Discord in Indiana/Trade chatter
By Chris Broussard
Indiana Pacers brass is not pleased with the performance of head coach Jim O'Brien, according to several league sources.
That said, O'Brien, who is in the last year of his contract, is likely to remain as coach the rest of the season. Part of the reason is that no one on O'Brien's staff -- Dan Burke, Frank Vogel, Jay DeFruscio, Vitaly Potapenko Walter McCarty -- is viewed as a suitable replacement.
One complaint about O'Brien is the strange way he divvies up minutes: Tyler Hansbrough plays 36 minutes one night, posting 23 points and 12 rebounds, and just 23 the next; Paul George plays 21 minutes one night, four the next.
GM David Morway could also be in trouble after the season, and league scuttlebutt has former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard as a likely replacement. Pritchard was close to being hired as the replacement for Rod Thorn in New Jersey, but the Nets, of course, settled on Billy King.
Teams reconsider trading for Melo
The Knicks' timetable for trading Anthony Randolph could be pushed back a week or so because of New Jersey's pulling out of the Carmelo Anthony chase, sources said.
The likeliest trading partners for Randolph have been Minnesota and Indiana, both of whom would take him for a first-round pick that the Knicks in turn would put in a trade package for Anthony. But there's a possibility the Nuggets may be interested in Randolph as a player.
Sources also say sentiment around the league that Anthony will sign with New York is so strong that many teams that have been willing to trade for Anthony as a rental are now reconsidering. For instance, the Rockets have long been willing to deal for Anthony without his signing a contract extension, hoping they could convince him to stay in Houston long-term. But if the Rockets feel their chances of convincing him are slim, they're not going to offer much, if anything.
While Anthony certainly wants to sign the three-year, $65 million contract extension with the Knicks, several sources close to the Nuggets superstar tell me he's willing to play out the season in Denver (or Houston, etc.) and sign with New York as a free agent, even if it means taking less money under the new collective bargaining agreement. Anthony understands he can make up at least some of the money in New York through endorsements.
Even if it doesn't get Anthony, the Rockets are expected to make a move. Carl Landry is available in Sacramento and the Rockets do have interest in bringing him back to Houston.
Despite the Cavaliers' poor record, lots of teams are interested in their players, viewing them as guys who can play a solid role on a contending team. If a Cavalier is moved, it's likely to be Anthony Parker.