I realize that it’s painfully early in the season to be constructing posts involving trades scenarios, but it’s equally unavoidable to ready anything from the national media regarding the Orlando Magic without some mention of the team moving a veteran or two as the season rolls along. Couple that sentiment with the haul GM Rob Hennigan received from Milwaukee at last year’s trade deadline, and you can’t blame a fan for being excited for what’s yet to come. Opposed to just shooting off random rumors and ideas pertaining to possible scenarios as the trade deadline nears, I had the idea to track (weekly) "Team Needs" around the league as we play out our schedule throughout the season. Of course, due to injuries and other unforeseeable transactions, "Team Needs" tend to fluctuate. Even so, tracking sensible trade partners as the calendar turns may be enjoyable!
Examining the Pacers roster prior to Opening Night, it appeared to me that SG depth might be an issue as the season wears on. However, Lance Stephenson was impressive at times last year in the playoffs, and he showed even more ability against Orlando this past week. I really believe Indiana found a player in Stephenson; he looks primed to make the proverbial "leap" in 2014. Initially I thought Arron Afflalo would perhaps fit a need for Indiana, but in reality, he would probably just add dept behind Stephenson or block Lance from developing further. Either way, I can’t imagine Indiana would give up much of anything for that to happen, not enough to make it worth Orlando’s while anyway. Now, if Danny Granger continues to be sidelined for the remainder of the year, or if an injury were to occur to another wing player for Indiana, then perhaps Affllalo to Indiana could make more sense.
With that being said, there is in fact a guard on the Magic who would be an ideal acquisition for Indiana, and that player is Jameer Nelson. As a Magic fan, I have appreciated all the heart and hustle Jameer has provided us for over 10 years, we have all watched him grow up and develop as a professional. I’m sure Orlando loves having Jameer around to tutor our young roster, but if the right deal presents itself in 2014, the Magic may pull the trigger.
In Game 1 of 2013-14, Indiana was physically dominant, and had Orlando outmanned. Yet the Pacers let Orlando back in the game in the first half with numerous turnovers and sloppy play. I couldn’t help but think of the Eastern Conference Finals last year as I watched this game, remembering how many times Indiana turned the ball over in critical situations against the Heat. Jameer Nelson could serve a valuable role for the Indiana Pacers, someone who knocks down open shots and takes care of the basketball. His leadership, grit, and playoff experience would be ideal on the Pacers roster. Even Jameer’s defensive deficiencies would be masked by Hibbert and George’s length. An acquisition of Jameer Nelson would bolster the lackluster Point Guard rotation in Indiana of George Hill and CJ Watson. A bonus for Indiana in this given situation would be to allow George Hill to come off the bench, something he’s had success with in the past in San Antonio.
It wouldn’t shock me in the least bit if Rob ends up fielding calls from Indiana regarding Jameer at some point in the 2014 season.
Blogger Note: I actually wrote this on Wednesday, right before tipoff against Minnesota. I was going to post it at the end of the week, but I figured with the news on ESPN breaking that Orlando is rumored to be shopping Jameer Nelson, that now was an appropriate time. Enjoy!