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What do Indiana Pacers need to get to the next level?

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When you make it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, you are an elite team. Period.

But that does not mean you are a legitimate championship contending team.

And if the Indiana Pacers are going to take that next step, they need to upgrade their backcourt in some way. George Hill and Lance Stephenson are nice players ... but that's the nicest thing you can say about them. When one of the other, or both, had a bad game in the playoffs, the Pacers usually lost.

So what is the cure?

Well, for starters, Rajon Rondo is out there to be had. So is Eric Gordon.

Do the Pacers have the assets to acquire either of them? That's the tough part of the equation. Boston wants no part of George Hill's contract, which pays him $8 million per season for three more years. Boston wants no part of Gerald Green. It's a been-there, done-that sort of thing.

Certainly Paul George and the expiring contract of Danny Granger could get it done, but Larry Bird would never trade his best player for a wingnut like Rondo. But what about Granger and three future first-round picks? Would that get it done?

I discussed that issue, along with the additions of Chris Copeland and C.J. Watson in this interview with Michael Grady and Joe Staysniak on 1070-The Fan in Indianapolis this morning.

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