Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star shares a number of noteworthy tidbits from his conversation with Pacers coach Frank Vogel, including word that Danny Granger will be brought along slowly in training camp after a left knee issue that arose over the summer. He'll only play in some of the team's preseason games, but the Pacers don't expect it to become a major issue, Wells writes. Here's more from the coach of the team that held a 2-1 lead on the eventual champion Heat in the conference semis this spring:
- Vogel is impressed with new acquisitions Gerald Green and D.J. Augustin. "Gerald Green is doing things everyday I didn’t think was possible for human beings to do," he said. "D.J. has really blown me away in the limited time that he’s been here in terms of his ability to create and make others better. That’s a unique talent to have. Literally on almost every possession he makes somebody better with his passing."
- The coach also shed some light on the team's decision to let go of Louis Amundson, who signed today with the Wolves, and commit $16MM over four seasons to Ian Mahinmi in the sign-and-trade that sent away Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones. "We felt like Lou did a great job last year, but we also felt like we got lucky with injuries to (Andrew) Bogut, (Al) Horford, (Brook) Lopez and (Dwight) Howard," Vogel said. "We think Mahinmi will size up and give us more depth against those elite centers better than Lou did."
- Lance Stephenson is the early favorite to backup Paul George at shooting guard, Wells writes, a role filled by current free agent Leandro Barbosa when last season ended. "Lance Stephenson has challenged for playing time for two years," Vogel said. "Now he’s playing with more confidence than he ever has. So he’s going to challenge the starters."