Larry Bird spoke with the media (transcript ) after the final pre-draft workouts on Thursday. All signs continue to point toward DJ Augustin, although Bird stuck with the "best player available that can help us right now" line of thinking. He also sounded like he's looking to add another pick in the draft.
Q. Do you feel like you can get the player you want? Are you guys looking to trade up or do you feel like 11 is going to be where it’s at?
A. “Well, there’s going to be a heck of a player at (pick) 11. There’s no question about that. We’ve talked to a number of teams about different scenarios but we’ve got some things in the works so if we can get another pick that would be just great. We’re looking at all options.”
As far as Augustin goes, it seems like he is the sure-fire pick unless someone else unexpectedly drops. The Donnie Walsh diversion tactics make me wonder if the Augustin talk is a smoke screen or if they are just so sure that he will be available they don't care. Director of Scouting, Joe Ash was on the radio this afternoon and specifically mentioned the need at point guard.
Does anyone see the pink elephant in the corner wearing #11? We all know Tinsley won't be playing next year, but the topic is never mentioned. He does have three years left on his contract that won't be appealing to any team interested in a deal. If healthy, I think Tins would do quite well with the Knicks considering how well he played in the uptempo game last year. Since D'Antoni isn't as demanding as JOB, Tins may actually flourish. Flourish may be a little strong, but I do think he'd fit the system well.
Bob Kravitz mentioned that maybe Tinsley's injuries would continue to keep him down and the Pacers would have an insurance policy pay off his salary. While the number would still count against the cap, he would still be off the team. I hope that's not how it ends for Tins. I'd love to see him healthy and playing well again...as long as it is somewhere else.
There also seems to be a little confusion over Russell Westbrook missing the workout today. Bird and other reports mentioned an ankle injury keeping him out and the Pacers were hoping to have him in next Tuesday. Joe Ash spoke as if Westbrooks reps called off the workout and admitted they must have a top ten promise. At this point, the workout doesn't matter that much. If he falls, the Pacers wouldn't pass on him just because he didn't workout. Keep hope alive!