Suns trade Luis Scola to the Pacers for two players, 2014 first rounder

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

Scola only has to defend West in practice now. (USATSI)

Luis Scola only has to defend David West in Pacers' practice now. (USATSI)

The Phoenix Suns and the Indiana Pacers have gone through some significant changes over the past two years. The Suns have gone from a playoff team to a rebuilding project as they prepare for the influx of talent in the 2014 NBA Draft and look to the future. The Pacers have gone from a decent playoff team to a title contender as they've created the best defensive team in the NBA and created all kinds of problems for the Miami Heat in the playoffs the past two seasons.

Those transformations continue today with a trade between the two teams. The Suns will send Luis Scola to the Pacers in exchange for Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green, and a 2014 protected first round pick. The deal adds a bit of salary to the Suns the next two seasons and gives the Pacers a much-needed scoring boost off the bench in the frontcourt. From the Pacers:

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday they have acquired veteran forward/center Luis Scola from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Gerald Green, center Miles Plumlee and a future No. 1 draft pick.

"I'm very, very excited to play for the Pacers,” said Scola. “They are one of the top three teams in the NBA with a good shot to win a championship. I think it's a great team and this is a great opportunity. I can't wait.”

"Luis will be a very important asset to our team and to our bench,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He has NBA experience, international experience and is the type of player that will fit in nicely on our roster. I want to thank Gerald and Miles for their contributions. They had tough years last season, but worked hard, never complained and contributed to the great chemistry our team had. I think Gerald and Miles will be solid additions in Phoenix and we wish them well."

The protection on the 2014 pick is believed to be lottery protected, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

This is a great trade for both sides, fulfilling needs of both teams. After losing backup power forward Tyler Hansbrough to the Toronto Raptors this offseason, the Pacers had a hole at the backup forward position. They signed Chris Copeland to give them an outside threat at the position, but bringing in Luis Scola will give them a great scoring option off the bench that will boost a second unit that struggled to create points last season.

For the Suns, they will now have another first round pick this coming season, assuming the Pacers don't completely fall apart and end up in the lottery. In a draft that is supposed to be loaded with superstars, you're likely to get solid players even at the end of the first round. And the Suns could possibly use their multiple picks, including a high draft pick of their own, to move up in the draft to grab the player they want, if they don't get a Top 3 selection in the lottery.

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