The Indiana Pacers are a team that is stuck in the mud. They are in the middle of a weak eastern conference and do not seem to be bad enough to make a change, nor good enough to be a contender. Larry Bird, the head of basketball operations sits in the middle of all of this.
Bird has been with the organization for years, and while they have been competitive, right now, ownership is evaluating if they need a change. Larry legend needs to save his job.
Here are ten ways that Bird can do to stay with the Pacers...
Even though Bird appointed David Morway GM in 2008, he still has all final say on player personnel and who the team drafts. Bird should allow for a more open process where more people have a say in whats going on.
In the summer, the team was willing to part with Granger, and there were even rumors that he was on the move to the Nets. Behind Granger sits Paul George, their young first round pick, who many believe has a very bright future with the team.
It will be good to get value for Granger while the team is still afloat, and his scoring average is up.
With all due respect to Mike Dunleavy, I think eight years into his career we can say that he just is not very good. He is to playing what his father was to coaching....just kinda there.
The team needs a sharp shooter to work inside/outside with Hibbert. Of course every Pacers fan would love Reggie Miller to walk through the door, but sorry doesn't look like that's happening.
Tyler Hansbrough is the kid in the park who you play with for a while and talk yourself into thinking he is good because he hustles and tries hard. And then he makes a mistake....and another....and another.
Im sure he will be a nice piece on a good team and once in a while score 20 points, but he is the perfect example of an ok, but not so great player, that the Pacers are stuck with. There is no need getting rid of him so fast, but an upgrade would be nice.
A Danny Granger trade is ideal in acquiring a top flight forward.
Hibbert's point and rebounding totals have improved all three years that he has been in the league. I never thought he would pan out to be anything more than a stiff, sitting at the end of the bench, but he has ended up becoming a very nice player.
If Bird can lock him up at a reasonable price, he can show ownership that he is confident in the players he has and start to build around a legitimate center, a rarity in today's game.
Jim O'Brien is out and a Frank Vogel is in. I have never been in favor of going and getting coaches like Larry Brown, thinking they are going to solve all your problems. Give Vogel a chance but there are a few coach out there that have had a lot of success.
This is an extension of the last point but as Bill Parcells once said, "They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries." Well Bird has went out and bought the groceries, now its time for him to try and cook the dinner.
The Pacers are only 2 games out of the playoff race...miraculously. With a weak eastern conference, only one or two moves might be the difference between Bird keeping his job or not.
The Bucks are a good example of a team that made a few moves, got hot, and played very well in the playoffs. Larry legend should take some pointers.
The Pacers have a tremendous amount of money to spend this offseason. Foster, Ford, and Dunleavy combined make $25.6 million, money that can be spent this offseason to help at every position.
Bird can get great valuable pieces for these expiring contracts.
Right now, the Pacers do not scare anyone. While the idea of being competitive is vague, the team has a lot of good young players and cap room to bigger on the front line. They need another scorer, but Bird needs to find right players to fit the scheme and execute in order to be around to see how the team turns out.