Apparently Larry Bird was indeed rested and ready to go when he returned the the Fieldhouse last week. The Pacers have been part of the free agent news cycle now for all three days after reports this morning that they signed reserve point guard Donald Sloan to a multi-year contract as the team's third point guard.
The Pacers are also linked with interest in dealing for New Orleans Pelicans center Robin Lopez (thanks again, Woj) which would presumably fill the backup big role since Ian Mahinmi could also serve as a power forward. Lopez averaged 11 points and six rebounds last year and would come at a price. He is still owed just over $5 million for the next two years unless the Pelicans release him with a buyout by Thursday.
The Pelicans may instead just trade the big man with the Portland Trail Blazers also showing interest. Aside from acquiring another big man, the Pacers main incentive in the deal would be to unload Gerald Green. As I've mentioned before, Green could be valuable for a team in no hurry to win and that could describe the Pelicans next year.
It should also be noted that Lopez had a pair of strong games against the Pacers last season. The Pacers won both games against the then Hornets but in the first meeting, Lopez had 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. A month later he threw 24 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks at the Pacers.
Nothing too exciting about that Sloan news other than it marks the official end of Ben Hansbrough's tenure on the end of the Pacers bench. Sloan, Hansbrough and Jonny Flynn are all point guards on the Summer Pacers but with Sloan locked up on the first day of summer training camp, any competition between the three is now moot.
Sloan had stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Hornets long with some productive play in the D-League before finishing his season in China. He also racked up a flopping fine while with the Cavs for this strong effort.