The Pacers Need Starbury… And, No, I Don’t Need to be Committed to a Psychiatric Hospital


Rumor has it that Stephon Marbury and the New York Knicks are about to split. Damn, don’t cut me off yet, I promise this will make at least some sense.

I know that Starbury isn’t currently viewed as the star he once was, but, honestly, he isn’t exactly playing in the ideal environment or with the ideal supporting cast. Plus, we all know too well how horrid Isiah Thomas is as a head coach.

That being said, this is our only chance to deal Jamaal Tinsley. Isiah likes him, he’s doing fairly well staying healthy and he’s a legend in New York. His popularity in New York would help Knicks fans cope with losing Marbury.

He’s a trade that works salary wise, and also makes sense for both franchises:

"Indiana Trade Breakdown: Change in Team Outlook: -9.3 ppg, -8.8 rpg, and -1.7 apg. Incoming PlayersStephon Marbury6-2 PG from Georgia Tech15.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 6.8 apg in 37.1 minutesOutgoing PlayersJamaal Tinsley 6-1 PG from Iowa State9.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 7.5 apg in 33.1 minutesTroy Murphy6-11 PF from Notre Dame14.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 apg in 25.3 minutesRealGM Trade Checker ID: Trade ID #4285406"

Troy Murphy is also healthy and playing above his ceiling. If there is one team that would take him and his ginormous contract on, it would have to be the Knicks. Besides, they could use a character guy like Murph.

Why should the Pacers be interested in the Knicks’ disgruntled star?

  • A.) Money

Yes, Starbury makes $20 mil this year, but he comes off the books after making roughly $22 million next season. Murphy and Tinsley make roughly $16 mil combined this year, but are both on the books four more seasons. The Pacers will owe them $17 mil next year, and just under $20 mil three years from now. We could save roughly $39 mil by moving them both, plus we’d have a huge expiring contract next season, and better cap flexibility in the long run. Keep in mind that both Danny Granger and Ike Diogu will eventually need to be re-signed. Same with Shawne Williams.

  • B.) Talent

First off, Marbury is a much better athlete than Tinsley, which is important in Jim O’Brien’s system. Second, he is a much better three-point shooter, another attribute that is important in this system. Third, there is a logjam in the frontcourt. Trading Murphy will clear up playing time for David Harrison, Williams and eventually Diogu.

  • C.) Marketability

Steph’s jersey is the 10th best-selling jersey in the NBA. He’s a star. The Pacers need some star power to boost interest in the team. Who cares about his sex scandal. He’s never really gotten into any major off-the-court trouble, and it’s not like Tinsley is a choir boy. Besides, the fans hate Tinsley, aka Captain Bronchitis (stop tokin’, man). Hate is a strong word, but I think it applies here.

I really think the Pacers should pull the trigger and hope Marbury returns to his All-Star form of old. If not, then trade his expiring next season or let him come off the books. If he does, then we could probably re-sign him on the cheap (probably half price). Given that he is only 30 — an age where most players hit their prime — I think the trade is worth the gamble. I don’t know, maybe I’m nuts. Crazy or not, though, this Pacers team needs to make a move if it wants to make the playoffs.

Update 00:51:02 – ESPN’s Chris Sheridan agrees that acquiring Marbury might be a deft move for a rebuilding team:

"If you are the owner or the general manager of a team looking to rebuild, one of the best assets you can have is a contract worth $21.1 million coming off your salary cap in the summer of 2009 when there will be a bumper crop of free agents that could include many of the players from the 2004 draft class who did not agree to contract extensions prior to the Oct. 31 deadline, including Andre Iguodala, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon.So, in theory, it would come down to a question of whether a team could suffer through two years of paying Stephon Marbury (or buying him out) in order to have financial freedom 20 months down the road."