NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Pacers Have Core In Place, But Moves Are Possible

Spring is here for the Indiana Pacers, as the long post-Malice rebuild has resulted in a team looking at a top-4 seed in the East and hopefully a long run of postseasons ahead. The team has a young All-Star center in Roy Hibbert, an above-average small forward in Danny Granger and a stud wing in Paul George. There are interesting players in the backcourt and, of course, the offseason splurge named David West at power forward. Where else can Indiana look for improvement at the deadline?

NEEDS & TARGETS

The point guard position is unresolved. Darren Collison is the starter, but hasn't been as good as expected since being acquired from the New Orleans Hornets. Indiana traded its No. 15 pick last June for George Hill, who (through injuries) has assumed a back-up two-guard role behind George. Understandably, the team expected more from those two. Collision is 24 and Hill 25, so it's not as if there isn't room for growth. But it stands to reason that the Pacers could be much better if it could upgrade that position.

The other spot of note is power forward, where West has largely been a disappointment. You can't imagine he'd be satisfied as a backup, and he does have another year on his deal. But if Indiana could land someone the caliber of, say, Luis Scola, and find a new home for West without parting with too valuable an asset, wouldn't that be an improvement?

If Indiana goes big with a major move, keep an eye on Danny Granger, if only because George a) is a stud and b) can play small forward and because teams have lots of reasons to like Granger very much.

SALARY CAP SITUATION

The Pacers are well, well under the cap: at just $43 million, according to ShamSports.com. Indiana has huge flexibility at the deadline. Huge.

For more on the Pacers, visit Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana.

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