Central Rumors: Turner, Bulls, Pacers, Cavs

February 20 at 7:38pm CDT By Zach Links

NBA executives are praising the Pacers for their acquisition of Evan Turner because it improves their team, reduces payroll, and gives them leverage with Lance Stephenson when he’s a free agent next summer, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.  This may prove to be just a short-term rental for the Pacers as they swapped one pending free agent for another, but it’s definitely an upgrade for their club in the here and now.  Here’s more out of the Central..

  • Despite some rumors to the contrary, the Bulls showed no desire to move Mike Dunleavy because he’s an affordable rotation player who fits next season, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.  For his part, Tom Thibodeau is satisfied with what was a quiet deadline for the Bulls.
  • The Cavs have a vacant roster spot and will fill it through free agency or a D-League signing, but GM David Griffin says that he’ll take his time to identify the club’s biggest need, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
  • With the Turner deal, the Pacers have sent a strong message to the Heat that they are ready to take it all this season, writes Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.  Turner will allow the Pacers to play small at times, matching up with teams that use quick lineups.  More importantly, he brings serious ball-handling skills to the table, which should help round out the Indiana offense nicely.
  • While the addition of Turner could be a boost on paper, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders fears that the Pacers could be making a mistake by messing with their chemistry.
  • With the smart (but painful) trade, the Pacers put themselves in great position for the remainder of the year, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
  • If Roger Mason Jr, clears waivers, he could be a candidate for the Bulls when Jarvis Varnado‘s 10-day pact expires, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
  • In today’s presser, a reporter asked Griffin if he considers Cavs star Kyrie Irving an untouchable.  He explained that his philosophy is that no one is untouchable, tweets the Plain Dealer.  Meanwhile, Griffin says that he wasn’t close to a deal for Luol Deng, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio, but he added that if he didn’t listen, he wouldn’t be doing his job.
  • Amico gives Griffin a thumbs up for his first trade deadline as Cavs GM.
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