Should Roster Size Concern Management?

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006
If you'd like to pose a Question of the Day to Conrad Brunner, submit it along with your full name and hometown to Bruno' Brunner’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Pacers players, coaches or management.

Q. With all the recent acquisitions through free agency, trades, and draft pick signings, as well as the much-anticipated return of Al Harrington, I noticed that our roster will be well over the league limit of 15. What are the Pacers plans to reduce this number to the required number of 15 players? Josh Powell and Rawle Marshall, brought to Indiana through the trade of Anthony Johnson, don't seem to have guaranteed contracts, so could they be the primary candidates to be left off the roster when the season begins? (From Zhang in Beijing, China)

A. This has become an area of concern for many fans but there really is nothing to worry about. Yes, the Pacers currently have 15 players under contract (not including free agents Scot Pollard and Eddie Gill). Yes, if Al Harrington is acquired from Atlanta without a player being sent to the Hawks in return, the Pacers would then have 16 players under contract – possibly 17 if John Edwards also is added to the deal. Yes, the NBA roster limit is 15, with 12 on the active roster and no more than three listed as inactive.

And no, there's absolutely no reason to panic.

See, here's the thing: the roster doesn't have to be at the limit until Oct. 30. That gives the front office a full three months to add, subtract, multiply, divide or otherwise extrapolate the number of players on the roster. If the Harrington deal is consummated as has been most recently reported (with Edwards also coming to the Pacers in exchange for a future first-round pick and cash, the roster would have 17 players. Of those, 15 have guaranteed contracts (Powell and Marshall do not), so another trade wouldn't be required for the team to reach the limit.

Given the way the summer has gone thus far, however, I would believe it reasonable to project one or two further moves in the next three months. So you see, there's plenty of time for the roster to continue its evolution.