Central Notes: Varejao, Bulls, Deng, Pistons

The Pacers, for all their second-half struggles, have a chance to put themselves firmly in control of the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a win on the road this evening against the Heat. The Bulls are in a tight race of their own against the Raptors for the No. 3 seed, and Chicago can help itself tonight with a home win against the Pistons. While we look forward to those games, here’s the latest from around the Central Division:

  • The Cavs have a choice to make about Anderson Varejao this summer, since only $4MM of his more than $9.7MM salary for next season is guaranteed. The 31-year-old Varejao would be set up for free agency in 2015 even if Cleveland keeps him this summer, but he said he’d like to spend the rest of his career in Cleveland, observes Bob Finnan of The News-Herald.
  • The Luol Deng trade turned out to be a significant offensive boost for the Bulls, as Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times points out, noting that the team has made slight improvements defensively, too.
  • MLive’s David Mayo answers reader questions in a Pistons-themed mailbag column, looking back on the death of former owner Bill Davidson as a key turning point in the tenure of Joe Dumars, who plans to resign from the team soon.

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