By Emily Barker – Fox 59 Sports
July 1st marks the first day of the 2013-2014 NBA season and the Pacers franchise and Larry Bird’s first day on the job is a busy one with welcoming Solomon Hill to Indianapolis and the first day of free agency.
On Thursday, the Pacers drafted Arizona’s Solomon Hill in the first round. Hill played all four years in college, during his senior season he averaged 13.4 points per game. Hill, who will wear the number 9, does not think he would have been drafted without all four years of college.
“It definitely matures you, if I wasn’t a four year player I would have to really work on my game and become a player to be able to say key things about me,” Hill said. “You look at a young guy, you talk about potential…you know with a team like this potential is not really the best fit…now is the time to win.”
Head coach Frank Vogel is very happy to have Hill join the team and said he is a great fit for the Pacers.
“Everything about him are the traits that we look for…high character person, tremendous work ethic, leadership skills, he was that team’s David West,” Vogel said. “He was their heart and soul and their and their lion in the locker room. Those things are off the court things, but on the court he fits who we are too.”
Aside from building onto the team, another factor is keeping the free agents the Pacers already have on the team. Bird said the main focus is keeping David West.
“David is our number one guy so we are going to try to get him done then everything else will hopefully fall into place,” Bird said. “We have to do whatever we can to have a better bench, our starters are pretty good players but for us to get where we want to go on a consistent basis we have got to have players than come off our bench to not lose leads like we did last year.”
It appears the first move for the Pacers in free agency is to make a deal with Brooklyn Nets player, C.J. Watson.Various reports say they are working on an agreement with the free agent.