Talks between the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers about a trade that would have included Jermaine O’Neal and T.J. Ford fell apart on Monday afternoon, a league executive with knowledge of the negotiations said.
For the past two days, Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo had been pushing the idea of sending Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and the No. 17 pick in Thursday’s draft for O’Neal. For a few hours on Monday, there was a sense that the deal was close, but ultimately concerns over the damaged state of O’Neal and Ford were too much to consummate the trade.
The Pacers were concerned about Ford’s future with his past neck injuries, but were willing to start rebuilding without O’Neal and the $44 million owed him over the next two years. O’Neal played just 42 games a year ago, because of a left knee injury.
The trade would have given Indiana the 11th and 17th picks in the draft, allowing Indiana to take a point guard and a forward. The Raptors have been one of the league’s most active teams in trying to move up in the draft, and they’ve made no secret about their desire to move Ford and make restricted free agent Jose Calderon the point guard of the future.