The Indiana Pacers, along with the rest of the NBA will officially release their 66-game regular season schedule on Tuesday evening which will be anything but regular with a chance of back-to-back-to-back games and a stretch of five games in six days keeping the Pacers busy.
As for the latest on free agency, Mike Wells reports (thanks for the FanPost MillerTime31) that Pacers president Larry Bird isn't waiting for prized free agents to show up at Conseco Fieldhouse for a chat, he's going to them to make sure his pitch is heard. That means Bird is flying to Denver today to meet with top shelf free agent big man, Nene Hilario.
The Pacers reportedly spoke by phone with David West yesterday, a secondary power forward option under consideration. The fact Bird is making the effort to go meet Nene indicates the Pacers are all in with their pursuit of the big man who could fortify the middle of the Pacers defense and help protect the tin. But how far are the Pacers willing to go?
If the bidding war pushes Nene's salary north of $15 million per year I would expect the Pacers to wish him good luck. There is always a price that's right and the Pacers will have to exceed that to have a shot at landing Nene, but they shouldn't go past it so far that they use up the bulk of the availble cap space they worked so hard to acrue.
This article has a few NBA observers take a shot at placing a value on Nene's free agent deal and the offers ranged from $9 mil to $15 mil per year. With the interest shown in Nene, that latter number should be close.
After the jump, more links of interest as the important week for the Pacers heats up.
- Bird to meet with Nene | Pacers Insider blog | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com
- PACERS: Caught in the Web Indiana Pacers blog - A Pacers roster refresher course
- Frank Vogel, the Indiana Pacers, and the "next step" | ProBasketballTalk
- Six Moves the Indiana Pacers Should Make | HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
- NBA players set to vote on new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday - Sam Amick - SI.com
- NBA Free Agent Previews: Tyson Chandler At Head Of 2011 Class - SBNation.com
- Rockets seeking to meet with free-agent center Chandler, met with Nene on Monday - Houston Chronicle
- Sources -- Los Angeles Lakers want both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul - ESPN Los Angeles
- NBA Free Agency Roundup: Tuesday's latest news - Sheridanhoops.com
- Your newest reminder of how the players lost the lockout? Five games in six nights - Ball Don't Lie - NBA Blog - Yahoo! Sports
- Knicks far from lead in Chris Paul Sweepstakes - NYPOST.com
- #BasketballPracticeNeverStops - Shelvin Mack putting in work - From Our Editors - SBNation.com