Larry Bird recently said, effectively, that the Pacers will continue to suck until 2011-2012, when cap space finally opens up (you can read about my article on it here).
To me, that says no moves before the Feb. 18 trade deadline (at the very least).
However, there are still rumblings of a possible Troy Murphy to Cleveland deal, though it will obviously NOT be Murphy for Ilgauskas’ expiring contract, JJ Hickson AND multiple draft picks. Come on. Seriously. Even the Phoenix Suns, who are willing to give up Amare Stoudemire, aren’t expecting that much in return.
Murphy may be about the same level defensively as Stoudemire (ie can’t defend a chair), and he’s a better shooter, but let’s not kid ourselves.
Actually, there’s more competition than just the Suns. Cleveland is also after Antawn Jamison (Wizards) and Corey Maggette (Warriors). I’d probably say Murphy would be the third best option for the Cavs. He’s a top defensive rebounder and he can stretch the defense with his shooting, but both Stoudemire and Jamison would be better options due to their scoring ability and versatility.
There’s another rumor that maybe Shaq can’t co-exist with Stoudemire (because they couldn’t in Phoenix, duh!). It has been suggested that if the Cavs get Stoudemire for Ilgauskas and Hickson, then they might look to move Shaq, whose $20 million contract is expiring at the end of this year. Do you know what’s one of the possible options? Shaq for Murphy and Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Can you imagine that? Shaq on the Pacers? Even just till the end of the season? I can’t, but it would sure be funny.