Eastern Notes: George, Pacers, Deng

Hoopsworld's Yannis Koutroupis explores the possible implications from a potential contract extension for Paul George and suggests that Danny Granger has now become an expendable piece. Losing Lance Stephenson - who is coming off of a career year and may have likely played himself out of Indiana's price range next summer – would be a bitter pill to swallow, opines Koutroupis. Here's more out of the Eastern Conference: 

  • Granger believes that Indiana can contend for a title next season and calls the addition of Luis Scola "our biggest free agent pickup" (Scott Agness of NBA.com). 
  • ESPN's Chad Ford (via Twitter) notes that Luol Deng has been working out at BYU-Hawaii over the last several weeks and says that the Bulls forward appears to be in fantastic shape.
  • Erildas Budraitis of RealGM catches up with CSKA Moscow's Jeremy Pargo, who last played for the 76ers and Cavaliers during the 2012/13 season.  The 6'2" point guard admitted that he probably won't think of returning to the NBA for another one or two years and calls his exit from Cleveland "unfortunate."
  • Earlier today, Yahoo's Marc J. Spears reported that Cavs number one overall pick Anthony Bennett resumed playing five-on-five basketball this week. 
  • Nets star Deron Williams is even more eager to get the season started after hearing head coach Jason Kidd and teammate Jason Terry say they expect him to be a part of the MVP conversation in 2013/14 (link via Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report). 
  • Despite NBA commissioner David Stern's recent efforts to quell tension between the Knicks and Nets owners, the players don't seem to be necessarily following suit. When Paul Pierce was asked today about J.R. Smith calling him a bitter person recently, the Brooklyn forward tersely responded with "Who? Who are we talking about right now? Exactly" (Tim Bontempts of the New York Post). 
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