With the NBA draft just about a month away, I've heard many people discuss what the Indiana Pacers should do with the 10th overall pick. Should they go with hometown hero Gordon Hayward or opt for a prospect that will have an impact sooner. Here's what I think the Pacers should do -- give the pick away.
Give it away. Don't trade, don't barter, don't finagle -- just give it away and go about their business. I know that giving a failing team a nice draft slot is meant to bring balance to the league, but time and time again the Pacers have shown they don't know what they're doing in the draft.
Look at their selections since 2003 when Larry Bird took over as President of Basketball Operations. Of the 12 players selected, four remain on the Pacers roster, with only one being a reliable contributor. Plus, most selected players were out within two years.
I know after the debacle in Detroit in 2004, the team needed to move in a different direction and rebuilding would take some time. That being said, I see no evidence that the team is moving in the right direction. Since '04, the team has posted a record of 285-289 and missed the playoffs the past four seasons. They also averaged a finish of fourth in their respective division.
It's difficult not to pull for the home team, but it's tough when you see a team essentially throw their season away year after year. I would love to cheer for the Pacers, but I feel that until Bird is out, the team will continue to suffer. If it's not him, then it's the people around him, but something's got to give before they find Conceco Fieldhouse empty and Indiana no longer on the front of the jersey.