Central Rumors: Cavs, Pacers, Mirotic

It shouldn’t be too much longer until the Pacers clinch the Central Division title. They’re up 14 and a half games on the second-place Bulls, and the only team with a realistic shot at passing the Pacers for the best record in the Eastern Conference is the Heat. Here’s more from a division that, outside of Indiana, is one of dysfunction:

  • The relationship between Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters was reportedly a rocky one when trade rumors swirled around Waiters early this season, but Irving now refers to Waiters as a friend, as Bob Finnan of The News-Herald observes. Finnan has more on the on-court and off-court dynamic between the two Cavs guards.
  • The Pacers reached out to Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, a former Pacers assistant, for advice about whether to sign Andrew Bynum, whom Shaw had worked with as a Lakers assistant, notes Scott Agness of Pacers.com. Shaw gave the center an endorsement, and, “I woke up the next morning to see that they had signed him,” the coach said.
  • Nikola Mirotic is eager to sign with the Bulls this summer, but Real Madrid, his Spanish team, is intent on offering him a sizable new deal to convince him to stay, according to Javier Maestro of Encestando (translation via Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype).
  • The dismissal of Maurice Cheeks was tough on Brandon Jennings, who calls the former Pistons coach a “father figure,” as Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News examines.
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