Paul George would like to be back by March, a timeframe that Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird hinted at earlier this week, but George indicated that it’s nonetheless unlikely as he spoke today with reporters, including Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (three Twitter links). He’s targeting March 1st to be back in full practices with the team and said that if Indiana still has a shot at the playoffs later this season, it’d help sway him to return if he’s on the fence, as Buckner notes (three Twitter links). The Pacers are three and a half games out of the playoffs, but they’d have to pass four teams to get there. Here’s more on their Central Division rivals:
- Executives around the league wondered if teams in the East would more aggressively try to make deals that would help them fill the void atop the conference as the Cavaliers failed to live up to expectations earlier this season, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com hears. Now, with the Cavs having won 11 in a row and the trade deadline two weeks away, Berger wonders if those teams will abandon that strategy. The Pacers are nonetheless in “win-now mode,” Bird said this week.
- The Cavs have assigned Joe Harris to the D-League, the team announced. It’s D-League stint No. 5 for the 33rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, and all of those assignments have taken place since January 20th.
- Anthony Tolliver fondly recalled his time with the Warriors when MLive’s Brendan Savage asked the well-traveled eighth-year NBA veteran to name his favorite stop aside from the Pistons, with whom he’s under team control through next season. Tolliver also said that Miami, where he played for the Heat during the 2009 preseason, is his favorite NBA city, responding to another question from Savage.