Scott Agness’ Mailbag — Sept. 4, 2015

I’ll answer a collection of questions sent my way via email and Twitter. Send me your questions for the chance to have yours included. (Comments are also welcome.)


@Reiter883r: Any thoughts on the starting 5 opening night?

Ah, lineups already!?

I think we know three for sure: George Hill, Monta Ellis, and Paul George. The other two spots are dependent on a number of factors: Does coach start our the season – or start out games – big or small, who has a good camp, what other two players complement the trio, and how early does coach Vogel go to rookie Myles Turner.

I could see Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, both newcomers getting the start. I could see Ian Mahinmi, who’s in the final year of his contract. And, although more unlikely, I could see C.J. Miles starting and then a big, like Jordan Hill or Ian Mahinmi.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that while I have a good idea, we won’t have a strong indication until training camp, which opens on Tuesday, Sept. 29. (Media day is Sept. 28.)

[Pacers coach Frank Vogel travels to Texas to visit with Ian Mahinmi, George Hill]

@sebastianL20: Did Frank or anybody reach out to Brian Shaw to see if he would like to come back and assist in any way?

Frank and B-Shaw communicate throughout the year and the two have a great respect for one another. As I wrote in early June, having three assistants is standard for the Pacers (even though most teams have more) and there will not be any coaching changes. Last I knew, Shaw and his family were home in Oakland.

@JoseGonpacer14: any chance the pacers are in interested in trading for markieff Morris ? And what would it take to get him?

(Answered most of that in my last mailbag.)

Morris is set to begin a four-year, $32 million deal which is a bargain, especially in two years when the salary cap skyrockets. With Morris making it clear that he has no future in Phoenix — he’s upset how management decided to trade his twin brother, Marcus, and did not communicate — the Suns can’t be too demanding. First-round picks are far too valuable to give up, especially for a guy like Morris.

It’s worth considering for a bench player and second-round pick, but I just can’t see that being enough. The Pacers, as they currently stand, have depth in the frontcourt.

[VIDEO: Paul George working out daily]

@darkwingj: any chance Pacers update uniforms in near future?

They are due for new ones, that’s for sure. Ever since Reggie Miller retired in 2005, the Pacers have had the same plain look. They do have the Hickory alternative uniforms for the next five years, but I, too, would like to see a change. Other teams, like the Hawks and Raptors, are changing up their look. (George Hill and Paul George, I know, would like to see a new design.)

Apparel manufacturers need about 18 months of lead time. In two years would be convenient, as Nike takes over as the official apparel provider of the NBA.

@jrhyn31: who is odd man out on final roster cut?

Again, hard to say BEFORE camp. One of the reasons teams have camps are for players to fight for the final roster spots and prove their fit within a team’s style of play and culture. I think it’s premature to even guess. What I will note is that Toney Douglas is the only player currently signed whose deals is not fully guaranteed.

@jc0789: who do you see filling the role as backup point?

I think this role will be filled by committee. Consider that the Pacers don’t have one true point guard on their roster. Yes, George Hill has played the position his entire NBA career, in part because of his size, he’s truly a shooting guard. While Joe Young will get some time there, I see Rodney Stuckey, Monta Ellis, and Paul George bringing up the ball. In the game today, it’s less about sticking a player to a position and more so about execution.

The Pacers want to play quicker this season. One way they can do that is by not focusing on only giving the ball to one teammate to bring up. Instead, they can throw it ahead and try to get into their offense more efficiently.

@SMosley21: as far as per game numbers, what are your expectations of Turner and Young’s rookie seasons?

Hmmm. Another prediction question. (Can you tell they are not my favorite?) It’s too early to hold these to me but I’ll say:

Turner – seven points, five rebounds, and two blocks (per game)
Young – five points, two rebounds, and two assists (per game)

@zterry58: who’s the starting PF and C on opening night?

(See the first question.)

Thanks for all the questions fired my way. Don’t hesitate to send me yours to be included in my next mailbag.

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