The Pacers don’t really make trades. It’s been two years since their last one, it’s just not part of their corporate culture.
But they are trying now.
The Pacers are trying to move Mike Dunleavy and T.J. Ford, according to the Indianapolis Star. And finding this is harder than they thought. Just like they have for the past couple of years, but the efforts are renewed.
Mike Dunleavy is set to make $10.5 million next year in the last year of his deal. Which is a lot of money for a guy who has battled injuries the last two seasons and seen his shooting percentage drop because of it — 41 percent overall last season, 41.8 percent from three with a true shooting percentage of 53.1. He scored 10 points a game last season. All numbers well off his 2007 pace.
The Pacers need to find a team that thinks he can regain his form, and they can’t. With good reason. They also could try to find a team that wants him for a year just to clear cap space, but that will be easier to do near the trade deadline.
The Pacers also are trying to move Ford, but they have been doing that for a while and found no takers. Ford is a solid point guard so long as you don’t ask him to shoot a lot, but he and coach Jim O’Brien’s system are oil and water. Again salary is an issue, Ford is set to make $8.5 million this season, which is a lot for what he can bring to the table.
The Pacers probably could move one of those two in a package with Troy Murphy — the Star reports teams are calling about him. But with Jeff Foster and Tyler Hansbrough coming off injuries, the Pacers are loath to move Murphy.
So we’re at an impasse.
The Pacers need a point guard to run their running system, but missed on every target this summer. Now they have two players nobody really wants as trade bait to do the same. The only thing they really have going for them is that basically every large contract comes off the books next summer so they can rebuild with free agents from the ground up. Which right now looks like about the best plan.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.