Central Notes: Bird, Hibbert, Pistons, Skiles

In what's becoming a monthly ritual, Pacers president Larry Bird has denied a report suggesting he'll be leaving the team at season's end. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that Bird has told Pacers owner Herb Simon and several friends that he has decided to leave, but the Hall-of-Famer told Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star that he hasn't made up his mind yet.

"Once again, no decision has been made," Bird told Wells. "I'll sit down with my owner at the end of the season and we'll talk about things."

Here are the rest of the morning's updates out of the Central Division:

  • Roy Hibbert's playoff performance could have a significant impact on what sort of contract he signs this offseason, Wells writes in a separate piece for the Star. As Wells notes, Dwight Howard's absence will give Hibbert and the Pacers a good opportunity to dominate the Magic in the first round.
  • Charlie Villanueva is aware that he'll head into the offseason as a candidate to be traded or amnestied by the Pistons, as he suggests to David Mayo of MLive.com: "I would like to stay here. I love it here, I love it here. At the same time, I'm a realist."
  • Pistons coach Lawrence Frank addressed the team's future in a Q&A with Terry Foster of the Detroit News.
  • Keith Glass, agent for Bucks coach Scott Skiles, dismissed rumors that Skiles will seek a buyout on the final year of his contract, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. "That’s news to me," Glass said. "I haven’t talked to anyone about that. I’d be surprised if that was true."

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