if he can't have more playing time. I think it's safe to assume that that also means a starting spot on the floor.
Larry Bird, a man with a proven willingness to make bold moves, looks ahead to the first full summer of his Indiana Pacers presidency and sees one thing.
He is focused on the NBA draft at the moment. But July 1, when teams can begin negotiating with free agents and discussing trades, he will begin work on his roster.
"With the players we have, we have a chance to make our team stronger," Bird said Friday. "It's not about getting through the first round anymore. It's time to get serious.
"If we make a couple of moves, we have a legitimate chance to get out of the Eastern Conference. Everybody else's roster seems to be set. We have assets here and logjams in certain areas. If we make the right moves, we can separate ourselves from everybody else."
Bird has met individually with the players. Only Al Harrington expressed a desire to be moved if more playing time can't be found.
Harrington averaged 13.3 points and 6.4 rebounds.
"We're going to look to see what we can do," Bird said. "It's like with any player who walks in and says they're not happy. You try to explain to them that the grass isn't always greener. When they think they can take their game to the next level and they want to get more minutes and more shots, you look around. But if you can't get the value you think you can get for them, they're still going to be here. It has to be a deal that makes us happy."
Bird said seven-year veteran Scot Pollard, who averaged 11 minutes in 61 games, did not ask to be traded but acknowledged he might be a poor fit.
Johnson hopes to stay
Anthony Johnson can opt out of his contract this summer, and he might be left exposed to Charlotte in the expansion draft.
But if he has his way, he'll be back with the Pacers next season.
Johnson averaged 6.2 points in 21.9 minutes as the backup point guard.
"Playing here is definitely my first option," he said.
Pacers employee charged
Pacers equipment manager Joe Qatato will appear in a Detroit courtroom June 23 to respond to charges of indecent exposure.
Qatato allegedly performed a sex act while standing alone in front of a window in his upper-floor room at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich., on Tuesday morning before the Pacers met Detroit in Game 6