Donald Sloan has proven to be a valuable find for the Pacers this season, writes Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. Brigham compares Sloan’s path to the NBA to Hassan Whiteside‘s path. Both players came into the league with Sacramento in 2010, both spent time playing in the D-League and this season, both are playing major roles on their respective teams. Sloan hasn’t quite been as dominant as Whiteside, but the 27-year-old has started 21 games for Indiana this season. The Pacers are 24-34 on the season and currently own the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Sloan will become an unrestricted free agent after this season, in which he is making slightly more than $948K. The Texas A&M product is averaging 13.6 points, 6.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds per 36 minutes this year and with numbers like that, he should expect a raise on his minimum salary arrangement, although that is just my speculation.
Here’s more from the Central Division:
- Cavs coach David Blatt almost ended up as an assistant on Steve Kerr‘s staff in Golden State, but despite some early season difficulties, Blatt is happy to be in Cleveland, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “Once I had the opportunity to come to the Cavaliers I really didn’t feel any regret,” Blatt said. “It’s really through the good graces of Steve Kerr and the Golden State staff that I had the opportunity to interview for the job and they were willing to let me follow this path. I still hold a really good feeling of appreciation for the way they handled that situation. It’s turned out pretty good for both sides.”
- Blatt heard all of the criticism levied at him when the Cavs began the season slowly, but he never felt the need to validate his coaching credentials, Fedor adds. “I’ve been a head coach for 22 years,” Blatt said. “People overlook that too easily and I think unfairly. I know I’m the new kid on the block in the NBA and I recognize the greatness of this league and the difficulty of this league and the fact that I’ve had to make, and am still going through the adjustment to coach in this league, but I am not now, nor have I been for quite some time, a rookie coach.”
- New addition Tyler Ennis was excited about coming to Milwaukee and is happy with his increased playing time, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. Ennis has played 88 minutes in his first five games with the Bucks after seeing only 58 minutes of NBA action during his time with the Suns this season.
Eddie Scarito contributed to this post