HoopsHype Indiana Pacers rumors

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May 31, 2014 Updates

It's pretty instructive to hear that the Dallas Mavericks, as ESPN.com has been reporting since Dallas' first-round playoff exit to San Antonio, do not intend to pursue Stephenson come July. The Mavs could certainly use Stephenson's athleticism, versatility and playmaking and showed everyone last summer -- with the signing of Monta Ellis -- that they're not afraid to take a perceived gamble. But it's pretty telling when the risk-taking Mavs, after the combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle brought the best out of Ellis, aren't eager to see if they can't do the same with Lance. ESPN.com

There is said to be some thought on both sides -- management and Hibbert's -- that a fresh start would be beneficial for everyone after the big man's second-half woes. Hibbert's camp hasn't outright asked for a trade, sources say, but word is that it wouldn't exactly oppose one if the Pacers decide to actively shop their center. ESPN.com

Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel didn't mean to set off a frothing Twitter storm after Game 6. But he compared LeBron James to Michael Jordan, and, well, that's enough to boil blood. "It's bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row, but we're competing against the Michael Jordan of our era, the Chicago Bulls of our era," Vogel said after James scored 25 points and had six assists and four rebounds in Miami's 117-92 victory Friday that eliminated the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals. USA Today Sports

Indiana Pacers guard/professional antagonist Lance Stephenson maybe might have been going for the ball on this swipe to Miami Heat guard Norris Cole’s face during the Eastern Conference finals’ sixth game. Maybe. Probably not, but hey, ESPN’s Mike Breen thought it might not have been intentional. The referees disagreed and turned a personal foul into a Flagrant 1, which means he gets ejected if he picks up a second one. For The Win

Pacers president Larry Bird condemned Stephenson’s odd decision to blow in the ear of LeBron James in Game 5, and head coach Frank Vogel expressed a similar sentiment following the whole host of things that Stephenson tried to do to mess with his opponent in Game 6. “It’s tough to say,” Vogel said, when asked if Stephenson’s antics hurt more than they helped. “I don’t think it’s ever good … what’s everybody call it? Tug on Superman’s cape. I don’t think that’s ever good. But I’ll take Lance Stephenson’s competitive edge. Like I said, I just don’t think it’s good to tug on the cape.” NBCSports.com

“I’m going to f— you up,” Haslem clearly said, followed by either “That’s real” or “I swear,” depending on your current level of lip-reading skills. Haslem didn’t play at all in the first half, but he may get some run in garbage time if the game remains this out of hand. It’s unlikely he does anything that would earn him a suspension that would carry over into the Finals, but the threat is real, and Stephenson likely knows it. NBCSports.com

NBA coaching sources continue to say that Vogel, as ESPN.com reported during Indiana's first-round struggle with the Hawks, was indeed coaching for his job in that series when the Pacers were unexpectedly stretched to seven games. It's widely presumed that a second-round exit to the Wizards would have led to the same unhappy outcome. Now? The situation isn't as clear. The Pacers have been engulfed in turmoil for months and still found a way to reach the NBA's Final Four. But the bigger boost to Vogel's quest to stay is the fact that Indiana has obviously revealed itself since the All-Star break to have a number of issues. ESPN.com

The whispers have already started in Indy about Bird turning to his old point guard, Mark Jackson, to take over. Jackson and Reggie Miller were the leaders when Bird was the Pacers' coach ... and Bird isn't the only big fan in the organization of the man Golden State just ousted. Fellow Pacers exec Donnie Walsh is another huge admirer who has long maintained privately that he wouldn't consider Jackson for the Indy job unless he had coached somewhere else first. ESPN.com

May 30, 2014 Updates

Former West Virginia standout Kevin Jones will play with the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando Summer League beginning in July. He will begin practicing with the Pacers June 29. Indiana trails the Miami Heat 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals entering Friday night’s Game 6 in Miami. “It’s a great opportunity for me because I definitely feel like it’s a team I can fit in with,” the Mount Vernon, N.Y., native told SNY.tv. Thursday at the Frankie Williams Charity Classic. “But take it one step at a time and try to play great during summer league and hopefully get a training camp offer.” ZagsBlog.com

The league’s revenue-sharing system will soon ensure that every team makes a profit, or at least comes close. The Bobcats got $20 million from it last season, and they’ll get about that much again this season. The Pacers and Grizzlies snagged about $15 million apiece, according to several league sources, and even big-market teams such as Atlanta and Washington got some extra scratch. Only a short time ago, owning an NBA team was not a hugely profitable business. Owners used the losses as a tax benefit, knowing they’d reap the gain someday by selling the team outright. They just enjoyed the spotlight. Grantland

Stephenson was caught by television cameras blowing into the ear of Heat star LeBron James. That led to a conversation between Stephenson and Bird. "He said, 'Don't do it again,'" Stephenson said Friday, recalling his talk with Bird. "So I'm not going to do it again." USA Today Sports

“[Lance] is a big part of the reason why we’ve had some success and why we’re back in the Eastern Conference Finals,” West said. “There have been games and periods through the year where he’s carried us. He’s had monster games where he’s been the only guy going. There’s been times when he was the guy scoring, the guy assisting and the guy rebounding and he’s a very, very important piece and a part of what we do.” Basketball Insiders

May 29, 2014 Updates


Three of the top four players are from the team's ABA era. All but the dead-eye shooter at No. 1.


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