Murphy the center of trade talk

Veteran big man is not a certainty to leave Indianapolis

By Mike Wells

The NBA’s Feb. 18 trade deadline is less than three weeks away and the
Indiana Pacers are actively working the phones trying to salvage a
disappointing season.

The player that most likely could be moved before the deadline is forward Troy Murphy.

Murphy is one of several players who have been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"It’s a business and I understand there’s a possibility that I could be moved," Murphy said. "I can’t get away from the ongoing rumors because Travis (Diener) is right next to me (in the locker room) and he is always informing me of what’s being talked about."

A possible snag in moving Murphy is the uncertain return dates of rookie Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster.

Hansbrough is out indefinitely with an inner ear infection. He has missed 14 of the past 18 games. It’s unknown when Foster, who faced the possibility of being traded, will return from his sore lower back. He has not played since Dec. 19.

Moving Murphy without getting a power forward back in return will make the Pacers thin at that position.

The Pacers aren’t against acquiring long-term contracts if they think that player fits into their future because the team is expected to be way under the salary cap after the 2010-11 season.

Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said last week that there was not "any doubt" that the team planned to try to move point guard T.J. Ford.

Trading Ford is easier said than done.

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