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Pacers do the expected, pick up third-year options on Collison, Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough, Amir Johnson

Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough, left, grabs a rebound from Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

AP

The Pacers are counting on Darren Collison and Tyler Hansbrough to be part of the future in Indiana, so picking up the third year of their rookie contracts are no brainers.

That’s just what the Pacers officially did Monday, meaning both players will be part of the team through the end of the 2011-12 season. Hansbrough will make $2.1 million next season, Collison $1.5, both part of their rookie deals.

The Pacers are well positioned for the future, with just $25 million on the books after this season season, with the big contracts of Mike Dunleavy and Jeff Foster coming off the books (and they are potential trade bait). However the new Collective Bargaining Agreement shakes out they should be in position to go out and get a free agent or two to speed the rebuilding process along.