You know, the other day I mentioned to the imaginary NBA friends in my head (hard to find actual humans sharing my interest around town these days): Why is J.O. commenting on his knee, again and why the sudden positive outlook? Just last week J.O. expressed frustration with his injuries and before that he seemed set on shutting it down for the year. I viewed his comments as a candid truth dump after boiling over with frustration from his injuries and rehab.
Then during the Pacers' trip to New York on Thursday, J.O.'s frustrations suddenly seemed behind him. Mark Montieth relayed J.O.'s changed attitude which included this quote.
Still, the flip in the tone of his comments didn't make sense. That is, until I saw the J.O. quotes in the New York Daily News on trade possibilities with the Knicks. Ah-ha! There MUST be some type of deal or deals in the works and J.O. is selling himself to potential suitors. There's no way those "All-Star level" comments were intended for a Pacer-centric audience because, well, we've heard those type of J.O. pronouncements before and know not to take him seriously until he can actually back it up on the court. Nope, those comments weren't meant to placate Indy but instead to attract interest from another NBA city.
This could actually get interesting, but please, there must be a better option than dealing with the Knicks. Bringing Zach Randolph home in a swap doesn't really solve any long term problems. You save a little cap space but have to hope Zach's maturity has reached a level that would keep him from being dragged down by some of the negative influences he used to run with in his youth. That's a tough risk for the Pacers to take at this point.