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Central Rumors: Bulls, Pacers, ‘Melo, Irving

The Bulls are without Derrick Rose for another postseason, and Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders wonders how his absence will impact Chicago’s chances against a tough Wizards squad. Here’s more out of the Central on the first day of the NBA postseason:

  • Sam Amico of FOX Sports speculates that if the Pacers don’t have a strong showing that extends into the conference finals, big changes could lie ahead for the organization. Indiana faces off against the eighth-seeded Hawks tonight.
  • As a result of the likely $5MM jump in next season’s salary cap, the Bulls are feeling increasingly optimistic at their chances of landing Carmelo Anthony this summer, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
  • While Chicago feels confident about their pursuit of ‘Melo, Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer predicts “with 100% certainty” that the Cavs will not sign Anthony this offseason.
  • In the same piece, Schmitt Boyer says the Cavs are likely to keep both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters this summer, despite the two players similar playing styles. However, owner Dan Gilbert has made it clear he will trade any player who turns down an offer for a max extension. Irving will become eligible for such a deal this offseason.
  • We passed along the latest on the Pistons and their search for a new GM earlier this afternoon.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

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