The Indiana Pacers could be in for a long season. They lost guard Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency and will likely be without their best player, forward Paul George, for the entire season after he suffered a compound fracture in his right leg during a scrimmage with Team USA.
While I wouldn’t be absolutely stunned to see them in contention for one of the final spots if (as a team) they can sort of rally around one another in the absence of their two best players from last season, but I actually think this is a good chance for them to bottom out and add another big piece via the draft while permitting PG to fully recover for a 2015 return.
To do that, they may have to trade one or both of their veteran big men – power forward David West and center Roy Hibbert.
Last season, Hibbert averaged 10.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 43.9% from the field, 40.0% from beyond the arc and 77.0% from the free throw line. Over his career, he’s put up 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 assists per game while shooting 4.7% from the floor, 30.0% from three and 73.7% from the charity stripe. West averaged 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 48.8% from the floor, 26.7% from beyond the arc and 78.9% from the free throw line. In his 11-year NBA career, he’s put up 15.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 49.1% from the field, 25.6% from three and 82.5% from the charity stripe.
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