Pacers president Larry Bird has yet to decide whether he will return to the club next season but he is apparently open to staying on if he and owner Herb Simon are on the same page. Today, Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star writes that Bird's conversation with Simon will center around the owner's willingness to spend on payroll. Predictably, point guard Deron Williams would be Bird's top target if Simon is willing to open up his wallet, but landing him would appear to be a longshot. Here's more from around the league..
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld writes that the Lakers will have to find a way to trim payroll going forward in order to avoid significant financial concerns in the years to come. In the short-term, the Lakers might look to trade into the first-round of the draft or for a higher second-round pick but there’s no suggestion yet that they will.
- Timberwolves president David Kahn is working closely with director of basketball operations Rob Babcock and director of player personnel R.J. Adelman to prepare for the 18th pick on June 28th, according to the Associated Press. The role was largely handled by assistant general manager Tony Ronzone before he and the club parted ways last summer.
- The new collective bargaining agreement could have a significant impact on the competitive balance of the league, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
- The Lakers announced that they have promoted director of basketball administration Glenn Carraro to the assistant GM position. Carraro will continue his duties as GM of the D-League D-Fenders.
- If Dwight Howard was a little more like guard J.J. Redick, the drama surrounding the Magic last season could have been avoided, opines Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel.
- Tim Bontemps of the New York Post doesn't see DeShawn Stevenson remaining with the Nets unless he is willing to accept the veteran's minimum.