Danny Granger and the Pacers are aiming for another big

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Thumbnail image for Pacers_logo.gifThe Indiana Pacers already made quite the shake-up in acquiring Darren Collison from the New Orleans Hornets last week, but neither Larry Bird nor Danny Granger seem to be ready to accept the roster as-is. From Chris Tomasson of FanHouse:

Asked by FanHouse on Friday in Springfield, Mass., where Bird was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame along with members of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, the Pacers president said the team needs to make another trade before the start of the regular season. Asked by FanHouse about Bird’s comments, Granger said management has told him to expect a move, and he figures they will look to acquire a big man.

“We’re not done yet,” Granger said after scoring 22 points for Team USA in a scrimmage Saturday against China at Madison Square Garden. “I talked to management, and we’re not done yet. What will happen, I don’t know yet. We’re still mulling over it. But we got a few things still up our sleeve.”

…”We’re going to have to go after another big, I’m sure,” said the 6-foot-8 Granger. “Losing Troy, he was great. I can play the (power forward) but I’m not a true (power forward). So we’re definitely going to have to add another big, and I think that will be our main focus.”

In response, I’d like to offer the following: No doy. Indiana may have a pretty hip, Collison-infused backcourt after last week’s trade, but the frontcourt was startlingly thin before the deal, and stands to be even worse without Troy Murphy. Right now, you’re looking at Roy Hibbert, Jeff Foster, Tyler Hansbrough, Solomon Jones, Josh McRoberts, and Magnum Rolle as the cast of bigs. Seems to fall a bit short of inspiring.

Indiana does have a number of expiring contracts and young players to bait their trade line, though, and could find some power forward help if they’re willing to part with an asset or two. Which power forwards are available is a different issue entirely, though for now Indiana doesn’t even need a highly-productive player. Instead, the Pacers should shoot for a 4 who can grow with the current core, but has shown enough promise already to warrant a trade. Good, young bigs aren’t exactly growing on trees, but Indiana will look to supplement their current core with an intriguing big man before the season begins.

Shabazz Muhammad awkwardly mentions Collective Bargaining Agreement during halftime interview (video)

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The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.

Muhammad:

We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Um. What?

To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.

Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.

hat tip: reddit user cjsplash

Duke’s Jayson Tatum, California’s Ivan Rabb declare for NBA draft

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Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.

As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.

Duke announced Tatum’s decision.

Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?

Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.

PBT Extra: What coaches are on hot seat? Alvin Gentry at front of list.

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This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).

However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.

Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).

I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.

Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez each suspended one game for thrown punches

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It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…

Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.

Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”

This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.

Both men got technicals and were ejected.