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Stein: Pacers Protective Of First Round Pick In Trades

On Thursday, I reported that the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers recently talked about a trade scenario involving guard Jamal Crawford for a 2012 first round pick and guard A.J. Price, with Indiana hesitant to part with its pick because of Crawford's player option for next season. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports on Indiana's outlook on Friday. ------------------------------- The Pacers are the only team in the league with the available salary-cap space to absorb Chris Kaman's contract without sending a player back to New Orleans. They also could benefit hugely from the arrival of a sage like Nash and were an offseason contender to sign Portland's Jamal Crawford, who is already available again via trade. In all those cases, though, sources say Indy is reluctant in the extreme to surrender future first-round picks. It might be different if the Pacers thought they had a good chance of re-signing Nash. But the payoff in the cases of Kaman and Crawford apparently isn't robust enough to get the Pacers (and other teams, for that matter) to part with a pick that has the potential to quickly transform into a quality contributor playing on a favorable rookie contract. ------------------------------- Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star issued a similar report Thursday night. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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