T.J. Ford just wants to play

Jeff Rabjohns

T.J. Ford is approaching the possibility he could be traded by the
Indiana Pacers in the next month as part of the business of the NBA.

The starting point guard earlier in the season, Ford has been benched
and hasn’t played since Dec. 30 as Pacers coach Jim O’Brien has elected
to go with Earl Watson as the starter and rookie A.J. Price as the

"The ball’s in their court," Ford said when asked what he thought about a trade possibly coming before the end of the season. "Definitely, I want to play. If I’m not going to play here, if I can go somewhere else and play, then of course."

Before Friday’s game in Detroit, O’Brien was asked if there is a possibility the Pacers could move Ford before the Feb. 18 trading deadline.

"I don’t think there’s any doubt," O’Brien said. "He’s a quality point guard. He could really help another franchise."

Ford said he has not discussed a trade with Pacers management — "I’m not looking to trade T.J.,” Pacers president Larry Bird said Saturday night — and hasn’t been told his benching is for the rest of the season.

"It’s a business," Ford said. "It is what it is. I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to do since I’m still on the roster. I’m healthy. I still get my workouts in, my conditioning in. I stay ready.

"If they trade me, they’ll trade me on their own will and power. I haven’t said anything. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing."

Ford makes $8.5 million this season and has a player option for $8.5 million next year.


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