No division race is tighter than the Central, where the Bulls hold a half-game lead over the Pacers, while he Bucks sit three back in the loss column. Derrick Rose and Danny Granger will soon return to Chicago and Indiana, respectively, so we’ll see how that affects the dynamics of the race. In the meantime, here’s what’s happening around the division:
- The Cavs are open to using their $4MM in cap space to absorb an otherwise unwanted player in exchange for a draft pick, but Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal believes the team is done dealing this year. Signing Greg Oden is another possibility for that cap space, as Lloyd notes as he answers more questions from his Twitter followers.
- Cavs shooting guard Wayne Ellington, acquired in last week’s trade with the Grizzlies, will be a restricted free agent this summer, and though he didn’t address his future plans, he spoke to Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer about his Charlotte connections and mentioned that he’s best friends with Bobcats swingman Gerald Henderson, who’s also set to hit restricted free agency.
- Sam Young demonstrated why the Pacers re-signed him this week with his defense against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in last night’s blowout of the Heat, observes Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Wells writes that Young will have an impact the rest of the season, which suggests he isn’t merely on a 10-day contract; when Young signed, the terms were unclear.
- MLive’s David Mayo, in a pair of features, breaks down the impact that new starting point guard Jose Calderon will have on Detroit’s rotation, and Matt Moore of CBSSports.com wonders why the Pistons aren’t shopping Jonas Jerebko, who’s struggled to find a role.
- Hunter Atkins of The New York Times looks at the rapid improvement of Larry Sanders, whom Atkins compares to Tyson Chandler. Sanders will be up for an extension on his rookie deal with the Bucks this summer.