When asked about the pending NBA trade deadline, Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel couldn't help but join the fray of unfounded speculation.
"Press release: We've overhauled our entire roster for first round picks," Vogel joked. "We're building for the future."
Of course, the Pacers don't expect to be players in any deadline deals before 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, but until that time passes, you never know and as Vogel went on to mention in more serious comments, Donnie Walsh and Kevin Pritchard are always listening and weighing their options.
"Upstairs is very active," Vogel said. "Downstairs is very focused on the guys we have in the locker room and winning our next game."
The Pacers looked like a perfect team last night against the Knicks so a roster-altering deal at this point would be nuts. They could use another scorer and more depth off the bench, but that need should be met by trading Danny Granger's street clothes for Danny Granger's uniform and getting him back in the playing rotation.
Were a team willing to trade for Granger, would the Pacers entertain the idea? They'd have to if a favorable offer comes along. GM Kevin Pritchard shot down that idea based on a report from HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy. Other teams are likely trying to get a bad-knee discount before the deadlin but the Pacers are in a position of strength and don't need to give up any leverage, nor Granger for the remainder of the year.
The player the Pacers would most likely be willing to part with is Gerald Green, but he has two years at $3.5 million per remaining on his contract which complicates even making a minor move. Tom Ziller does a nice job of explaining how teams are counting every penny now which is making completing a trade before the deadline this year a chore.
So the Pacers have the leverage of winning while still having great young talent in development (yes, Paul George is still developing his NBA game people), meaning there is no need to sell low with any player on the roster.