Pacers get Collison, Posey in 4-way deal (AP)

Aug 11th, 2010 | By sportsnews | Category: Sports

INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Larry Bird always said he wouldn’t rush the rebuilding of
the Indiana Pacers.

He stuck to his word, and it paid off. He waited until all the free agency
hype died down before delivering one of the biggest moves for his franchise in
years—the acquisition of point guard Darren Collison(notes) from New Orleans—in a
four-way trade that also includes New Jersey and Houston.

“We said at the beginning of the summer that we were going to be patient
and don’t make drastic moves just to make a move,” Bird said. “We have a plan
here. It’s a three-year plan, and I expect to get the job done in three years.”

The term rebuilding might no longer apply now that the Pacers have added the
22-year-old Collison to a core that includes forward Danny Granger(notes) and center
Roy Hibbert(notes).

“I think it helps out tremendously,” Bird said. “I think this was the
piece that we needed. The vision I have for this franchise is to get the core
group up and ready to go as quick as we can, and this piece here will accelerate
everything.”

The Pacers also announced Wednesday they have dealt Troy Murphy(notes) to the Nets,
who sent guard Courtney Lee(notes) to Houston. To complete the trade, the Rockets
shipped swingman Trevor Ariza(notes) to New Orleans.

Indiana also got James Posey(notes) from New Orleans in the deal.

The Pacers were searching for a point guard because T.J. Ford(notes) fell out of
favor last season with coach Jim O’Brien. The Pacers get a good young one in
Collison, who played well when Chris Paul(notes) was injured. He averaged 12.4 points
and 5.7 assists as a rookie last season, including 18.8 points and 9.1 assists
in 37 starts.

“I didn’t think he’d have the year he had last year,” Bird said. “He’s
solid. He likes to defend. He always could shoot the ball. We think he’s a
complete player.”

The Nets get a good rebounder in the 6-foot-11 Murphy, a New Jersey product
who is an excellent outside shooter for his size. The former first-round pick
from Notre Dame is a career 39 percent shooter from 3-point range. He played in
262 games for the Pacers, with averages of 13.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per
game.

“We are very pleased to add Troy to our roster,” Nets general manager
Billy King said. “He is a quality power forward who has the ability to stretch
the floor, and we feel that he will be a very positive addition to our
frontcourt rotation.”

Posey has spent 11 seasons in the NBA with career averages of 8.8 points and
4.8 rebounds per game. Last season, he averaged 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds. The
cash-strapped Hornets were able to move the remaining two years and more than
$13 million remaining on Posey’s contract.

The Rockets cut salary with the move after re-signing point guard Kyle Lowry(notes)
and power forward Luis Scola(notes), both restricted free agents, and picking up backup
center Brad Miller(notes).

Ariza was due to make about $6.3 million this season, the first of four
years left on his contract. Houston signed Ariza in July 2009, when free agent
Ron Artest(notes) decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said their involvement in the trade was
mostly about the opportunity to get Lee, a 6-5 guard whom they’ve coveted since
the 2008 draft.

“We really target players who we think will fit in well here over time,”
Morey said. “When we got our first chance to acquire him, we were fairly
aggressive to get that done. He’s very versatile.”

The Rockets envisioned the 6-8 Ariza developing into a dependable scoring
threat on the wing. He averaged a career-high 14.9 points in 72 games last
season, but shot 39.4 percent from the field and 33.4 percent from 3-point
range.

“To get something you like, you’ve got to give up something,” Morey said.
“It wasn’t a situation where we were down on Trevor. It was really about that
we think Courtney has a big future.”

Lee, acquired from Orlando on draft night in 2009 in the Vince Carter(notes) deal,
averaged 12.5 points in 71 games for the Nets last season, including 66 starts.
He shot 43.6 percent from the field last season and will likely back up shooting
guard Kevin Martin(notes) with the Rockets.

AP Sports Writers Chris Duncan in Houston and Tom Canavan in Albany, N.Y.,
contributed to this report.

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