can be aggressive
Historically, the Pacers don’t make significant deals mid-season, but that could change this season. They have not undergone a comprehensive reconstruction as they have chosen the lottery in recent memory. The highest pick in the past 20 years was the 10th overall pick in 2010, which they made Paul George. They have been able to keep in touch with several All-Star players on friendly contracts with the team which have kept them flexible throughout these years.
Led core Malcolm BrogdonAnd Miles Turner, And Dumantas Sabonis It appears to have peaked two years ago. If they had a top 10 player on the list, their current core would be one of the best supporting actors around. Their slide to 17-31 explains why everyone on their list is available for discussion. Brogdon is the only one from the group ineligible to trade this season due to the extension that he has signed.
However, it is unclear exactly which direction they are heading and what exactly they are looking for in exchange for the veterans. Do they want to turn these players into similarly talented players who fit better on the team in order to remain competitive? Or do they want to extract as much value as possible while focusing on the future?
The answer may be a bit of both. There is a path where they can extract future first round picks from one player while they get a veteran player who can now help out with another player. Jake Fisher reports that the Pacers are seeking first-round compensation Karis Levert. One such framework that could make sense is the expiration of a contract Ricky Rubio The winner of the 2022 first round of the Cavaliers Protected Championship is selected by the Levert Lottery.
Who the Pacers trades between Sabonis or Turner will likely depend on what they can get for them. Sabonis should get two All-Star offers with two years left of his deal on much stronger offers than Turner. Their preference might be to have a forward stepping power like Ben SimmonsAnd Pascal Siakam, or John Collins to Turner. While such players would complete Sabonis, the Turner Market might be first-round picks or recent lottery picks instead.
Having just one salary from Sabonis, Turner or LeVert for next season could put Indiana in a position to generate $20 million in cap space. If cover space is a priority, stay away from role players like TJ McConnellAnd Tori Craig, And Justin Holiday That would help as well. The Pacers have three business exceptions of $7.3 million, $4 million and $2.3 million, but they are unlikely to be used because they are only $2.2 million less than the luxury tax. The simplest step they can take to increase their flexibility this season is trading Jeremy Lamb Contract expiration for a team with a large enough commercial exception such as Oklahoma City or Orlando.