Tag Archives: cory joseph

Under-the-radar guards for Pacers: Satoransky, Jones, Curry

The Indiana Pacers have plenty of cap space to make moves when free agency starts and plenty of holes to fill on the roster. Here are a few guys that are more under the radar that could help add some depth at the guard positions to the roster.

If the Pacers keep Bojan Bogdanovic as it seems is the plan (though the Utah Jazz are trying to swoop in when free agency starts), they have around $21 million in cap space to use on other free agents. These players could potentially be had for a smaller portion of that space than the players (some good options, some not so much) previously covered here in more detail:

Restricted: D’Angelo Russell, Malcolm Brogdon, Terry Rozier

Veterans: Ricky Rubio, George Hill, Patrick Beverley, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo

The max guys that aren’t coming: Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker

Tomas Satoransky

Satoransky is a restricted free agent so that complicates a potential deal but the Wizards may be pressed to let him go with their less than ideal cap situation. At 6’7″, Satoransky has a lot of positional versatility. He can play both guard spots and small forward. Continue reading Under-the-radar guards for Pacers: Satoransky, Jones, Curry

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Writing is on the wall for many Pacers free agents

One thing appears certain for the Indiana Pacers as the off-season approaches: changes are coming. With so many veteran free agents on the roster and the team getting swept in the first round, they’ll be looking to make upgrades.

Based on the comments from Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard at Wednesday’s press conference, the writing may be on the wall for more than a few major contributors from last year’s team including Darren Collison, Cory Joseph, Tyreke Evans, Wesley Matthews and perhaps even team captain Thad Young.

“We’re willing to think big,” said Pritchard.  “… I’m super proud of this team, but we have to improve our talent.  The Boston loss was as challenging a series as I’ve ever been a part of. I thought we’d win a few games. We all have to look in the mirror and look at our process. We’ve got to get better.”

To get better, Pritchard seems focused on upgrading the offensive end. Specifically, he’s looking for a creator.

“We need some creation,” Pritchard said of what the team needs to improve. “We need a guy that can break down a defense … When [Victor Oladipo] played, he was that creator. When we signed [Tyreke Evans], we wanted him to be that creator.”

He also mentioned needing more shooting, wanting to get faster and wanting to have an improved passing team. He pointed out that this creator doesn’t have to be a guard but these comments seemed focused on a few players that may be looking for new teams: Collison and Joseph, who both do a lot of positive things but creating for others is not a strength for either.

While the pair of guards do a tremendous job taking care of the basketball and have very high assist-to-turnover ratios that put them among the league leaders (3.67 for Collison and 4.01 for Joseph), they also rarely take any chances with the ball and only make the safe pass. They aren’t guys that break down the defense with ease by getting to the rim and forcing defenders to help.

Collison loves to take a big man in isolation after a switch but rarely attacks the basket in those scenarios, instead going for a pull-up, mid-range attempt and struggles to make quick post entry passes to bigs wanting to take advantage of a mismatch.

Joseph is one of the league’s best defensive guards but went through an entire month near the end of the season where he couldn’t make a jump shot. He’s likely best suited to be a backup and that’s probably Aaron Holiday’s job in 2019-20.

“I feel he should be a rotational player next season,” McMillan said of Holiday. “There’s certainly some areas that he’s going to need to grow, but I like what he brings to the floor. He’s a young kid that has a great deal of confidence in himself. I think he can help us. … He certainly should be in the rotation next year.”

McMillan praised the tempo and shooting of Holiday, two of the things that Pritchard wants to add to the team. McMillan did mention that he can play both guard positions, so still hypothetically possible there would be room for both of Joseph and Collison on the roster. However, Holiday’s rotation spot alone would seem to seal the fate for at least one of them.

While Pritchard talked about the importance of continuity to a team, it’s clear he doesn’t plan on simply bringing everyone back. Especially after that playoff series, he knows the team has to get more talent to get deeper into the postseason even with Oladipo.

“I tend to (focus) on how do we keep this core together and add to it,” Pritchard said. “Our goal will be to add to this team and keep it together. I think there are some special players.”

It seems safe to say that after a disappointing year with Evans, the Pacers won’t be re-signing him again to be that creator Pritchard covets either. With Evans coming off a 1-year deal and no Bird Rights, the Pacers would have to use cap space to re-sign him, making it even more unlikely that he’ll return. That also applies to Wesley Matthews, who may search elsewhere for a starting gig anyway based on his reasoning for joining Indiana after getting bought out by the Knicks.

One player that Pritchard did say was a creator on the roster already is Domantas Sabonis.

“I think he wants a bigger role, and I think we have to figure out how to get him a bigger role,” said Pritchard on Sabonis. “He is a major force offensively. He can be a player that has huge impact not just as a sixth man. Maybe as a starter but that’s yet to be seen.”

Could that bigger role come at the expense of Thad Young’s place on the team? Young was lauded by Pritchard for his leadership after Oladipo was injured but not much was said about his upcoming free agency or trying to bring him back.

When Pritchard talked about continuity, he mentioned the importance of having veterans that carry the team’s culture over year to year, era to era to the newcomers as something he learned from Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh. Young would seem to be an important piece in that regard.

Working against Young, however, are his age and his lack of shooting. Young is likely looking for one last long-term contract, but it’s unclear if Indiana wants to commit to him for a few more years. Like Joseph, he’s another player that’s phenomenal defensively but limited on offense where Pritchard sees the need to improve.

Caitlin Cooper of Indy Cornrows showed how Young’s lack of shooting ability can hinder the offense and in particular how much the Pacers can’t utilize the skills of Myles Turner because of it. Pritchard mentioned needing to get Turner more involved offensively next season and having a different frontcourt partner could help.

The Pacers also could be looking to see a lot more of Sabonis playing alongside Myles Turner as the former approaches the end of his rookie contract. It’s been a mixed bag in the first two seasons of the pairing but Pritchard seems confident in the duo.

“Good players figure it out,” said Pritchard on playing Sabonis and Turner together more often. “… I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into anything because of our flexibility. I want to build a roster that’s really good, but in my mind I see those guys playing a lot of minutes together.”

Young seems more likely to return than the pair of veteran point guards but signs may be pointing to him finding a new home this summer as well.

The one free agent that Pritchard openly discussed wanting back is Bojan Bogdanovic, who he also recognized as likely having lots of possible suitors in free agency.

“On July 1st, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a pretty good conversation with Bojan,” Pritchard said.

Bringing Bogdanovic back would be another potential option as the starting power forward besides Sabonis depending on what other moves are made by the team in the off-season. This could also be another reason that Young’s time in Indiana ends. Of all the team’s free agents, Bogdanovic seems the most likely to return.

Expect a lot of new faces in the blue and gold next season.

 

Is Darren Collison doomed to repeat his own Pacers history?

Last season was the best of Darren Collison’s career. This year, however, has started off as the worst for the Indiana Pacers starting point guard.

“I want to be there for my teammates,” said Collison, who is averaging career lows in points (8.9), 3-point percentage (32%) and free-throw percentage (69%), after Thursday’s loss to the Spurs, “and right now I haven’t been there for them. Just a tough stretch. I just don’t feel a rhythm at all. Last year, I had more of a feel for the game.”

Collison, who led the entire league in 3-point percentage in 2017-18, has scored five or fewer points in six of the team’s first 19 games including two scoreless outings in the team’s first 12 games. He’s only scored in double figures eight times thus far.

“Nate spoke to me about being more aggressive and getting back to myself. I’ve just been overthinking the first 10, 11 games or so,” Collison said after bouncing back from his second scoreless outing according to the Indy Star. “Sometimes you try to do the right thing and you get away from your game.”

Meanwhile, the other two point guards on the roster have played well to start the season. Cory Joseph has quietly been one of the team’s most important players, and first-round pick Aaron Holiday is making the most of his first opportunity for real playing time with Victor Oladipo out with knee soreness.

It’s not hard to make a case that Joseph should be the starter over Collison right now. Continue reading Is Darren Collison doomed to repeat his own Pacers history?

Tyreke Evans looks like exactly what the Pacers needed

Last season, the Indiana Pacers were in trouble at any point with Victor Oladipo on the bench. This year, that problem’s been solved by the addition of one player: Tyreke Evans.

The Indiana Pacers had a net rating of 6.0 last year with their All Star on the court. Without him, they had a net rating of -8.2.

In the season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies, Oladipo was +9 in his 25 minutes. In the 23 minutes he was on the bench, the Pacers were even better at +19.

“If there’s no drop-off when they get in the game,” Oladipo said of the second unit, “we could be really special.”  Continue reading Tyreke Evans looks like exactly what the Pacers needed

ESPN: Cory Joseph to exercise player option to return to Indiana Pacers

Cory Joseph will exercise his player option and be back with the Indiana Pacers for the 2018-19 season per Adrian Wojnarowski.

Joseph will make a shade under $8 million next season in the final year of his contract.

Yesterday, in the end-of-the-season press conference, Kevin Pritchard said that Joseph indicated he would like to be back next year and that his and Thad Young’s player options would be the first things that would start their decision process for building the roster for next year.

Joseph, who averaged 7.9 points, 3./ rebounds, 3.2 assists and one steal per game in a career-high 27 minutes per game, was an integral part of the Pacers success this season as both a backup point guard and while starting in place of Darren Collison while he was out after the All-Star break.

He inspired the coolest moment of the season with his steal and basket that inspired everyone on the floor and a few players from the bench to sprint over and help him up.

The next decision the Pacers will be waiting is Thad Young and his $13 million player option.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Indiana Pacers: Part Two

2018 is upon us and the Indiana Pacers have things to improve on as they await the return of Victor Oladipo and attempt to get back to their previous winning ways. We have resolutions for all the Indiana Pacers for the rest of this season.

If you missed part one:

Domantas Sabonis: Shoot 3-pointers instead of mid-range jumpers

While Sabonis doesn’t shoot jump shots very often (EDIT: which is good for him, I’m not saying he should take more jump shots), his mid-range percentage for shots from 15-feet up to the 3-point line is just 34.5% on 55 attempts. Meanwhile, he’s shooting only slightly worse from distance, 33.3% on 15 attempts from 3-point range. Sabonis shot 32% over his entire rookie season from range, so he can shoot a similar percentage with more volume.

With how Sabonis is shooting his jumper, there’s no reason that this pick and pop shouldn’t be stretched out to the 3-point line.

Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions for the Indiana Pacers: Part Two

The Indiana Pacers pick-and-roll coverage on James Harden was doomed from the start

The Indiana Pacers got off to a slow start last night against the Houston Rockets and never recovered. After a first quarter where they were outscored 35-18, the Pacers ended up being beat by a final score of 118-95.

The Pacers biggest problem was dealing with the Houston Rockets best player in James Harden.  Continue reading The Indiana Pacers pick-and-roll coverage on James Harden was doomed from the start

Pacers, Raptors finalizing CJ Miles sign-and-trade deal for Cory Joseph

Update: The Pacers officially acquired Cory Joseph today, but the deal was not a sign-and-trade for CJ Miles. The Raptors got Joseph off their books to remain under the luxury tax to sign Miles under the mid-level exception next week. Toronto would have been hard capped if they did this as a sign-and-trade.

The Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors are finalizing a sign-and-trade deal that would send CJ Miles to the Raptors and Cory Joseph to the Pacers.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania continues their offseason battle to break the news first as they both posted details of the deal within a minute of each other.

The details of the trade are still being finalized. More information will be included as it becomes available.

The Pacers were open to the return of Miles, but the sign-and-trade will give him a contract of at least three guaranteed seasons, which the Pacers were unlikely to give.

Joseph will likely backup Darren Collison for the Pacers while Lance Stephenson keeps the ball-handling duties for the second unit.

Miles shot a career-high 41% from 3-point range last season and will provide spacing and versatility for the Raptors. 

Joseph, 25, only has two years remaining on his current contract, but the second year is a player option. Joseph, who averaged 9.2 points per game last season, may opt out and look for a greater payday than his final season of $7.9 million.

This continues the trend for the Pacers of keeping as much cap space open and available for next season and beyond as Collison and Bogdanovic both signed 2-year deals with partial guarantees on the final season.

Rumor: Pacers, Raptors have discussed a deal for Cory Joseph

The Indiana Pacers have discussed a deal with the Toronto Raptors involving point guard Cory Joseph according to Basketball Insiders and other media outlets.

The Pacers have a hole at point guard on their roster as Lance Stephenson and Joe Young are the only possible PGs on the team currently. Joseph would add a veteran presence and his contract isn’t a long-term investment.

Joseph averaged 9.2 points and 3.3 assists per game while backing up Kyle Lowry in Toronto. It’s unclear what the Pacers would be sending to Toronto in this deal or if any other players are involved at this time.

The Raptors are motivated to clear some cap space, so the Pacers may not have to give up anything of value for him. However, Scotto reports that the Raptors are looking for draft pick compensation for Joseph, but the Pacers should be reluctant to give up a first-round pick now that they’re rebuilding.

For now the talks have slowed down, but Nate Taylor reports that the teams will revisit the talks. The Pacers think Joseph fits their plans, but are a little concerned that he’ll decline his player option after next season.

Taylor says the Pacers could send out a 2nd-round pick in a potential deal, but the Pacers second-round pick is controlled by the Brooklyn Nets from the Thad Young trade currently. The Nets only receive the 2nd-round pick once the Pacers fail to make the playoffs which could happen this year. 

The Pacers could do something like offer the opposite protections on this year’s 2nd-round pick so if Nets don’t get the pick then the Raptors would. If the Nets get this year’s 2nd-round pick, the Raptors could have the Pacers 2019 2nd-round pick.

The Pacers could also try to acquire a second-round pick from another team to facilitate the deal.

You may remember Joseph from the playoff series two years ago when Rodney Stuckey made Joseph question his existence with a pass fake.