Offseason Improvement Rankings: Central Division

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Jun 3, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) is defended by Miami Heat power forward Chris Andersen (11) in the fourth quarter during game 7 of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Suns were the worst team in the Western Conference and the fourth-worst overall. They earned the fifth pick in the 2013 draft with that miserable season. This coming season, the Suns will exciting and more interesting, but also worse, because almost all the other teams improved themselves. This could give the Suns one of the top picks in a potentially top-5 draft in NBA history. I asked editors around FanSided’s NBA Division for the low-down on their team.

Disclaimer: It took a while to coordinate with everyone and with some people I couldn’t get in touch, so I had to assess the offseasons of some teams. Also, I had to update some teams who continued signing and trading players after these were written.

  • Pacers – Stephen Ajamie (Always Miller Time)

The Indiana Pacers have made some strides in improving their bench, which was a weak spot last season.  Resigning David West is a huge step in keeping the same guys around for another year to hopefully make that run to the NBA Finals.  But the bench is where changes were definitely made.  First, you look at Chris Copeland, a guy that didn’t want to come to the Pacers after getting knocked out of the playoffs by them. But looks like things turned out all right, and now he’ll be an intricate part of that second unit.  He’s even making steps to improve his game by working with Ben Wallace, so that he’s not just this three point shooter that people think.  The three point shooting will be great if he’s consistent with it, but if he can even adapt his game to an all around ability, that would be even better for the Pacers.

Next up, there’s C.J. Watson, which continues the abbreviated back up point guard players that the Pacers have had around.  D.J. Augustin, A.J. Price, T.J. Ford just to name a few.  I am still not totally sold on Watson being this improved point guard for the second unit.  But he’s got to be better than Augustin, who really never lived up to what we saw in Charlotte.  Watson sounds like a guy who can really play solid enough, and that’s all the Pacers want in the back up.

Other than those two acquisitions, I am interested to see what Solomon Hill, the rookie draft pick can do, as it sounds like he was a solid guy out of Arizona, who’s ready to contribute.  I think he’ll get some minutes just to step in and play some. But I think off the bat, we’ll not see much from him.  Really, it’s all about what the Pacers end up doing with Danny Granger that will determine what has improved on this team.  That bench is the key as well to see if Granger plays there or ends up in his starting role. (Since Stephen wrote this the Pacers traded for Luis Scola to bolster their bench).

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