Published June 24, 2013
| Sports Network
The Indiana Pacers came within one game of knocking off the vaunted Miami Heat and advancing to the NBA Finals to face the San Antonio Spurs.
They got trounced by the Miami Heat in Game 7, but absolutely staked their claim as one of the NBA's elite teams.
Indiana boasts a great core with Paul George, Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger, George Hill and Lance Stephenson. Granger will be back next season, but the Pacers' biggest offseason move revolves around David West.
The unrestricted free agent should be priority No. 1 for Indiana. The Pacers need him for his bruising play, leadership and scoring ability. If he returns, Indiana is a legitimate title contender.
The Pacers could do some other things in the offseason. Granger, who missed all but five games this season with a knee injury, has just this upcoming season left on his contract and could be moved. Also, the Pacers have to decide the fates of unrestricted free agent D.J. Augustin and restricted free agent Tyler Hansbrough.
Indiana lacked depth throughout the year and those two will brought back, but only at the right price.
So depth is the issue, and backcourt help is needed.
The Pacers choose 23rd and North Carolina's Reggie Bullock might be available. Glen Rice Jr. of the D-League is also an option as could be Shane Larkin of Miami or Allen Crabbe of Cal.
Indiana's quality roster could mean a foreign project at No. 23. Russia's Sergey Karasev is a name to keep an eye on.
Players under contract: G: Lance Stephenson; G/F: Paul George; F: Danny Granger; F: David West; F: Jeff Pendergraph; C: Roy Hibbert; G: George Hill; C: Ian Mahinmi; F: Miles Plumlee; G: Orlando Johnson
Free agents: Tyler Hansbrough (restricted); Ben Hansbrough (restricted); Jeff Pendergraph (restricted); David West; D.J. Augustin; Sam Young
Recent Draft History:
2012: Miles Plumlee (26)
2011: Kawhi Leonard (15), Davis Bertans (42)
2010: Paul George (10), Lance Stephenson (40), Ryan Reid (57)
2009: Tyler Hansbrough (13), A.J. Price (52)
2008: Jerryd Bayless (11), Nathan Jawai (41)
Draft picks: 1st round (23rd overall), 2nd round (53rd overall)