Indiana Pacers Rumors

Indiana Pacers trade, free agent, and draft rumors, updated constantly by the NBA experts at HoopsRumors.com.

Central Notes: Sloan, Blatt, Ennis

February 28 at 3:26pm CST By Chris Crouse

Donald Sloan has proven to be a valuable find for the Pacers this season, writes Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. Brigham compares Sloan’s path to the NBA to Hassan Whiteside‘s path. Both players came into the league with Sacramento in 2010, both spent time playing in the D-League and this season, both are playing major roles on their respective teams. Sloan hasn’t quite been as dominant as Whiteside, but the 27-year-old has started 21 games for Indiana this season. The Pacers are 24-34 on the season and currently own the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Sloan will become an unrestricted free agent after this season, in which he is making slightly more than $948K. The Texas A&M product is averaging 13.6 points, 6.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds per 36 minutes this year and with numbers like that, he should expect a raise on his minimum salary arrangement, although that is just my speculation.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Cavs coach David Blatt almost ended up as an assistant on Steve Kerr‘s staff in Golden State, but despite some early season difficulties, Blatt is happy to be in Cleveland, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “Once I had the opportunity to come to the Cavaliers I really didn’t feel any regret,” Blatt said. “It’s really through the good graces of Steve Kerr and the Golden State staff that I had the opportunity to interview for the job and they were willing to let me follow this path. I still hold a really good feeling of appreciation for the way they handled that situation. It’s turned out pretty good for both sides.”
  • Blatt heard all of the criticism levied at him when the Cavs began the season slowly, but he never felt the need to validate his coaching credentials, Fedor adds. “I’ve been a head coach for 22 years,” Blatt said. “People overlook that too easily and I think unfairly. I know I’m the new kid on the block in the NBA and I recognize the greatness of this league and the difficulty of this league and the fact that I’ve had to make, and am still going through the adjustment to coach in this league, but I am not now, nor have I been for quite some time, a rookie coach.”
  • New addition Tyler Ennis was excited about coming to Milwaukee and is happy with his increased playing time, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. Ennis has played 88 minutes in his first five games with the Bucks after seeing only 58 minutes of NBA action during his time with the Suns this season.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post

And-Ones: Jennings, Wizards, Jerebko

February 26 at 10:12pm CST By Dana Gauruder

Brandon Jennings might not have been thrilled the Pistons traded for another point guard but after meeting with coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy, he understands why the move was made, according to David Mayo of MLive.com. Jennings, who suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles tendon January 24th at Milwaukee, could wind up sharing time with recently-acquired Reggie Jackson next season if Jackson signs with the club as a restricted free agent, Mayo continues. Jennings, who has one year and approximately $8.34MM remaining on his contract, will be tough to trade this summer as he tries to return from the injury, Mayo adds.

In other news around the league:

  • The Wizards indeed used part of their Trevor Ariza trade exception to absorb Ramon Sessions‘ salary in last week’s trade, allowing them to create a new $4.625MM trade exception equivalent to Andre Miller‘s salary, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). There had been conflicting estimates about how the Wizards handled the exceptions, as I noted earlier this week. The Ariza exception is now worth $2,252,089.
  • The Pacers, Knicks and Lakers are eyeing 28-year-old Lithuanian shooting guard Mantas Kalnietis, with Indiana showing the most interest, agent Tadas Bulotas tells Lithuania’s Sport 1 (YouTube link; transcription via TalkBasket.net). Kalnietis went undrafted in 2008, so no NBA team holds his rights.
  • Jonas Jerebko, who is in the final year of a four-year, $18MM deal he signed with the Pistons in December 2011, believes his time with the Celtics is an opportunity to showcase his true potential, reports Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. After spending his first five-plus NBA seasons with the Pistons, Jerebko was traded with Luigi Datome to Boston last week in exchange for Tayshaun Prince.
  • Monty Williams is acting like a coach with his job on the line even though he has a year left on his contract, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reveals. The Pelicans coach has been forced to deal with injuries to his star player, Anthony Davis, but he is still under heavy pressure to win because of a frustrated fan base, Reid adds.

Will Joseph and Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Gal Mekel Signs To Play Russia

February 24 at 8:29am CST By Chuck Myron

Former Mavs and Pelicans point guard Gal Mekel has signed with Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi). The Pacers and Wizards are among the teams with interest in signing him for next season, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter), since he has an NBA escape clause that will allow him to shake loose this summer, as David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports (Twitter link). The contract otherwise runs through 2016, the team says, but it wouldn’t force Mekel or any NBA team to pay a buyout if he decided to end the deal this summer, Stein points out in his tweet.

Pick reported Monday that a deal was close, though Hapoel Jerusalem in Mekel’s native Israel made a strong effort to sign him late in the running, Stein adds (Twitter link). Mekel had been waiting for an NBA deal since the Pelicans cut him loose after a brief December stint. Coach Monty Williams wouldn’t rule out a new deal between the Pelicans and the 26-year-old shortly after his release, but no such arrangement materialized.

It’s no surprise to see the Pacers once more linked to Mekel, since Indiana reportedly would have signed him in November if it weren’t for visa-related complications. The Thunder have apparently held interest in him in the past, and he reportedly worked out for the Lakers twice earlier this season. He’s been drawing money from the Mavericks this season and will continue to do through 2017/18, since Dallas waived him before opening night and used the stretch provision on the second of the two years remaining on his contract.

And-Ones: Bucks, Mekel, Bargnani

February 19 at 11:27pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The Bucks rejected an offer from the Suns that would have sent Goran Dragic to Milwaukee for Brandon Knight, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com, adding that Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis, whom Milwaukee acquired instead of Dragic, were who they wanted all along. Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times disputes that Milwaukee ever turned down a Dragic proposal, however (Twitter link).

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside wonders if Peyton Siva is being overshadowed with the Erie BayHawks this season.  Seth Curry has gotten most of the attention on the team, but Siva is still having a relatively strong campaign in his own right.
  • Danny Granger says he wanted to rejoin the Pacers when he was a free agent this summer but couldn’t afford to wait for them to decide what to do with Lance Stephenson, as Granger tells Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com (Twitter link).
  • Unless an NBA offer materializes in the next few days, Gal Mekel is going to play in Europe, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets. The point guard has reportedly passed on numerous overseas offers after being released by the Pelicans back in December.
  • Knicks team president Phil Jackson said there are no immediate plans to reach a buyout arrangement with Andrea Bargnani, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “It’s debatable,’’ Jackson said regarding a buyout. “Now that we have a gap in scoring, this is a guy that is a natural scorer. I think the coaching staff would like to have him on the court and be competitive with his scoring capabilities. Without Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, we are going to need some scorers out there. And we would like to give him a forum. I am not going to hold it against him if he wasn’t here for the first 40-something games.’’
  • The Sixers almost wound up with Isaiah Thomas in their three-team deal with the Bucks and Suns, but they let the Suns send him to the Celtics in a separate transaction instead, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Zach Links and Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Sessions, Heat, Pacers

February 19 at 10:08pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Ramon Sessions‘ agent, Jared Karnes, is excited to see his client join the Wizards, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports writes.  “Washington is a great situation for Ramon,” Karnes said. “He’s obviously looking forward to going to the playoffs. He has a contract year coming up and this gives him a chance shake things up and be part of a playoff team. Ramon appreciated his time in Sacramento and wishes them success.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Pacers made a serious bid to acquire Reggie Jackson from the Thunder, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  Of course, the Pacers wound up losing out to the Pistons.
  • The Heat made Hassan Whiteside an untouchable in trade talks along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson can learn a lot about being a successful NBA executive from the Heat‘s Pat Riley, Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post writes.
  • Raptors GM Masai Ujiri was happy enough with his roster to not make any moves prior to the trade deadline, Holly MacKenzie of NBA.com writes. “We feel confident in this team,” Ujiri said. “In terms of growth, in terms of growing, we’re still a long ways away. We understand that, but a lot of things that were put in front of us were things that maybe [helped] immediately, something that makes you a slightly better now, but it also takes away from younger guys continuing to grow. We felt it wasn’t the time.”
  • Goran Dragic is likely to sign a long-term deal this summer to remain with the Heat, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. More than anything else, Dragic desires stability in his career, Deveney adds.  “Finding a place where I can be a part of something and build toward something, that is what I have wanted most, really. Having stability,” Dragic told the Sporting News scribe.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Thunder Discuss Enes Kanter Deal

February 19 at 1:24pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Thunder have had talks about acquiring disgruntled center Enes Kanter from the Jazz as they wait to decide whether to pull the trigger on the Brook Lopez-Reggie Jackson proposal with the Nets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Oklahoma City is making a hard push for Kanter, tweets Jody Genessy of The Deseret News, but still, a strong belief remains that the Brooklyn deal will get done, Wojnarowski adds (on Twitter). It not immediately clear whether Jackson would be involved in a Kanter trade. Oklahoma City has also talked to the Pacers as the Thunder search for alternatives to the Lopez-Jackson deal, but nothing materialized with Indiana, Wojnarowski tweets.

Kanter made it clear last week that he’s frustrated with his role and wants a trade

Goran Dragic Rumors: Thursday

February 19 at 1:09pm CST By Chuck Myron

The intensity of trade chatter surrounding Goran Dragic picked up Wednesday, when the guard said flatly of Phoenix’s front office, “I don’t trust them anymore.” We’ll use this post to round up the Dragic rumors as today’s 2pm Central time trade deadline approaches, with any additional updates on top:

  • The Heat are in the lead for Dragic as the Suns continue to talk with multiple teams, and while the Suns continue to send signals they won’t trade him, no other team wants to believe that, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

12:30pm update:

  • The Suns are holding firm to their preference to move Isaiah Thomas rather than Dragic, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (on Twitter).  Dragic was designated as the heir apparent to Steve Nash and owner Robert Sarver wants to keep it that way.

9:37am update:

  • The Heat are offering two first-round picks for Dragic, but Sarver is still resistant to a trade, according to Broussard (Twitter link).

9:16am update:

  • The Suns want a first-round pick and a “young player with significant potential” or two first-rounders in return if they’re to part with Dragic, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Nik Stauskas and a first-round pick were among the assets the Kings were willing to offer, league sources tell the Yahoo! scribe. The timing of Dragic’s trade request is what’s upsetting Sarver, Wojnarowski hears.

8:57am updates:

  • The Kings are growing hesitant to make a deal for Dragic, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). There’s “no way” that Dragic will sign a long-term deal with the Kings, Pacers, Rockets, Celtics, or any other team that’s not among his preferred destinations, a source tells Broussard (Twitter link).
  • Dragic’s trade request has miffed Suns owner Robert Sarver, who’s refusing to go along with it, at least at this point, league executives tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks are offering a package for Dragic that includes Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jose Calderon, Broussard tweets.
  • No deal between the Suns and Lakers involving Dragic appears likely, a source tells Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The ability to offer a fifth year in a new contract this summer, which is the exclusive domain of whichever team holds his Bird rights, won’t have much sway on where Dragic decides to sign, a source tells USA Today’s Sam Amick. Of course, Bird rights also give a team the opportunity offer raises of 7.5% instead of 4.5%.
  • There’s “nothing of substance” to the reported interest of the Celtics in either Dragic or Reggie Jackson, given the ability of both to hit free agency this summer, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald hears. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge spoke of his hesitancy to “get rid of multiple draft picks for players with uncertainty in the free agent market” in a radio appearance this morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).

Latest On Ty Lawson

February 19 at 10:31am CST By Eddie Scarito

10:31am: There’s tension between Lawson and the Nuggets, and both parties are frustrated with each other, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders hears (Twitter link). A trade remains “very possible,” Kennedy adds.

8:42am: The Nuggets were never interested in a Lawson-for-Hill swap, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Lawson remains unlikely to be traded, Dempsey also tweets.

THURSDAY, 7:21am: Denver has listened to pitches for Lawson, but the front office has yet to seriously consider a deal, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 8:02pm: The Nuggets are trying to trade point guard Ty Lawson, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). If Denver is indeed able to move Lawson, coach Brian Shaw wants his team to acquire George Hill from the Pacers as Lawson’s replacement, Broussard adds. The Lakers have expressed interest in Lawson in addition to Goran Dragic of the Suns, the ESPN scribe notes. The Bucks, Kings, and Celtics are all reportedly interested in the veteran point guard as well.

Lawson, 27, has two more years left on his contract after this season. He is earning $11,595,506 this year, and will make $12,404,595 in 2015/16 and $13,213,482 during the 2016/17 campaign, the final year of his current deal. In 51 appearances this season, all as a starter, Lawson is averaging 16.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and a career-high 10.1 assists. His career numbers over five and a half seasons are 14.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 6.5 APG. His career slash line is .470/.373/.773.

The Pacers are reportedly willing to move one of their high-salaried veterans to create cap space to pursue free agents with this summer, according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report . Indiana is believed to be willing to trade anyone aside from Paul George to accomplish that, Bucher writes.

Hill is making $8MM this season, and is on the books for two more years beyond this one at the same rate. In 15 appearances for the Pacers this season Hill is averaging 14.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in 23.9 minutes per contest. His career numbers through 448 games are 10.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 3.1 APG. Hill’s career shooting percentages are .448/.373/.806.

And-Ones: Holiday, Hibbert, Lawson

February 18 at 11:34pm CST By Dana Gauruder

Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday could be sidelined for more than another month after reaggravating the stress reaction injury in his lower right leg on Monday, John Reid of NOLA.com reports. The Pelicans announced on Wednesday that he will be re-evaluated in three weeks by the team’s medical staff but New Orleans offered no timetable for his return. Holiday, who suffered the setback while doing light drills, has been sidelined since January 14th. He was averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 assists prior to the injury.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Pacers are open to trading Roy Hibbert, rival executives told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). There is nothing imminent regarding a potential trade of Indiana’s starting center, Kennedy adds.
  • Gal Mekel is being hotly pursued by Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israel Premier League, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets. Mekel, a point guard, appeared in four games with the Pelicans in December this season.
  • Trade chatter around the Raptors is unusually low, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun tweets. The Raptors are looking toward the offseason to make any big moves, Wolstat adds.
  • Jermaine O’Neal, who has opted not to play this season, hinted that the Warriors and Trail Blazers as well as the Mavs were interested in his services, according to quotes posted by Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com from a Dallas radio interview. The Mavs were expected to sign O’Neal but the veteran delayed his comeback because he felt that the timing wasn’t right, O’Neal explained in the interview on 103.3 FM’s “Friedo and Fitzsimmons” show.
  • The Nuggets are still considering offers for Arron Afflalo, and some “late charging” teams have expressed interest in the guard, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The Blazers are still strongly in the mix to acquire Afflalo, Wojnarowski adds.
  • Ty Lawson‘s no-show at Nuggets practice on Wednesday might be a ploy on Lawson’s part to force a trade, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders opines. Lawson’s absence was unexcused by Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post.
  • The Timberwolves had checked in on free agent Jamaal Tinsley but never offered him a 10-day contract, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. It was reported earlier that Minnesota and two other teams had offered Tinsley 10-day deals that he had declined.

Goran Dragic Rumors: Wednesday

February 18 at 11:20pm CST By Chuck Myron

The ultimatum that Goran Dragic‘s agent, Bill Duffy, issued to the Suns late Wednesday when he told them his client wouldn’t re-sign with the team this summer set in motion of flurry of trade rumors surrounding the league’s reigning Most Improved Player. We’ll round up the rest of today’s Dragic news here, with any additional updates added to the top:

  • The Suns are trying to attach Zoran Dragic to any trade packages involving his brother, Goran, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. The Suns signed Zoran to a two-year contract last summer, largely as a way to make Goran feel more comfortable with re-signing with the organization, Wojnarowski notes.

11:20pm update:

9:18pm update:

8:20pm update:

  • The Suns’ asking price for Dragic is a young player with significant potential and a first-round draft pick or two first-round picks, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.

7:24pm update:

  • Coro’s full piece has more of Dragic’s input. “They give promises, OK. It’s hard. But at the same time, I wish them all the best,” Dragic said of the Suns. “They were great to me the past five years. I’m always going to have a good memory about Phoenix fans and the city. I just hit that point of my career that it’s better for me and my family to move on.”

3:53pm update:

  • The Suns are still resisting any Dragic deals and remain active in their attempts to trade Thomas instead, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Still, Dragic’s camp has complained to GM Ryan McDonough multiple occasions this season, Deveney hears.

2:01pm update:

  • Dragic told reporters today that he wants out of Phoenix because his role changed, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter links). “I don’t feel comfortable with the situation,” Dragic said. The guard also called out the Suns front office. “I don’t trust them anymore,” he said.

1:39pm update:

  • The Knicks and Lakers lack the motivation, as well as the assets, necessary to make a competitive offer for Dragic because they know they have the cap flexibility to sign him in free agency this summer even without his Bird rights, Wojnarowski writes.

12:43pm update:

  • The Suns are more focused on talking with the Celtics, Rockets, Kings and others than with any of Dragic’s preferred destinations, sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

11:47am update:

  • There’s a decent chance the Suns would attach Miles Plumlee to Dragic in a trade, Stein reports (on Twitter). The Knicks and Lakers reportedly have interest in both Dragic and Plumlee.

10:55am update:

  • Teams that have spoken with the Suns remain unconvinced the team will trade him, as it appears Phoenix is willing to call Dragic’s bluff and tempt him with the five-year deal that no other team could offer if the Suns keep him through the deadline, reports Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter links).

10:15am update:

  • The Lakers and Knicks top Dragic’s preferred locations, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Phoenix offered Isaiah Thomas instead to the Lakers last week after the purple-and-gold made a pitch for Dragic, but the Lakers rejected that idea, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com adds to Stein’s story. The Suns this week showed a willingness to talk about a Dragic deal with the Lakers if they removed the top-five protection on the pick L.A. owes Phoenix, but the Lakers turned down that idea, too, Shelburne also reports.
  • The lack of minutes that the Suns are giving Zoran Dragic is believed to be part of Goran’s frustration with the team, Stein writes in the same piece.

8:34am updates:

  • The Pacers are conveying the sense that they want to stand pat, and while the prospect of a Dragic trade will be tempting, it’s hard to see Indiana putting together a package that convinces the Suns to trade him there, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). Wojnarowski on Tuesday noted interest from the Pacers and heard that they were a team that Dragic might be willing to commit to.
  • Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report hears a somewhat different story on the Pacers, whom his sources say are instead looking to move one of their high-salaried veterans to create the cap flexibility necessary to sign Dragic this summer. They’re believed to be willing to trade anyone aside from Paul George to accomplish that, Bucher writes. Bucher suggests that the team would be less willing to trade Roy Hibbert than David West or George Hill.
  • The Suns want a first-round pick as part of any package for Dragic, sources tell Bucher for the same piece.
  • Dragic is the No. 1 target of the Rockets, Bucher hears. It’s likely that the Rockets would give up Patrick Beverley in a trade for Dragic, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
  • Assuming Beverley wouldn’t head out in a trade that brings Dragic to Houston, Beverley’s free agent stock would go down, and Beverley and Dragic are both BDA Sports clients, Wojnarowski notes (Twitter link). Dragic has signaled an unwillingness to make a long-term commitment to the Rockets.