Hopefully Coach Jim O'Brien was simply trying to keep Troy Murphy's trade value alive when he offered the following quote to Indianapolis Star reporter MiKe Wells: "I know this: We need Troy Murphy on the basketball court. That's the bottom line."
Through 11 games, Murphy has missed 6 games. Notice the difference in team performance:
With Murphy: 0-5 Record, 93.6 points scored per game, 107.2 points allowed per game
Without Murphy: 5-1 Record, 103 points scored per game, 94.33 points allowed per game
As you can see, the Pacers have faired far better without Murphy on the court. This is NOT a coincidence. Despite playing in the NBA for 8 years, Murphy has never been on a team that has gone to the playoffs, and his style of play is the reason. Although he considered a double-double machine, his defense is so abhorant that his offensive is far more than offset.
The Pacers are in a financial bind currently, and Troy Murphy is one of the biggest reasons why. He has 2 years and $23 million left on his contract, which is a pretty steep price for that 14 points, 9 rebounds, and terrible defense. The Pacers books (http://hoopshype.com/salaries/india
na.htm) become very open in the summer of 2011, a year AFTER the blitzkrieg of 2010 free agency (a la LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and virtually every other superstar athelete in the NBA today). The issue with this is that the free agent class of 2011 is relatively weak, especially at PG, the Pacers biggest issue (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/
story?page=FreeAgents-10-11). Most notable players like Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Mo Williams, and David West have Early Termination Options, which means they may or may not be free agents this summer. Players like Leandro Barbosa, Rasheed Wallace, and Boris Diaw have Player Options. Restricted Free Agents include future studs like Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Al Horford, Aaron Brooks, Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol, and Greg Oden, but RFA's are extremely hard to sign and their current teams would likely match any offer they recieve.
Of the pure free agents in 2011, most are wing players, where the Pacers already have 3 who will be under contract past that summer (Danny Granger, Dahntay Jones, and Brandon Rush). Jamal Crawford, Kendrick Perkins, Tayshaun Prince, Shane Battier, Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph, Samuel Dalembert, Tony Parker, Andrei Kirilenko, and Caron Butler are notables. Of those, Prince, Battier, Crawford, Kirilenko and Butler don't make much sense as we will likely have enough depth at the wings already, which leaves big men Perkins, Gasol, Randolph and Dalembert, and point guard Tony Parker (and I doubt San Antonio will ever just let him sign elsewhere).
My point, if you are still with me, is that the outlook for landing a PG who is an upgrade over T.J. Ford is bleak. Unless you believe the Pacers will get lucky in 2011 and be able to sign a Barbosa, Brooks, or Parker, it is clear that the Pacers should be doing everything they can to search for a trade to pick one up. The draft is certainly a possibility, but unless we get lucky and win the lottery (like the Bulls 2 years ago), we won't be a bad enough team to land John Wall, PG extrordinaire. The Billups-Iverson trade last year confirmed one thing: beyond superstars, PG's are the engine that makes a team click. The Pacers have their superstar in the making in Danny Granger, and a promising big man in Roy Hibbert. They are surrounded by young supporting players like Dahntay Jones, Tyler Hansbrough, and Brandon Rush. The only void left to fill, however, is the biggest of them all: PG.
Pacer Rants: Troy Murphy and the PG of tomorrow
Posted on: November 23, 2009 6:04 pm