The Paul George injury that occurred one year ago Saturday essentially ended an era in Indiana, according to Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. Playing in a USA Basketball scrimmage, George suffered a broken right tibia and fibula, knocking him out for most of the 2014/15 season. The Pacers began assembling a younger, faster roster, and the moves culminated with this summer’s trade of Roy Hibbert to the Lakers and the loss of David West in free agency. Monta Ellis, who was signed as a free agent, is now Indiana’s oldest player at age 30.
There’s more from the Central Division:
- The Pacers have built a talented roster filled with athletic wings and combo guards, but still need a healthy season from George to be contenders, writes Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. George was able to return for six games at the end of last season, aiding a late Pacers push toward the playoffs, and the team is optimistic about his outlook for next season. Indiana’s roster overhaul has brought seven new players to the team since the end of last season.
- Danny Granger will probably be the first player trimmed from an overcrowded Pistons roster, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The recent signing of Adonis Thomas for camp gave Detroit 18 players with guaranteed contracts, and all except Thomas appear to be fully guaranteed. Granger, 32, played in just 30 games for the Heat last season, averaging 6.3 points and 2.7 rebounds. He was traded to Phoenix in February and went from the Suns to the Pistons in a July 9th deal.
- Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy displayed unusual patience this summer, writes Sean Corp in the Detroit Free Press. Instead of throwing a max offer at another free agent after missing out on early targets Danny Green and DeMarre Carroll, the Pistons waited for an opportunity. Their patience paid off when they were able to cheaply acquire a package from Phoenix that included Marcus Morris. Van Gundy credits GM Jeff Bower for pushing the patient approach.