Latest on Jamaal Tinsley

February 11, 2009 in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA by pacejmiller

Will the Pacers get rid of Tinsley by 19 February?

Will the Pacers get rid of Tinsley by 19 February?

With the February 19 trade deadline coming up, the Indiana Pacers are desperately trying to get rid of dormant point guard Jamaal Tinsley.  Here’s what’s been in the headlines the last couple of days.

NBA Players Union files grievance on Tinsley’s behalf

After threatening to do it a week or two ago, the NBA Players Union have now officially filed a grievance on Jamaal Tinsley’s behalf.  According to Tinsley’s agent, Jamaal just wants to play.  However, Tinsley has not played since last season and the Pacers have essentially cut all ties with him, not allowing him to practice or travel with the team – but they are refusing to release him or buy out his contract (still over $14 million in his last 2 years).   Pacers management have made it abundantly clear that Jamaal Tinsley will never be an Indiana Pacer again.

Unless the Pacers manage to stuff this up even more by not finding a team for Tinsley by the trade deadline, I don’t see this grievance having any impact at all.  Chances are, Tinsley will be gone by 19 February, but the big question is where and what the Pacers will get in return.

Since they’ve already killed off any trade value Tinsley had left in him, I think the Pacers need to stop being so stubborn and just take whatever deal (within reason, of course) that is out there.

Potential deals

Just from publicly available sources, there appear to be two teams desperate enough to be willing to take a gamble on Tinsley – the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats.

Miami Heat

The Indianapolis Star reports a potential trade with the Heat in which the Pacers would probably have to take another point guard in Marcus Banks, or preferably, center Mark Blount.  Banks is averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 assists in 16 games this season, but only playing 10.4 minutes per game.  Blount, on the other hand, is averaging 4 points and 1.9 rebounds in just 10.9 minutes over 17 games.  Both are not hot commodities, though they have been (in the past) relatively decent players.  The important thing is that both are averaging more than Tinsley (a big zero in all categories).

I see no point in taking Banks if the Pacers already have Ford, Jack and Diener.  Blount, on the other hand, would be a semi-decent addition because the Pacers need tough bodies and at least he can play a little D compared to the other Pacer big men.  But it would only be worth it if they don’t lose another big man or young player in the trade.

Charlotte Bobcats

Another rumoured trade reported by both the Indianapolis Star and ESPN is with the Bobcats.  Sources say the deal would involve trading Jamaal Tinsley, Jeff Foster (6.8ppg, 6.7rpg), and Brandon Rush (5.9ppg, 2.5rpg) for Raymond Felton (13.4ppg, 6.7apg), Nazr Mohammed (2.5ppg, 2.0rpg) and Sean May (4.0ppg, 3.1rpg). 

However, reports say that the Pacers have no intention of parting with fan favourite Foster, who just received a 2-year contract extension in October, and Rush, a young guard the Pacers raved about and traded to get.

If the Pacers could say trade Stephen Graham or Marquis Daniels instead of Rush, then I think they should jump at the deal.  Despite how badly Rush has played in his first season, at least he has some potential.  He has range and has the ability to be a good defender.  There is a possibility that he’ll end up as just another player the Pacers raved about before the draft but give up on a season or two down the track (remember Shawne Williams, James White, David Harrison, James Jones, Primo Brezec?), but I think the Pacers will end up regretting it if they traded Rush now.

Foster is still as reliable as always on the boards and is a decent defender, but he can’t hang with the more physical, powerful PFs and Cs in the league.  It’s just a fact.  The Pacers are simply too soft in the middle and Mohammed and May can provide some much needed toughness (when healthy).  Yes, Felton is another PG, but he’s been playing great this season and could form a legitimate rotation with Ford and Jack at the PG and SG spots.  In any case he would be a big upgrade on Diener.

I’m kind of surprised how unappealing these deals look, but the Pacers have no one but themselves to blame and it’s best if they just bite the bullet and get this Tinsley saga over with.