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Q. I see that some teams are already playing in the summer league, but I havenít seen anything about the Pacers yet. I think I did see that they are going to be in Minnesota for that league but can you verify this for me? Also I have heard some names like (Danny) Granger, Ron Artest, David Harrison and possibly Jon Bender but do they have their roster set for the summer league yet? (From Patrick in Indianapolis)
A. Apologies for the lack of summer league information, but I'm back from my annual Brunner Across America Family Tour and am refreshed, recharged and ready to get back into the business of providing as much information as I can get my hands on to Pacers fans.
The Pacers began their annual rookie and free agent camp Sunday in Conseco Fieldhouse with a 19-man roster that included Artest, Granger, Harrison and John Edwards. They'll practice through Thursday, then Bender will join the team for summer league play, which runs July 15-19 in Minneapolis. The Pacers will play five games, one each against Houston, Toronto, New York, Milwaukee and Minnesota.
The presence of Artest and Bender will make this one of the most interesting summer leagues in recent history for the Pacers, and there will be quite a bit of interest paid to Harrison's recovery from minor knee surgery and its effect on his overall conditioning. Artest, of course, hasn't played since Nov. 19, 2004. Bender appeared in just seven games last season. Harrison missed the final month.
So, in addition to getting long-awaited looks at Artest and Bender, the Pacers will get a first glance at Granger, the highly-touted first-round pick from New Mexico. Second-round pick Erazem Lorbek will remain in Italy for at least one more season.
Other interesting names on the roster include Chris Thomas, a guard from Notre Dame who played locally at Pike High School; Shane Power, a former Indiana High School All-Star from Gary who played with Jamaal Tinsley as a freshman at Iowa State before transferring to Mississippi State; and Aleksander Radojevic, a 7-3 center who was a lottery pick of Toronto in 1999.