Pacers Continue House-Cleaning With Trade

A Daily Babble Production

No, not that trade.  As of press time, Jamaal Tinsley is still a member of the Indiana Pacers, at least for official purposes (wonder if he'll be in the team picture if he makes it that far).

Shawne Williams is not.

As the Indianapolis Star's Mike Wells reported Friday, the Pacers have traded the third-year forward to Dallas in exchange for Eddie Jones, two future second-round picks and something in the range of $1.8 million in cash.

Hard to blame Larry Joe Legend for this one.

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Williams embodies the idea of wearing out one's welcome.  The Pacers drafted the 22-year-old 17th out of Memphis in the 2006 draft, and over the last two years, they gave him every opportunity to turn his track record of poor behavior around.  Williams proved unable to do so. 

Williams ran into trouble with the law three times in barely more than a year in a set of incidents that featured the youngster getting caught with pot in his car, pleading guilty to driving without having received a license, another issue involving Williams driving a passenger around with pot while committing automobile violations, and a bizarre situation in which he may have provided a murder suspect refuge in his home. The Pacers hit Williams with a brief suspension after the first of the three incidents last September, but the trouble kept coming, and many believed the July traffic stop may have sealed the deal on his tenure in Indiana.

The talented 6-foot-9 power forward had made progress on the basketball court this past season, but the Larry Bird-led Indy brass decided that the misconduct issues outweighed the growth for the youngster.  Williams averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 boards in 14.9 minutes per game (16.3 and 6.6 per 36 minutes) this past season, and he put up a 52.2 percent true shooting mark.  But the Pacers have worked hard over the last year to clean up their team image and to rid the squad of external distractions as the organization looks to head back in the right direction from a basketball standpoint. 

Bird has committed to shaping the roster to fit Jim O'Brien's run-and-gun system (see: Ford, T.J.) while at the same time removing guys who could be more of a hindrance than a help in the locker room.  With Danny Granger, Brandon Rush, Troy Murphy, Jeff Foster and Roy Hibbert now in the fold, the team has a myriad of players both young and old to fill the three spots on the front line.  A revived Austin Croshere may also have a shot to make the team, but regardless of his fate, the Pacers should have more than enough options to make up for what little production Williams was providing up front. 

In the meantime, Eddie Jones should provide a steadying presence in the locker room, and his contract will expire at season's end.  As Danny Ainge now seems to demonstrate on an annual basis, second-round picks can be invaluable if a front office is willing to do its homework.  Despite the departed forward's potential, for Bird to be able to achieve his desired addition by subtraction while attaining some cash and multiple second-rounders without taking on a problematic contract, it's hard to imagine the Pacers aren't happy to be rid of Shawne Williams once and for all.

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