NBA Draft: How the Pacers Can Route Eric Gordon Back to Indiana

No NameAnalyst IJune 6, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12:  Eric Gordon #10 of the Los Angeles Clippers heads to the basket in front of Carlos Arroyo #8 of the Miami Heat at Staples Center on January 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Everyone knows the biggest need for the Indiana Pacers roster is an experienced scorer that can finish out close games.

This is what cost them in their playoff series against the Bulls this year. Danny Granger is not the man for the job, but a familiar name in Indiana could be.

Eric Gordon was a high school star in Indiana, as well as a one-and-done player at IU, showcasing his talents on the offensive end of the floor. During his time with the Clippers, Gordon has vastly improved his all-around game, and is one of the most talented 2-guards in the league today.

Gordon isn't afraid to go into the lane and he is able to finish with contact, get fouled, hit free throws and shoot from long range. In his three years in the NBA, his scoring has gone from 16.1 to 16.9 to 22.3 per game. His defense has picked up too, due in part to the time he spent with Team USA last summer.

The question is, how can the Pacers get him to come back to Indy?

There is no doubt he would become the face of this franchise if they were able to land him. Unfortunately, it looks like the best chance they have at getting him would be after next season, when he would be a free agent.

The Pacers and Clippers could then do a sign and trade deal involving Granger and Gordon, but who knows if that is what L.A. would want in return?

With no certain franchise-changing players in this year's draft, perhaps the best thing for Indiana would be to trade their first-round pick.

The problem is, there aren't many teams that would be willing to make a move just to land the 15th pick in the draft.

If they were somehow able to get out of the pick though, they could settle for a lengthy prospect later in the draft like Tobias Harris from Tennessee. Moving back would enable them to keep their cap flexibility, while giving them another young talented player to groom.

If the plan is to go after Gordon after next season, they would then have a young, somewhat experienced starting five that could really contend in the East. If Collison and Hibbert continue to improve, and Paul George slides into the SF position, the added talent of Eric Gordon and another nice free-agent piece to fill the PF spot would be very exciting for fans and the franchise alike.

A player like Tyson Chandler or Dwight Howard is something this team desperately needs, as Tyler Hansbrough just isn't a definite starting PF in the league.

If they could find someone with some of those defensive skills, they will probably go in that direction.

If they keep the 15th pick, they would probably go with either Klay Thompson at shooting guard, or Tristan Thompson at power forward. Klay is a lights out shooter coming off of screens, and Tristan blocked 2.4 shots per game last year at Texas. He is more defensive minded, while Hansbrough is more offensive minded.

Either Thompson would be a good pick, with each of them filling different voids.

If they do go with a big man in the first round, I would like to think they are planning on pursuing Eric Gordon, looking to bring him back home to Indiana.