Among the immediate concerns for the Indiana Pacers heading into the Eastern Conference finals against Miami is the state of David West's right calf. One of the longer-term worries, though, is West's forthcoming free agency.

The Pacers' veteran leader openly loves his situation in Indiana, which certainly gives Indy justified cause for optimism when it comes to re-signing the 32-year-old this summer. Yet the whispers are already swirling that Chris Paul's Los Angeles Clippers, in particular, are going to make a hard run at West in the offseason.

Indy will certainly have the ability to pay West more to convince its locker-room sage to stay, given that the Clips would presumably have to structure an offer with the $5.15 million midlevel exception available to non-tax teams. But you have to figure that the former Hornet -- who rose to All-Star prominence playing alongside CP3 -- is going to want to hear the details of a proposal pitching a reunion with his old point guard ... as long as Paul himself, of course, has decided to stay. If Paul re-signs with the Clips as most league insiders continue to expect, L.A. will then be seeking to add the final piece or two to cement itself as a contender with some staying power.

Yet it has to give Indy's brass some reassurance when it hears West say things like he did in the wake of the New York series when he described the Pacers as "the most together group I've ever been a part of."