Proud Pacers will not “Tank”

The Indiana Pacers are a proud franchise with a rich history dating back to the original ABA, where they won 3 championships in the 70’s before joining the NBA. The Pacers have not drafted in the top ten of an NBA draft since 1989. There are 8 Pacers in the Basketball Hall of Fame, along with 5 former coaches.

So when the news of Paul George wanting out broke, the Pacers did not panic, and did not consider this new trend in the NBA where a team purposely loses in order to achieve a higher draft position-tanking. Instead, they are doing what they can to compete for the ultimate goal, an NBA Championship.

In case you have been living under a rock for the last month and haven’t noticed, the Indiana Pacers have been quite busy, overhauling the entire roster, and bringing in possibly 3 new starters to go alongside the future franchise piece Myles Turner. The new additions include: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in the trade for Paul George, a sign and trade to bring point guard Corey Joseph to the team, signing free agent Bojan Bogdanovic, a sharp shooting wing player, signing point guard Darren Collison, as well as drafting T.J. Leaf out of UCLA with the 1st round selection. From all the signals coming from the Pacers headquarters, they still aren’t finished overhauling the roster.

As a fanbase of a franchise in a smaller NBA market, we should be proud of this decision not to throw away a season or two in hopes of drafting a future franchise player.

For one, the NBA draft is never a sure thing, there are rarely more than a handful of players each draft which can ever reach the level of a franchise player.

Secondly, when a franchise “tanks”, they do not give away free tickets, free popcorn and beer, and cater to the needs of the fans. It is business as usual for these franchises. To go to a game you will still be paying top dollar for the best seats, $8 for a beer, and spending $200 to bring your family to watch a terrible product on the floor. Can that survive in a small market like Indianapolis?

Lastly, and most importantly, does it work? Take a look at who’s been at the top of the draft board the last 5 years and tell me tanking for a high draft choice works. I’ll wait.

2017:
1) Philly
2) Lakers
3) Boston *
4) Suns
5) Kings
6) Magic
7) Timberwolves
8) Knicks

2016:
1) Philly
2) Lakers
3) Nets – for Boston
4) Suns
5) Timberwolves
6) Pelicans
7) Knicks
8) Kings

2015:
1) Timberwolves
2) Lakers
3) Philly
4) Knicks
5) Magic
6) Kings
7) Nuggets
8) Pistons

2014:
1) Cavs
2) Bucks
3) Sixers
4) Magic
5) Jazz
6) Celtics
7) Lakers
8) Kings

2013:
1) Cavs
2) Magic
3) Wizards
4) Hornets
5) Suns
6) Pelicans
7) Kings
8) Pistons

So tell me again how well drafting high has worked out for these teams? (Dont bring up the Cavs, Kyrie was a great pick but they didn’t get back to being a good team until Lebron came back to town)

This strategy is far from a proven way of building a contending team. Why not attempt to use a Spurs mold in building a good system with superior scouting to anyone else, bringing in players to fit that system, not the other way around, and never budge from the big plan.

The Indiana Pacers have a proud history, and will not throw away a season in order to take a flyer on a young player. We should be proud that they are going in the direction they are, even after Paul George took away all leverage in a trade by leaking out information to the detriment of the franchise. This franchise is not going to quit on their fanbase like many other around the league are. Instead, the Pacers are attempting to continue the rich tradition of making the playoffs and competing for an NBA title.

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2 thoughts on “Proud Pacers will not “Tank”

  • July 12, 2017 at 5:06 pm
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    To suggest that Indiana Pacers would tank goes against the trends of at least the last 20 years. Plenty effort for one of the proudest franchises in the world. I see them as a playoff team right now. Poor reasoning for writing the article.

    • July 13, 2017 at 8:38 am
      Permalink

      thanks for the comment and reading,
      a lot of the local discussion in the media has been suggesting the pacers TO tank, to ensure a high pick. It’s been discussed on the local radio shows, suggested by a great number of fans, and even sold as a solid plan in today’s NBA. Teams have sold the idea of a brighter future if you put up with a couple bad years, however that tends to turn into a cycle of being stuck with a horrible record and picking 18 / 19 year old kids in hopes they turn into a good NBA player. I was just spelling out that the Pacers are not willing to go thru with that for numerous reasons, and that simply we shouldn’t want them to.

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