1.) Indiana Pacers
- Paul George
Production: 2012-2013 season: 17.4 PPG; 7.6 RPG; 4.1 APG; 1.8 STL
Value: Rookie Deal (Close to signing multi-year extension with Pacers)
Projection: 2013-2014 season: 20.8 PPG; 8 RPG; 4.2 APG; 1.5 STL
- Lance Stephenson
Production: 2012-2013 season: 8.8 PPG; 3.9 RPG; 2.9 APG; 1 STL
Value: 4 years- $3.35 million (signed in 2010)
Projection: 2013-2014 season: 6.7 PPG; 3 RPG; 2.1 APG; 0.5 STL
- Orlando Johnson
Production: 2012-2013 season: 4 PPG; 2.2 RPG; 0.9 APG
Value: Rookie Deal
Projection: 2013-2014 season: 3.8 PPG; 2.3 RPG; 1 APG
- Ron Howard
*Production: 2012-2013 NBA D-League Playoffs: 23.5 PPG; 3 RPG; 1.5 APG
Value: 1 year- $490, 180
Projection: 2013-2014 season: 5.2 PPG; 0.9 RPG; 0.5 APG
– With the projected return of Danny Granger to the Pacer frontline, it seems highly likely that Paul George will shift to the shooting guard position next season, and at 6’10” that is extremely scary for opponents. George, winner of last season’s Most Improved Player award posted career averages in all major categories. George took the challenge of going 1-on-1 with league MVP LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals this past season, almost coming away on top. If a few plays down the stretch would have gone the Pacers way, the Heat may not be reigning NBA champs.
With George locked up as the starter, this means last season starter Lance Stephenson will be moving back to his role coming off the pine. Stephenson was a menace on the defensive end, annoying opponents with his impressive on ball defense. Stephenson struggled with his outside jump shot, and will have to improve that aspect of his game dramatically if he hopes to be starting shooting guard in the NBA for years to come.
Aside from Stephenson, the Pacers have one of the deepest shooting guard positions in the league. They also have in line sophomore guard Orlando Johnson, as well as Fort Wayne Mad Ant Ron Howard, who really opened some eyes in last year’s D-League playoffs.
Indiana is a team full of young talent, and they are full of it at the shooting guard position.
(Author’s Note: Third part of this five part series will focus on the Small Forward position within the Central Division)