The Pacers aren’t looking for Danny Granger trades, but they wouldn’t be averse to such a move if they came across the right deal, as we passed along yesterday. Team president Larry Bird can envision re-signing both Granger and Lance Stephenson in free agency this summer, as Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star noted in his piece, but that could be a tight squeeze unless owner Herb Simon relents on his no-tax pledge, a change of heart Bird seems to hope for. Here’s more on the teams looking up at the first-place Pacers in the Central Division standings:
- The Cavs would have had to relinquish either Anderson Varejao or a first-round pick to acquire Jeff Green if they had acted as a facilitator in a rumored three-way trade, and that’s a price they were unwilling to pay, as Bob Finnan of The News-Herald notes in his weekly column. Finnan also suggests that Asik’s agent, Arn Tellem, wouldn’t have been on board with any trade that sent Omer Asik to Cleveland, where he would back up Andrew Bynum.
- Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com is convinced the Bulls will trade Luol Deng before the deadline if the right offer comes along, in spite of a report that the team is determined not to deal him. Still, Friedell admits Deng’s $14.275MM salary makes him tough to fit into a swap.
- The Bulls are giving recent signee D.J. Augustin heavy minutes, and that indicates that the team will keep him around as the backup point guard this season, Friedell writes in a separate piece.
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer checks in with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s emerging as a contributor for the Bucks just months after Milwaukee used the 15th overall pick on the then-18-year-old small forward.
- Schmitt Boyer talks trades and other Cavs-related topics in her latest mailbag column.