If you have concerned yourself with 2011’s NBA free-agency buzz then you are well aware of the list over at CBSSports.com. The list is compiled of the NBA’s top 50 free-agent targets, with restricted Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol listed as No. 1.
And if you’re talking Indiana Pacers free-agent targets then you’re definitely talking David West.
But truth is, though David West plans on testing free agency, as first reported by Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune, it may be more likely that he plans on using those offers as a bargaining chip for a contract extension with the New Orleans Hornets.
The Hornets have publicly acknowledged the importance of West to their organization and have made the re-singing of West a priority once the NBA lockout is lifted.
So if West really has no intention of leaving New Orleans, who will the Indiana Pacers target?
Enter former Purdue Boilermakers product Carl Landry.
At 6’9", and 248 pounds Landry is a legitimate power-dunking monster power forward, and has been vastly underrated throughout his tenure in the NBA.
And like New Orleans Hornets teammate David West, he is an unrestricted free agent that plans on testing the free-agent market, according to Jeff Washburn with JCOnline.com.
If West does in fact sign an extension with the Hornets, Landry’s position at 20th on CBSSports.com’s top 50 will change dramatically.
In the New Orleans Hornets' first-round playoff series versus the Los Angeles Lakers, Carl Landry averaged 15.8 points per game.
Prior to being traded to New Orleans on Feb. 23, 2011, Landry, as a starter for the Sacramento King, averaged 18 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
As I alluded to earlier, Landry is a high-motor monster capable of being an impact player given the right situation.
I believe that Landry’s “right” situation would be with the Indiana Pacers. Landry’s ability to hit the mid-range jumper, aggressive rebounding and team-first mentality are abilities that the Indiana Pacers strongly covet.
Landry told Washburn, "Playing in New Orleans is fine. I'm comfortable there. I'm glad to be there. I feel like I was a productive player in their rotation. I brought something to the table every night. I feel wanted there.”
"But I would play in Indiana for the Pacers, and I'm from Milwaukee, so I wouldn't mind going back there. You just never know where I will end up."
For Indiana's sake, it better hope that Landry “ends up” in the Pacers’ navy and gold.