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Trade Winds Still Gusting

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Is the Toronto/Indiana deal on or off? Well, it was never on since they were just talking. But it would also be a stretch to say the deal is completely off and will never happen.

Both Mike Wells and Doug Smith, updated their respective stories on the talks today and neither confirmed that talks have broken down.

According to Smith, the Raptors are also talking with the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers. With all of those teams in play the Raptors have plenty to sort out. Also, I'm sure they wouldn't mind seeing Jermaine O'Neal's workouts in Las Vegas progress a little further to build up their confidence in his knee.

Time won't eliviate the Pacers' concerns for TJ Ford's neck injury, but I can still live with this deal if the two sides can work it out. I find myself agreeing with Bob Kravitz this morning as he implored Larry Bird to "pull the trigger" (his unfortunate word choice, not mine, although I did chuckle).

Forget all the numbers, cap space, draft picks and expiring contracts for a moment. A deal like this would have an aesthetic impact on the Pacers that is hard to quantify. When the two strongest personalities in the organization don't get along, it's a drag on everyone, fans included. I love Jermaine O'Neal and I love Larry Bird, but when it's apparent they don't get along you're almost forced to pick a side. It becomes an unmentionable black cloud hanging over the team and has to have at least a subtle impact on the team.

Look, I want to like them both, have everyone on the same page, pulling the oars full steam in the same direction. Since that's not going to happen, it is time to set J.O. free and let him get a fresh start elsewhere.