In case anyone remembered my blog from opening night 2009, don't worry, I will not be watching and documenting another Lakers' banner-raising ceremony.
But I am going to use a different blog entry as a reference point when wondering what the Pacers were thinking with their decision to release Magnum Rolle.
Monday was cut-down day in the NBA. This is not usually a big deal in the news cycle as most players let go are just training camp roster-fillers. The Pacers had one of these players during the preseason, Lance Allred, and let him go late last week.
While Allred, who is legally deaf, was a tremendous story simply by being invited to participate in training camp, the big news came Monday when the Pacers had to trim the roster by one and get down to the 15 player maximum.
Three names emerged as guys that seemed most likely to be let go:
Solomon Jones, Dahntay Jones, and Magnum Rolle.
Dahntay has apparently fallen out of favor with head coach Jim O'Brien due to his offensive shortcomings, but is still guaranteed a significant amount of money which would difficult to simply pay him while getting nothing in return.
Larry Bird reportedly tried to work a 2-for-1 trade packaging the Solomon and Dahntay for some one frontcourt player. No surprise, but there apparently weren't many teams interested in the Jones brothers.
So the decision was made to cut Magnum Rolle, a second-round pick from the 2010 NBA Draft that Larry Bird traded up for the rights to.
I don't understand.
I wrote a blog during the summer about Rolle and Jim O'Brien's very positive comments about the rookie from Louisiana Tech. Feel free to take a look back, and if not, I'll copy a quote from the head coach.
"I thought Magnum Rolle had a wonderful day. He has by far been the best player in camp by a large margin."
"He has dominated everything, scored, he's rebounded, he's defended well. He has a surprisingly high basketball IQ. I was a little concerned, coming from a mid-major you know, where he would be as far as picking things up. He has been fantastic!"At the time, I wondered if the praise for Rolle was genuine, or if perhaps O'Brien was simply "sending a message" to another mini-camp participant, Josh McRoberts.
I figured it was a little of both, but kept hearing and seeing good things about Rolle.
Perhaps McRoberts got the message as he is set to start at power forward for the Pacers Wednesday night in San Antonio.
Apparently, the guy who outplayed McRoberts by a "large margin" during rookie/free agent camp is not enough of a player to merit a roster spot over one of the most unimpressive Pacers in recent memory, Solomon Jones.
While Solo might look like an NBA player, and he wears my favorite number,
I've yet to see anything special. He looks awkward and out of sync much of the time on the court. Jones averaged four points per game in 52 contests last season.
During this preseason he compiled 2.8 points per game in a little over 12 minutes of playing time.
However it appears Jones is needed to provide depth at the frontcourt this season, something that Jim O'Brien now says Magnum Rolle is not ready to do.
I don't know if Magnum Rolle is ever going to be an impact player in the NBA.
I have a pretty good idea Solomon Jones never will.
Regardless, this team that would appear to be more than one piece away from really contending this season is risking losing a potential building block for a few good minutes this year. If another team would've offered up a really good bag of basketballs and a warm body, for Dahntay and Solomon Jones, I think the Pacers might've considered the offer.
Instead they enter the season with two Jones', neither of which is likely happy to be here, while letting go of someone might've developed into a very valuable "Rolle-Player" in the future.
Perhaps the Pacers front office folks are confident that Rolle will not be signed by another team and they can sent him to Ft. Wayne to develop and work on his game prior to one day sticking with the blue and gold.
The Pacers are willing to take that risk in return for the security that Solomon Jones brings them.
I could be wrong, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Solo over Rolle will not result in any more victories, instead has a better chance to be one more disgruntled player about a lack of playing time.
I promise not to lose any more sleep or spend any other time writing about the 15th spot on the Pacers roster, but just wanted to get voice my opinion prior to the start of the 2010-11 NBA season.
BTW...opening night is here...can you feel the buzz?