johnson and Gerald Green on the depth chart.
The Pacers needed a backup for Roy Hibbert
Yes, they drafted Miles Plumlee, but the Pacers needed a proven backup for Hibbert. Plumlee will need time to develop. While that happens, Mahinmi is quite capable of providing quality minutes off the bench.
The trade allows the Pacers to make more moves
Look, the Pacers' bench let them down in the playoff series vs. the Heat. Getting a solid backup for Hibbert is a step in the right direction. Moving the contracts and roster spots of Collison and Jones frees the Pacers up to make some more moves, and in the process, improve that bench.
So don't rush to judgement, Pacer fans. The team hasn't finished making moves. The bench will be stronger and this team will be better next season because of it.
Follow Brian on Twitter @coldy4goldy.
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