5 Players the Pacers Should Try to Acquire
The Indiana Pacers have stapled themselves in the playoff mix, but there are still some noticeable holes in the team's roster that can be filled by acquiring some players on the market.
At this point in the season for the Pacers, it would be risky to shake up the roster dramatically—especially with Danny Granger's return just around the corner.
There are still some cheap, affordable players they could add to their team to fulfill a certain niche. This slideshow will examine a few role players who could help advance the Pacers to the next level.
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Jose Calderon is the definition of an efficient point guard, and he would improve any team he plays for. He has an expiring contract, but he could be a key role player who can push the Pacers into championship consideration.
Per Team Rankings, the Spaniard currently registers the best assist-turnover ratio in the league (4.5) and would provide a steady veteran presence at point guard. George Hill and Lance Stephenson have controlled the offense admirably halfway through the season, but neither of them can run an offense as efficiently as Calderon.
On the other hand, the Pacers are currently 22nd in the league in turnovers per game at just over 15. Calderon would be a perfect fit, since he could certainly help reduce this young team's turnover numbers.
At 31 years old, Calderon is still producing at a high level, and his style of play allows him to possibly play until his late 30s. He could definitely provide some stability as a backup point guard for this young team.
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The Pacers have a good shooter in Paul George, but the team as a whole doesn't have many perimeter threats. They are standing as the sixth-worst three-point-shooting club at 34 percent midway through the season.
Redick would immediately contribute to a team that's lacking perimeter shooters. He holds a career three-point-shooting average of 40 percent, while also registering career highs across the board this season.
Granger's imminent return would aid the scoring woes, but Redick has proven that he can substitute as a serviceable playmaker or secondary point guard with his court vision as well.
Out of every player on this list, Redick would probably have the biggest impact for this Pacers team because of his offensive versatility.
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Courtney Lee is a good shooter, cutter and wing defender, but he obviously cannot fill the void left behind by Rondo—nobody can.
The Pacers could use a player like Lee, especially since he has fallen out of favor from Doc Rivers' rotation early in the season. He's also a player that the Celtics have been shopping, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Pacers could probably offer a package surrounding D.J. Augustin, who hasn't seen much time at all, since Coach Vogel frequently favors Hill and Stephenson to run the plays on the floor. Augustin is still a good point guard in the right situation, and offering him to the Celtics would benefit both teams.
Lee's best quality of his game is his perimeter defense, and his career 39-percent shooting from downtown is an added bonus. But his defensive prowess will seamlessly fit in on the second-best defensive team in the league (per Hollinger's Team Stats).
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Trying to grab Eric Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers is much easier said than done. The backup point guard extraordinaire has already gathered interest from teams around the league, and his stock is quickly rising.
Bledsoe is an athletic freak of nature and defensive stopper who would be the perfect sidekick for Paul George.
There's a limited number of quality point guards available, and sadly, one of them is buried behind Chris Paul on a deep bench.
The 23-year-old Bledsoe can pass, shoot, drive to the rim and defend as well as anybody in the league. On top of that, he's probably better than over half of the starting point guards in the league.
Unfortunately, he's still under his rookie scale contract with the Clippers, and it would take a great deal to pry him loose from them.
Regardless, a future with Bledsoe and George seems extremely enticing, even though obtaining Bledsoe is easier said than done.
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J.J. Hickson has a no-trade clause in his contract, but he seems to have been in trade speculation for over a month now (per Zach Lowe of Grantland.com).
The Pacers' current rotation of big men off the bench include Ian Mahinmi, Tyler Hansbrough and the rarely used Jeff Pendergraph. Although Mahinmi and Hansbrough are solid in the minutes they're given, Hickson would be a major upgrade over either of them.
Hickson's limitless energy and hustle would make an immediate impact to a Pacers team that lacks athleticism in the frontcourt.
After being unjustly waived by the Sacramento Kings last season, Hickson proved that he is very much capable of holding his own as an undersized power forward-center. This season, he's registering incredible per-36 minute averages of 15.4 PPG and 13.2 RPG, while shooting 55 percent from the field and posting a PER of 20.0 (per Basketball Reference).
Among the Pacers' rugged front line, Hickson's youth and dynamic athleticism would be a breath of fresh air. According to Chris Haynes of Comcast Sports Network, Hickson has already fielded calls from other teams to potentially join them. He would be an excellent addition to this Pacers team, and management should definitely try to court him.