The Eastern Conference is about to get a whole lot more competitive at the top once a reported trade of Luis Scola to the Pacers comes to fruition.
Yahoo Sports reported earlier that the Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns are in the late stages of negotiations of a deal that would send the 33-year-old veteran forward to the Pacers in exchange for Gerald Green and possibly a draft pick or picks.
UPDATE: The deal is for Green, Miles Plumlee, and a lottery-protected 2014 first-round pick, according to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
How will this tip the balance of power in the East?
Well, we already saw this spring how dominant the Pacers can be with their fearsome twosome of Roy Hibbert and David West along the front line. The New York Knicks couldn’t contain those two in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and it took the eventual champion Miami Heat seven games to dispatch the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals when the primary backup at the power forward position was Tyler Hansbrough.
But Hansbrough (who has since signed with Toronto) averaged only 12.7 minutes during the playoffs, and Ian Mahinmi logged only 8.3 minutes as the backup center behind Hibbert.
Scola has the ability to play either power forward or center, and he possesses one of the most polished low-post offensive repertoires of any big man in the league. The Suns acquired him on a waiver claim after he was amnestied by the Houston Rockets, and he has two years remaining on his contract.
If this trade goes through, you can put the Pacers right up there with the Brooklyn Nets as the team that has improved the most during the offseason. Remember, they also signed Chris Copeland away from the Knicks, and they reached into Brooklyn to sign C.J. Watson as the new backup behind George Hill at point guard, replacing D.J. Augustin.