STAYING: Lavoy Allen, Paul George, George Hill, Solomon Hill, Ian Mahinmi, CJ Miles, Rodney Stuckey and Shayne Wittington.
ADDED: Chase Budinger (Minnesota), Rakeem Christmas (Syracuse), Toney Douglas (New Orleans), Monta Ellis (Dallas), Jordan Hill (LA Lakers), Glenn Robinson III (Indiana), Myles Turner (Texas) and Joseph Young (Oregon).
GONE: Chris Copeland (Milwaukee), Roy Hibbert (LA Lakers), Damjan Rudez (Minnesota), Luis Scola (Toronto), Donald Sloan (Brooklyn), CJ Watson (Orlando) and David West (San Antonio).
STRENGTHS: Wing play? … Imagine a fully recovered Paul George and a Monta Ellis that fits in well in Indiana … That would be a nightmare for opponents … Aside from offensive firepower, George gives the team top-notch defense and rebounding at the small forward position … Ellis’ shot-making ability is an important asset for a team where scoring often doesn’t come easy … Nice backups in CJ Miles and Chase Budinger … Good point guard duo in George Hill and Rodney Stuckey … Pacers surely hope Hill can build on last year’s success … Frank Vogel has made the most of the talent at his disposal … With him, the Pacers have been a cohesive, gritty and hard-working group that makes defense its calling card.
WEAKNESSES: They are really thin up front … Jordan Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Lavoy Allen and rookie Myles Turner is not a big man rotation that’s going to keep you awake at night … The team’s Top 3 rebounders (Roy Hibbert, Luis Scola and David West) are gone … They may struggle on the boards now … West’s leadership could be missed … No guarantee the George-Ellis duo works … What if George doesn’t bounce back to his previous form and Ellis is his moody old self? … While Hill and Stuckey bring a lot to the table, they will not wow you with their playmaking skills … Don’t expect the Pacers to become offensive juggernauts all of a sudden.
PREDICTION: 4th in the Central Division / 8th in the Eastern Conference.