Central Links: Cavs, Asik, George, Hinrich

The Pacers are the class of the NBA, but next they face a tough Western road trip that includes tough tests against the Clippers, Blazers, Spurs and Thunder. The only breather appears to be their matchup with the league-worst Jazz. There’s more from Indiana as we check the latest from the Central:

  • The Cavs have “kicked the tires” on Omer Asik in the past, writes Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. It’s not clear when Cleveland showed interest in the Rockets center, but it doesn’t appear from the report like the Cavs are in on him now.
  • In the same piece, Finnan asserts that the Cavs shouldn’t trade Dion Waiters because he might be the team’s best player, even with Kyrie Irving around. Irving is off to a slow start, but Waiters hasn’t been any better statistically, so I’m not sure that part of the argument holds any water.
  • Paul George spoke to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune this week about a variety of topics, including whether he gave thought to signing with a glamour team in free agency before he agreed to a long-term extension with the Pacers“Of course everyone does, but you have to look at the bigger picture and the bigger picture here is we’re all young, we did so well last year, we have a core group of guys who are going to be here for a while,” George said. “There’s no need to go to a big market when I have a market where I can win here.”
  • George also told Zgoda about his predraft workout with the Timberwolves in 2010, revealing that they didn’t show much interest in him because they were sold on Wesley Johnson. George, the 10th pick that year, still holds a grudge against the nine teams that passed him up, as Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star details.
  • The Bulls signed Kirk Hinrich last year with the thinking that they’d reduce his role this season, but the 32-year-old soon-to-be free agent is again a key player for the team after another Derrick Rose injury, observes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

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