Finally, The Pacers Get Their Point Guard of the Future
Indiana Pacers fans rejoice, we finally have our man. Meet Darren Collison, the point guard of the future.
A lot of non-Pacers fans just don't get it. They don't think it is a big deal. Not many people were even aware Collison was in the NBA until Chris Paul got injured last season. He's only in his second year. He's only 6'0" and 160 lbs. He only averaged 12.7 points and 5.7 assists, not to mention 2.7 turnovers (4.1 as a starter). And now we're acting like he's going to save this troubled franchise and take them to the playoffs?
No, he's not going to do that. Not by himself, anyway. But please forgive us for getting a little carried away. In case you haven't noticed, there hasn't been much to be happy about in Indiana since November 19, 2004.
Take a look this list of Pacers point guards since that infamous Detroit brawl: Jamaal Tinsley, Anthony Johnson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Eddie Gill, Darrell Armstrong, Jarrett Jack, TJ Ford, Earl Watson, Travis Diener, and AJ Price.
Now you know why we'e excited.
Despite being told for years by Larry Bird that the wheels were in motion and that things were "on track", Indiana fans never saw any results. Poor trades with bad contracts, uninspiring draft picks (Danny Granger being the exception), and overpaid, over-hyped free agents. The team has missed out on the playoffs for four consecutive seasons. They are coming off their worst season since 1989. Up until the Collison trade, the Pacers were the only NBA team that had not made a trade or signed (or re-signed) a free agent this off-season.
And now, all of a sudden, things are looking much brighter. The Pacers finally have what they've been desperately searching for —a young, talented point guard who works hard and is not a menace off the court. They have a solid core of promising young players (Granger, Roy Hibbert, and possibly the three new rookies Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Magnum Rolle). They still have a bunch of attractive expiring contracts: Mike Dunleavy ($10.6m), TJ Ford ($8.5m) and Jeff Foster ($6.7m). Jamaal Tinsley and his $5.5m salary is finally coming off the books at the end of the season. And there's the promise of more trades to come.
Darren Collison may not be not Chris Paul, but he represents hope. And that's something Pacers fans have not had in a very very long time.
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