Eastern Notes: Pacers, Knicks, Scola

The Pacers' acqusition of Luis Scola from the Suns today involved them sending out Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green and a lottery-protected 2014 first-round pick. That first-round pick is lottery-protected through 2019, and would become unprotected in 2020, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona RepublicOf course, the Pacers seem like shoo-ins for the playoffs, so the Suns will likely get the pick in 2014.

The Suns and Pacers had been discussing the Luis Scola trade for weeks, but when Indiana threw Miles Plumlee into the deal, the two sides quickly reached an agreement, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).

Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard said the team doesn't plan another major move anytime soon, but said "we are always open for business" when addressing reporters today, including Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star:

"(Team president) Larry (Bird) has long admired Scola’s ability to rebound and score the ball," Pritchard also said. "We watched him last year with Phoenix. We always felt he would be a perfect person for us in terms of backing up (David) West and backing up (Roy) Hibbert, being part of our second unit and being a scorer on that unit."

Larry Bird, especially, has coveted Luis Scola for years, notes Mark Montieth of Pacers.com, and the opportunity to add his skills as a sub for front-court starters Roy Hibbert and David West, proved too juicy to pass up, despite losing a likely late first-round pick next year.

Here's what else is happening around an increasingly top-heavy Eastern Conference, including more from the Pacers…

  • NBC 6 anchor Adam Kuperstein and Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel discussed the upgrades the Pacers have made to their bench this offseason (Twitter link): Chris Copeland and Scola in place of Tyler Hansbrough and Sam Young, while C.J. Watson replaced D.J. Augustin as the backup for George Hill at the point.
  • Winderman details the familiar opponents the Heat will likely face this coming season in the Eastern Conference playoffs, with the Pacers, Knicks and Bulls leading the charge to unseat the Eastern Conference champions over the last three seasons. 
  • The Knicks and Gustavo Ayon have not engaged in discussions, tweets Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. Ayon is still on waivers after the Bucks released him Thursday. Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors examined teams who could claim the big man before he hits free agency.
  • J.R. Smith has already received $8.974MM of his $17,947,125 deal with the Knicks, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Mark Deeks of ShamSports reported this week that Smith would receive half of this year's salary by November 15th, but it appears the Knicks have already given him all of his salary for 2013/14 and part of his 2014/15 pay.
  • Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer answers questions in her mailbag including whether the Cavs' 33rd pick in this year's draft, Carrick Felix, has enough abilities to secure a roster spot. 

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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