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Pacers Trade Rumors Involving Jamal Crawford Held Up on Draft Pick

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As reported by Ben Golliver at Blazer's Edge, the Indiana Pacers are, or were at the very least, involved in "legitimate" trade talks involving Jamal Crawford. The proposed deal would send A.J. Price and a 2012 First Round Pick to Portland in exchange for Crawford, but Larry Bird and the rest of the Pacers front office remain stalwart at pursuing Crawford at the cost of a first round pick.

The inclusion of a first round pick could be dangerous for a player like Crawford, who can opt out after the season is over. For the Pacers to risk any portion of the team's long term stake to make any short term gain would be directly in conflict with how Bird has built them to this point. While Crawford bandages a bleeding hole in the Indiana second unit, the likely possibility that Crawford will be a rental in a season the Pacers aren't in competition for an Eastern Conference Championship, much less an NBA title, would be foolhardy considering the value Larry Bird has gotten in the draft whether it be drafting players or making draft night moves.

Mike Wells further clarified Indiana's unwillingness to move their first round pick because of their ample cap situation, also noting a similar obstruction as Indiana keeps their eye on New Orleans's Chris Kaman. There's no doubt the Pacers have significant flaws that need to be addressed; flaws that will ultimately doom this team when it's all said and done, but if the Pacers don't see themselves as a long term winner in a deal, they aren't interested in making one. It's a slightly frustrating ideal, but a wise one, given the frequency in which flippant decisions hinder the potential of teams who hope to find long term solutions from a short term fix.