The Indiana Pacers are popping up in more and more rumors and reports about negotiations around the league leading up to the trade deadline next Thursday. There appears to be a market for Troy Murphy which may allow the Pacers to trade him for more than just an expiring contract.
Last evening I heard David Morway on the radio with Mark Patrick (sorry no interview link, I only heard it once so I'm paraphrasing liberally). Obviously, he couldn't talk in specifics about any trade scenarios or players, but he sure gave off a vibe that something to his liking was brewing. In fact, he even initially phrased it as a possible "deal or two" before the deadline. Mark Patrick picked up on the vibe which forced Morway to retreat to the usual nothing is done, you never know-type of qualifiers before landing on being "cautiously optimistic" that some thing will get done. That's still pretty positive for GM speak.
The good thing for the Pacers is that dealing Murphy or any of the big contracts isn't critical right now. They'll be just as valuable, if not more, this summer around the draft. I want to see a deal that helps the team's cap situation at a minimum. Tacking on a young player or pick would also be nice, but completing that deal by next Thursday isn't a must.
If feels like it's a must because everyone wants to speed up the rebuilding process but really, even the most lucrative of the rumored deals for Murphy won't make an impact on this current season. So whether it happens now or in the summer doesn't matter. I'm desperate for a deal (or two, I'd take two) by next week just because I'd love some fresh air to blow through the locker room, plus it would be nice to write about something else. There would be a short-term public relations boost with a deal, as well, but again, there's no quick fix out there aside from some lottery luck.
After the jump, more from Morway on the future assets on the current roster along with a few links.
Morway mentioned the team's goal of having 7-8 solid assets in place and then being able to use the cap space available by 2011 to fill in other players they need. By solid he didn't mean, All-Star but guys who could play various roles, give the team depth. Mark Patrick asked how many of those 7-8 the team had right now and he quickly reeled off Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, A.J. Price and Tyler Hansbrough talking about the young players needing to continue developing. He hedged a bit when discussing Brandon Rush, but eventually said they plan to keep him around. Not exactly a glowing endorsement. Morway also included Dahntay Jones, listing a bunch of little things he brings to the team, not all on the court. Dahntay will have two years left on his deal at that time.
With the NBA starting up labor negotiations, things may be drastically different by the summer of 2011. For one thing, player salaries won't be going up and more likely will go the other way. If the salary cap hardens and the Pacers have open cap space available when you can buy more with less, their situation may improve even more. That type of good fortune just doesn't seem to ever fall in the Pacers' lap thoug, so until it does I'll just assume the status quo and keep hoping for a deal to get done by next Thursday.
Speaking of which, trade announcements are usually held until after the All-Star game although I imagine reports of trades may still leak out this weekend. If you hear of a deal and see nothing on this site, please put up a FanPost with a link to the report.
Speaking on links, here are a few:
Some trade talk
Mike Wells addresses the trade rumors swirling around Troy Murphy.
Pacers need break mentally more than physically
Bruno's latest Caught In The Web finds the Pacers looking forward decompressing a bit mentally over the All-Star break. The good news for those that have been playing lately, their physical health is pretty good.
Croshere back for 2nd career
Mike Wells checks in with Austin Croshere on his transition from playing for the Pacers to talking about the Pacers on TV.
Gordon all set to put on a show
Jeff Rabjohns reports on Eric Gordon prepping for his shot at the dunk contest tonight. Gordon: "This dunk I'm thinking about, " he said, "nobody has done."
Stern Doesn't Expect Contentious All-Star Labor Negotiations
Chris Tomasson finds David Stern striking a positive tone with labor negotiations on the near horizon.