by Marcel Mutoni

Word is that the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers are in discussions about a possible trade involving oft-injured big man Jermaine O’Neal and oft-injured guard TJ Ford. The Indy Star has the details:

Two people familiar with the situation said the Pacers and Toronto Raptors have discussed trading O’Neal for point guard T.J. Ford and center Rasho Nesterovic, whose contract expires after next season, and possibly Toronto’s first-round pick (No. 17) in Thursday’s draft.

The Raptors would have to include at least one other player, probably with an expiring contract, to make the deal work financially.

While it’s no secret that Ford long ago wore out his welcome in Toronto, is Jermaine O’Neal and his gimpy knees (not to mention, his enormous contract) really the best move for the franchise?

As for the Pacers, while absolutely desperate to get rid of O’Neal, they have even more pressing needs at the point guard spot. Larry Bird doesn’t get as big a kick as you might think out of watching Jamaal Tinsley’s nightly Rucker-style exhibitions.