Power Ranking Every Indiana Pacers Player Already on Roster
The current free-agent frenzy should give the Indiana Pacers players' power ranking a slightly different feel.
Ranking each Pacer should give Indiana fans a solid glimpse of how the current roster stacks up from top to bottom. This is simply based on each Pacer's statistical output from the 2012-13 NBA season and the overall impact of his game.
Where will new acquisitions Chris Copeland and C.J. Watson wind up?
Who will emerge as the top Pacer: Roy Hibbert, David West or Paul George?
Whatever the outcome, expect the Indiana Pacers to contend for the Eastern Conference crown once again.
2012-13 statistics: 5.4 PPG, 1.8. RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.2 BPG, 0.4 APG
No, Danny Granger is not at the bottom of the power ranking.
It would be unfair to gauge Granger's worth as he saw action in only five games last season due to a jumper's knee injury.
Pacers president Larry Bird reiterated the team won't trade him. Whether it's a ruse or not, a healthy Danny Granger's return should be able to bolster Indiana's offense, which ranked just 23rd overall.
If he returns to his old, deadly form, he should find himself moving up the power ranking in no time.
13. Miles Plumlee
2012-13 stats: 0.9 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.1 APG, 0.2 BPG, 0.0 SPG
If you've been keeping abreast of developments in the current Orlando Pro Summer League, you can only wonder if Miles Plumlee can ever play like that when the regular season rolls around.
He is showing flashes of athleticism made possible by his 41-inch vertical leap.
12. Donald Sloan
2012-13 statistics (with the Cleveland Cavaliers): 4.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.0 BPG, 0.3 SPG
Donald Sloan is one of the new faces on the Indiana Pacers roster.
Sloan reached an agreement on a multiyear contract with Indiana last week. He made his pro debut in 2011 as an undrafted free agent and also saw action in the NBA D-League.
Cavaliers assistant coach Nate Tibbetts describes Sloan as "competitive" and someone who "does a good job on pick-and roll."
Tibbetts also says Sloan "does a real good job finding shooters." This is a trait that the Pacers sure could use, although he got off to a rough start in summer league play.
He is projected to be the Pacers' third point guard playing behind C.J. Watson and George Hill.
11. Orlando Johnson
2012-13 statistics: 4.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.2 BPG, 0.2 SPG
Orlando Johnson showed some flashes of brilliance in his rookie year. In some of the games he played in, he showed he can deliver with his feathery shooting stroke and hustle.
He had an unusual statistic: He shot better on the road (44 percent on threes and 91 percent on free throws) than he did at home (33 percent on threes and 62 percent on free throws), per Pacers.com's Mark Montieth.
Prior to Indiana's four-game West Coast road trip sweep, Johnson put up some respectable numbers, but tailed off since then.
Johnson is currently one of the Pacers' leading scorers in the 2013 Orlando Pro Summer League, finishing with 17 and 13 points in the first and third game, respectively.
10. Gerald Green
2012-13 statistics: 7.0 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.4 BPG, 0.3 BPG
If only Gerald Green always played the way he did in Game 2 of the opening round against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2012-13 NBA playoffs (the game when he threw down a vicious dunk on Josh Smith and scored 15 points), he wouldn't have gotten such a bad rap from many Pacers fans.
Coming into last season, the thought of having a high-wire act featuring Green and Paul George should have helped take the Pacers to new heights. Instead, Green was just mediocre for the most part, sometimes hoisting ill-advised outside shots, which threw off Indiana's offense.
Although he posted several DNP-CD games, he showed a good attitude by taking it all in stride.
With Danny Granger's impending return, fans can only hope Green can turn things around by making the most of every opportunity he gets in 2013-14.
9. Ian Mahinmi
2012-13 statistics: 5.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.8 BPG, 0.5 SPG
Not too Indiana fans knew about Mahinmi prior to the Pacers acquiring him from the Dallas Mavericks for Darren Collision and Dahntay Jones. Pacers management deemed him to be a serviceable backup center whose championship experience with Dallas in 2011 should rub off on his teammates.
Mahinmi was okay in spots during the 2012-13 season, showing an ability to hustle on the boards and even knock down the occasional mid-range jumper.
When Roy Hibbert returned to form after the All-Star break, Mahinmi was virtually non-existent. He scored in double digits just once for the rest of the season. He wasn't much of a factor in the playoffs, either.
Since he is locked up for three more seasons at $4 million per year, the Indiana faithful can only hope Mahinmi posts more respectable numbers next season as Hibbert's chief reliever off the bench.
8. C.J. Watson
2012-13 statistics: 6.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.2 BPG, 0.8 SPG
The Indiana Pacers officially signed backup point guard C.J. Watson to a two-year deal on Wednesday.
Team president Larry Bird said Watson fits the mold of the ideal bench player the Pacers were seeking. His experience with winning teams also won the team over.
C.J. Watson is exactly the type of player we were looking for when we said we needed to address our bench. He's experienced and he has been with winning teams, so he knows what it takes.
Pacers fans should remember the feeling every time Watson tormented them when he played for their division rivals, the Chicago Bulls.
It sure will be a relief to have him on the Pacers' side.
7. Solomon Hill
2012-13 statistics: N/A
With the way things are going, Indiana rookie Solomon Hill seems to be as good as advertised.
Bird was impressed with Hill's versatility, athleticism and work ethic. General manager Kevin Pritchard also lauds Hill's reputation as a winner and terrific defensive prowess—things that will definitely make him fit right in.
Hill is currently making a splash in the 2013 Orlando Pro Summer League. In the three games for the Pacers, he scored nine, 22 and 15 points, displaying an array of moves which include drives, mid-range jumpers and assists.
Hill, at 6'6", seems to be a well-rounded package at small forward and possibly shooting guard. Should he continue to make solid progress, look for him to move up in the team power rankings.
6. Chris Copeland
2012-13 statistics: 8.7 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.2 BPG, 0.2 SPG
Along with C.J. Watson, Chris Copeland should give the Indiana Pacers' bench an added scoring dimension that was sorely missing in 2012-13.
Copeland, who signed an offer sheet with the Pacers on July 5 (per ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling), was touted as "The Future of Pacers Basketball" on an ESPN the Magazine cover with him as the featured athlete.
He is now locked up through the 2014-15 season with a qualifying offer for 2015-16, earning at least $3 million annually, per Hoopsworld.com.
A change of scenery with the championship-contending Pacers should rejuvenate Copeland's game even more.
5. Lance Stephenson
2012-13 statistics: 8.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.2 BPG, 1.0 SPG
Lance "Born Ready" Stephenson's play last season helped the Pacers overcome the loss of Danny Granger.
One can only marvel at Stephenson's energy, fearlessness and toughness, traits that proved Pacers management's patience with him paid off. He can score using a vast array of options, but still needs to improve his mid-range game and free-throw shooting (.652).
Stephenson also has a tendency to play out of control. But make no mistake about it, he's one of the best rebounding guards there is in the NBA, able to post double-digit numbers in this department on any given night.
If he continues to mature and keep his head in the game, he'll soar to new heights in the years to come.
4. George Hill
2012-13 statistics: 14.2 points, 3.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.3 BPG, 1.1 SPG
George Hill was steady and unspectacular for the most part of the 2012-13 season.
His play is somewhat reminiscent of Vern Fleming's (the Pacers point guard who played out of position in the 1980s, as he was projected to be more of a shooting guard) but with three-point shooting accuracy.
Hill had some rough spots, particularly during the first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. In spite of the concussion he suffered in Game 4 against the New York Knicks, Hill played through it and still posted respectable numbers.
He did a commendable job overall in his first full year as the starting point guard of the Indiana Pacers.
3. David West
2012-13 statistics: 17.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.9 BPG, 1.0 SPG
The Indiana Pacers won't be championship contenders without David West.
West's stellar play in Indiana made Bird and Co. geniuses by signing him to a two-year deal back in 2011. Now that he'll be on board for three more years (a deal worth roughly $36 million) with an improved bench in tow, the Pacers are destined to make serious noise in the Eastern Conference once again.
West's mid-range game, rebounding and veteran savvy are irreplaceable aspects. Although he's on the cusp of turning 33 next month, he is still clearly one of the Pacers' best players.
2. Roy Hibbert
2012-13 statistics: 11.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 2.6 BPG, 0.5 SPG
In spite of a rough start to the 2012-13 season, Roy Hibbert rebounded quite nicely to establish himself as one of the best true centers in the game.
Nowhere was his value more evident than in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat when league MVP LeBron James took advantage of Hibbert's absence down low to convert an uncontested layup at the buzzer.
In spite of the loss, Hibbert's play in the postseason was great and sometimes utterly dominant, it was about time NBA fans from outside of Indiana took notice. After all, he wasn't paid $58 million to be just plain average.
If Hibbert keeps this up, he should be in the upper echelon of NBA centers for years on end.
1. Paul George
2012-13 statistics: 17.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 4.1 APG, 0.6 BPG, 1.8 SPG
Paul George enjoyed a breakout year nobody expected. No knock against Granger, but his absence paved the way for the 23-year-old out of Fresno State to shine.
George can do just about everything—score, rebound, defend and pass. He is the most versatile player to don an Indiana Pacers uniform in years.
He also managed to show everyone what he's made of in the postseason, earning the respect of no less than LeBron James along the way.
Obviously, his most glaring weakness is his turnovers. Knowing his stellar work ethic, this is something he'll work on in the offseason.
Paul George: 2013 NBA Most Improved Player, 2013 NBA All-Defensive Second Team and 2013 All-NBA Third Team.
He is, without question, the best player of the Indiana Pacers.
Unless otherwise noted, all player stats are courtesy of ESPN.com.
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