The thought of the Indiana Pacers drafting on potential can be thrown out with this morning's trash.
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird said Tuesday he is looking for impact players, not projects.
"We have to get a player that can help us move this franchise forward," Bird said. "You would like to get a player that can help you this year, and he's going to get better and better so that gives you more options on players if you want to move them."
The Pacers have the 11th and 41st picks in Thursday's draft. Bird reiterated Tuesday he wants to acquire another first-round pick. But there's a stipulation: He wants it in the teens, with 20 being about as low as he'll go.
"Teams are trying to get our pick, swap picks, throw players in it," Bird said. "To say we're going to stand pat at (No.) 11, I can't tell you that, but I like who's going to be there. We have a good chance to get a very special player at 11. It's going to take a lot for me to move back. Moving up, I don't know. I think we can get what we want at 11. We're sitting in a pretty good position."
The Pacers have talked to several teams about trying to obtain another draft pick.
One was the Toronto Raptors.
The teams discussed the possibility of sending forward Jermaine O'Neal to Toronto for point guard T.J. Ford, center Rasho Nesterovic and possibly the Raptors' first-round pick (No. 17).
Bird downplayed the talk.
"We have talked to a number of teams, but to speculate on trades right now, obviously we're getting close to the draft right now," he said. "There are a lot of things we're doing; it's all speculation right now."
The Pacers have plenty of options because every player except Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger is available. Bird said it would be "very hard" for him to move Dunleavy or Granger because he views them as vital.
Bird said he has had "enough" of forward Shawne Williams, and they will trade him if they can get something in return. Williams is on "very thin ice" if they can't find a taker for him, Bird said.
When asked about point guard Jamaal Tinsley, whose future with the franchise is just about sealed, Bird responded, "He's just right below (Williams)."
The Pacers' biggest needs are at point guard and in the post. Several mock drafts have the Pacers taking Texas point guard D.J. Augustin with their first pick. Augustin's size (6-0) will factor into their decision.
Bird spoke highly of Georgetown center Roy Hibbert, a 7-2 shot-blocker. Bird likes his experience and said he is capable of contributing immediately.
Bird said the Pacers plan to take the best player available, regardless of position.
"Obviously we would like to have a big guy and a point guard," Bird said, "but if there's somebody else out there that we feel can help us going forward with this franchise and we can't pass on him, we'll take him."