Entering his third season with full control of the Pacers’ basketball operations Larry Bird recently netted his first big victory.

Larry Bird's first big move this offseason was a good one, dumping Murphy's expiring deal and acquiring a talented, young point guard. We'll see if he can work any more magic.

With salary cap freedom on the horizon, Bird has to be careful in trading away the big, juicy expiring contracts the Pacers possess.

Bird wisely dumped one of those contracts last week, dealing away Troy Murphy in a four-team deal and acquiring Darren Collison and James Posey from the New Orleans Hornets in return.

Since joining the Pacers Murphy has been consistent, productive and the team’s best post player.

However, Murphy was gone after this season and the Pacers now have something to show for him in Collison and Posey.

Collison is the central figure of this deal. He’s a dynamic point guard that started 37 games in place of the injured Chris Paul during his rookie season last year. In those games he averaged 18.8 points and 9.1 assists while shooting 48.5 percent from the field.

Collison is in his rookie contract which will only average about $1.7 million per year over the next three seasons.

Posey is a different story. The 33 year-old swingman is past his prime and overpaid but it’s a manageable contract. He’s owed about $6.5 million this year and $7 million next season.

Posey is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, but should fit in nicely in Jim O’Brien’s system that can never get enough 3-point shooters.

Taking on Posey’s contract was well worth acquiring the team’s potential point guard of the future.

It has been a rough tenure in the Pacers' front office for Larry Bird but he's finally making some positive progress in rebuilding the team.

The Pacers now have three clear pieces to build around in Collison, Danny Granger, and Roy Hibbert. It’s unclear if Tyler Hansbrough can become another building block as he continues to battle vertigo.

Now Bird will test the market for the Pacers’ remaining expiring contracts, but getting something in return won’t be as easy.

Mike Dunleavy ($10.5 million), T.J. Ford ($8.5 million), and Jeff Foster ($6.7 million) were all significantly less productive than Murphy last season. All have injury issues and Ford didn’t try at times last season, landing him in O’Brien’s doghouse.

Bird won’t find another team willing to give up Collison-like talent for any of those guys. The best move might be to let the contracts expire. He’ll certainly have offers on the table as time passes.

So far so good.