Indiana Pacers aquire Cory Joseph: How does he fit?

photo cred: Keith Allison

The Indiana Pacers announced on Friday that they have completed the acquisition for point guard Cory Joseph. The back court is beginning to get almost as crowded as the front court in terms of figuring out minutes and roles for players (which is a really good thing), so lets dive deeper to see where Cory Joseph could fit in with the overhauled Pacers squad.

For his career, Joseph has mostly been used as a backup point guard for the San Antonio Spurs (drafted) and most recently the Toronto Raptors, averaging 6 points per game and 2.5 assists. His minutes climbed the past two seasons with the Raptors the past two seasons, averaging 25 minutes per game, and his points bumped up to 9 ppg, nearly 1 steal per game, and 3 assists. Last season, Cory Joseph made a big stride, bumping his 3p % up to nearly 40 %, previously only shooting 27% the year before.

Diving deeper, his per 36 minute stats are solid for a point guard in today’s NBA. Per 36 minutes he averages nearly 14 ppg, 1 steal, 5 assists, 4 rebounds. His PER is 13.2 , slightly below league average, while his true shooting % was an impressive 51%. Even more impressively, while on the floor, he accounted for 1/5th of all the field goals made by teammates via assist.

That’s enough analytics though. The Pacers saw first hand in the 2016 playoffs the potential that Cory Joseph has, and perhaps this is the opportunity he needs to take his game to the next level. Joseph is a versatile guard (can’t have enough of those), who can play point or play off the ball. He’s a capable shooter and a very stingy defender.

I would look for Cory Joseph to come off the bench, and provide some leadership that the Pacers have lacked on the 2nd unit for some time. He will bring a toughness to the defense at the point of attack, and also can get the offense going when running the point. Solid trade for the Pacers who could have essentially gotten nothing from C.J. Miles, instead they turn it into a solid young player to add to their growing core.

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