While Pacers owner Herb Simon indicated tonight that he wouldn’t object to a deal bringing Lance Stephenson back to Indiana, he said the decision would ultimately be up to president of basketball ops Larry Bird and GM Kevin Pritchard, writes Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. Meanwhile, Gregg Doyel of the Star opines that the Pacers would be foolish to bring back Stephenson, who has worn out his welcome with the Hornets only 23 games into the season.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with the former Pacer. Now let’s look at what else is going on in the Eastern Conference:
- With no control over their 2015 first round draft pick, there’s no argument to be made for the Nets doing anything to their roster that might prevent them from winning, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. The Hawks have the right to swap first round picks with Brooklyn, potentially making a less desirable pick a positive for the Nets. Additionally, Bontemps confirms the Nets are looking at Stephenson, as we’ve already heard, as well as other options that might help to improve the team.
- News that the Nets are willing to move their highest-salaried players might be an indication that owner Mikhail Prokhorov is ready to sell the team, says Ric Bucher in his latest Bucher Buzz segment. It doesn’t seem that Bucher’s information is coming from the Nets organization, but the Bleacher Report scribe says that his sources around the league are suspicious given the recent rumors coming out of Brooklyn.
- Knicks coach Derek Fisher attributed some of his team’s early-season struggles to the fact that nine of his players are in the final year of their respective deals with the team, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. “You have a number of guys that are thinking about how they’re going to provide for their families and where their career is going and whether they’re going to be here or on another team and all the ramifications of those decisions,” said Fisher, whose been trying to implement the triangle offense in his first year in New York.
- The Sixers will pay Furkan Aldemir $6MM over the first two years of his deal, reports Tom Moore of Calkins Media (via Twitter). Philly officially inked the Turkish big man to a four-year, $12MM deal yesterday but only the first two years of the pact are guaranteed.