Q. Larry, you’ve had a lot of prominent big guys (work out), McGee, Jordan, Hibbert now and Arthur; how do you break down and analyze that group?
A. “They’re all very talented big guys. This (Darrell) Arthur is a man. He’s good. The other guys played very well. Obviously, he didn’t play against the other guys. They were all here together but Arthur’s probably got the most skill of any of them. There’s no question.”
That makes me think he's targeting Arthur.[/quote]
I love the games these teams play with each other, which is what I think this is. In this case, I think Larry might be playing a mind game with Sacramento.
It is rumored (although this could all be smoke as well) that Sacramento worked out Arthur and loved him, and gave him a promise at #12 that he won't slip past them. I believe I read that Arthur promptly canceled workouts with teams picking after Sacramento after he met with the Kings brass.
Assuming this is true, and that I am correct in thinking Larry actually has zero interest in Arthur, then it is logical for Larry to put this story out publically, to make the Kings wonder if they will really get their man. In Bird's mind, the ideal scenario would be for Sacramento to feel they have to make a deal with either the Pacers themselves (maybe get a second rounder from the Kings, or more likely get some cash), or for the Kings to feel they have to move up past the Pacers in order to get Arthur, moving up to make a deal with perhaps Charlotte at #9 (I still think they want Rush, although I could be totally wrong) or with New Jersey at #10.
If that would work and Sacramento does move up past us and takes Arthur, then that is one less spot we'd have to worry about a team taking the player we REALLY want, whomever that might be.
It would be classic cloak and dagger NBA style, and I have no doubt that Larry's statement was carefully planned out just to create the kind of discussion it is creating.
At least, that's what I'd be doing if I was in charge.