The Indiana Pacers have had their fair share of superstars in their ranks. However, they just can’t seem to be able to get over the hump and go from a dark horse to a truly, perennial contending team. In fact, they haven’t even been to the NBA Finals in almost two decades.
Part of their struggles come from being a small market team. Let’s be honest here, not many superstars want to go to the Pacers when they can join powerhouses like the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and even the New York Knicks.
That’s why drafting is so important for a team like the Pacers, and while they’ve done a solid job at scouting talent, they’ve failed to hold on to it more often than not. Today, we’ll show you the solid lineup they could have if they kept the players they drafted.
PG – Lance Stephenson
(40th pick – 2010 NBA Draft)
While you could argue that this spot should be for Aaron Holiday instead of Lance Stephenson, who’s not even in the league anymore, there’s no denying that Stephenson was a cornerstone of the Indiana Pacers’ success during Frank Vogel’s tenure in charge of the team.
Stephenson was the heart and soul of the Pacers’ pesky defense. He got into their rivals’ faces, and could do a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor, from running the point to guarding multiple positions. He was never the same after he left the team.
SG – Paul George
(10th pick – 2010 NBA Draft)
The Indiana Pacers took Paul George out of Fresno State with the 10th overall pick to compliment Danny Granger, who was the team’s leading scorer at the time. George was eased into NBA action until Granger fell with an injury and he was asked to step up.