When I look at this roster (with no Brogdon), I would say this team on paper isn’t as good as last year’s team. Do you agree or disagree with that assessment? Jon Horst: I would tell you pure analytics – kind of like the raw evaluation and the stuff that we look at – I think it’s close, maybe slightly worse. But, for me, I think we’re going to have internal development and growth, so I think we’re going to be better than last year based on that. We’re going to have another year in Bud’s system, which you have to remember last year was Year 1, so we’ll have another year in his system. And I think we added two guys who fit in a big way. I think Malcolm fit offensively and defensively at one position and did a great job, a fantastic player. I think Wes fits offensively at a high, high level and defensively, he’s really good. Robin fits defensively at a high, high level and offensively, he’s pretty good. In some ways, we were already the deepest team in the league in my opinion last year, and I think we might have become deeper. We still have four studs in the starting lineup and we have a fifth guy that fits great with them. I think we could be better. I really do. … I think we’ve filled the gaps in a great way.
The Pacers tried to pursue Harris, whose family has deep ties to the franchise’s late/great Mel Daniels, but they failed to set up a meeting not because he wasn’t interested in a small market. It was because, league sources tell IndyStar, Harris only would meet with teams that could present him with a max term offer sheet. That was his line in the sand. An exploratory call from the Pacers wasn’t turned down. Given the other holes on the roster they had to fill, they knew they lacked the buy-in chips for the Harris sweepstakes.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins wasn’t included among the list which features NBA rookies R.J. Barrett and Nickeil Alexander-Walker along with NCAA players such as Andrew Nembard, EuroLeaguers like Kevin Pangos and the expected NBA suspects in Jamal Murray, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph.