The Indiana Pacers have agreed to a trade with the Toronto Raptors, sending star foward Jermaine O'Neal to the Raptors for guard TJ Ford, center Rasho Nesterovic, and the 17th pick in the NBA Draft. The trade will go through pending physicals.
While this trade may seem one-sided at first, it really is a good move for both teams.
The Pacers' record without O'Neal last year was about the same as it was with him, so they can afford to give him up.
With the addition of Ford to the speedy, young group of players in the Indiana frontcourt, they can play a more up-tempo game, which will fit head coach Jim O'Brien's coaching style. Nesterovic will have the opportunity to earn a starting job this year. The No.17 pick could bring in DeAndre Jordan, a 6'11", 250 lbs center out of Texas A&M. Jordan has exceptional athleticism for a 7-footer, has a great deal of potential, and he averaged 6.7 ppg and 6 rpg in college last year.
O'Neal will likely play center in Toronto, and star forward Chris Bosh will remain the 4-man. These two, along with 7-foot, 250 lbs forward-center Andrea Bargnani, should keep opposing team's hands full. All three can shoot mid-range jumpers and post up, especially Bosh and O'Neal.