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The first Indy move of the night gave Pacers nation a near cardiac arrest when it was announced the Pacers had selected Kawhi Leonard.
Not that Leonard won't be good. In fact, it was surprising how far he fell. It was more to do with the fact that the Pacers are already bloated with forwards.
It was either some kind of cruel joke and a nefarious plot by Larry Bird to build an entire roster of athletic swingmen who can't really shoot all that well, or a trade was coming.
Thankfully, it was the latter.
Unfortunately, the trade further complicates Indiana's seemingly endless rebuilding project, in the latest effort to restore basketball pride and return the Pacers to conference contention.
The trade was surprising on both ends.
On San Antonio's end, why would the Spurs sacrifice a young talent who served as an insurance policy for Tony Parker. Not only is Parker advancing in age, but earlier last week he had been at the heart of several trade rumors.
There are three logical reasons why San Antonio (one of the smartest front offices in the league) would pull the trigger:
1. Tony Parker is staying put and the Spurs are going to take one more crack at a title.
2. Richard Jefferson was not the answer and is on his way out.
3. The Spurs aren't as high on Hill and think he's overrated (If the Spurs think so he probably is).
If you guessed a combination of all three, you are correct. Parker's got one or two more good years, and with the arrival of Leonard, Jefferson might as well start packing his bags. There is no way such a smart front office is letting a budding star, who's entering his prime, leave.
From the Pacers standpoint, the trade was equally unexpected. The move was made to increase scoring, but it was also to engender good will from a flagging fan base by bringing home a local star. While both were needed and accomplished with the trade, Hill isn't the best option for the team.
At a generous 6'3", he's too small to play the 2 spot, and he is still not the automatic shooter the Pacers need. Plus didn't the Pacers land their point guard of the future in Darren Collision just last year? Hill's game has developed but so has/can Collison's.
My friend Leo sent me an email saying Collison is nothing more than a good backup. Others say he has top-10 potential. Either way, he's only 23, and shouldn't we give him another year in the system? Let's find out what we have.
For the Pacers there are three outcomes for this trade:
1. The Pacers play both guys at the same time, which may increase scoring but leaves the Pacers vulnerable, defensively.
2. Collison and Hill split time, which isn't ideal for building offensive continuity.
3. One is traded.
A week ago, there was no way I would have imagined trading Collison. Now, although by coercion, it has to be considered.
Coach Vogel doesn't play small ball, so the Pacers won't change their system. And anyway, with the Pacers supposedly developing big Roy Hibbert, it's hard to imagine he would be pleased to take up track.
Plus, Golden State's disastrous experiment of pairing Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry doesn't bode well for a two-guard system.