Lots of craziness in the NBA today. First, Chris Paul was going to the Lakers via Houston for essentially Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, angering the crap out of everyone as it looked like the Lakers might pull off the impossible task of acquiring both Paul AND Dwight Howard. Then, amidst all the protesting, NBA Commissioner David Stern killed the deal for ‘basketball reasons’ (yeah right).
Secondly, Tyson Chandler is supposedly closing in on a deal with the New York Knicks, and Caron Butler signed with the LA Clippers, effectively destroying the Mavs’ chances of a repeat.
Thirdly, Dwight Howard is reportedly going to ask a trade to the New Jersey Nets to team up with fellow superstar Deron Williams.
Fourthly, Greg Oden is apparently going to accept the Trailblazers’ offer, ending speculation that the Pacers might have had a chance to bring the oft-injured center back home.
None of these really affect the Pacers, except perhaps foreshadowing that it’s going to be very difficult for the Pacers to make any significant inroads this short offseason.
But wait, there is Pacers news! Lost in the pandemonium of the day was the fact that Mike Dunleavy Jr has signed a $7.5m 2-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. Dunleavy had a patchy history with the Pacers, starting off phenomenally but then struck by injury, before making a decent, albeit sporadic comeback. Although the Pacers kept saying that they wanted to bring Dunleavy back (presumedly for a much lower price), they don’t seem to have kicked up much of a fuss at all. Let’s face it, Dunleavy’s days as a productive Pacers player are long gone. He is at best, a streaky shooter with decent court vision, but his lack of athleticism, often unreliable shot and horrendous defense meant that he was always going to be a role player without a genuine spot in the rotation behind developing players like Paul George. Nevertheless, I wish him all the best.
And another piece of news that got swept under the rug is the explosive revelation that the Pacers are on the verge of signing power forward Jeff Pendergraph from the Blazers!
Who? Yes, Jeff Pendergraph! The third-year player missed all of 2010-2011 due to injury (red light, anyone?) after playing in 39 games during his rookie season, in which he averaged 2.7 points!
Okay, maybe I’m being cynical here. Chances are the Pacers are signing Pendergraph for next to nothing, and chances are it is merely as a back-up plan since Solomon Jones is definitely out the door (they would have preferred to sign a statue over him) and all signs point to Josh McRoberts signing a more lucrative deal elsewhere. I don’t think it means that the Pacers have given up on Nene or David West or even Carl Landry, but it might suggest that the Pacers are potentially open to trading Tyler Hansbrough for more pieces. I hope not!
The next few days are going to be very interesting!