Indiana Pacers NBA Trade Deadline Update

Indiana Pacers NBA Trade Deadline

The Indiana Pacers have been one of the most underperforming teams in the NBA during the 2021-22 NBA season and now they are a hot topic at the NBA trade deadline. While no one expected them to be world-beaters, sneaking into the playoffs as a No. 7 or No. 8 seed was not out of the question. Instead, Indiana is 13th in the Eastern Conference, only in front of the two worst teams in the NBA (Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic.) There is not one particular area that you can point to and blame for the Pacers’ poor season: it’s every single thing about the team and organization that is not working.

Let’s be more specific. Here’s a list of issues: ownership, front office, coaching, chemistry, injuries, and motivation. It should be embarrassing for a team with as much talent as the Pacers to be 19-34. Sabonis and Turner have failed to co-exist at all, while LeVert has not maximized his potential, and Brogdon can’t stay on the floor. If there is anything to be excited about as Pacers fans, it’s the play of rookies Isaiah Jackson, Chris Duarte, and Duane Washington Jr. The direction of this team is crystal clear. They should build a young, high-ceiling team with these guys involved and trade everyone else.

Players On the Block:

  • Domantas Sabonis
  • Caris LeVert
  • Myles Turner
  • Malcolm Brodgon
  • Justin Holiday
  • Jeremy Lamb

Pacers Will Not Move:

  • Chris Duarte
  • Isaiah Jackson
  • Duane Washington Jr.

Potential Indiana Pacers Trades

Several rumored trade talks have been with the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Wizards. One of the most talked-about trades for a while was the possible exchange of Domantas Sabonis for De’Aaron Fox. Likely, there would have been more involved than just those two players, as the Pacers’ asking price is astronomically high. A third team could have been involved, too; however, those trade talks fizzled out like left-out soda.

Since those trade talks came up, the Kings have been freefalling, and it’s clear that most of their team is not bought in the long-term. It may be in the best interest of these two teams to go ahead with the deal, knowing that the direction they are both going in will not work out. Another trade that sources at least mentioned was between the Pacers and Wizards. Washington has several younger players and enough draft capital to trade for a player like Sabonis.

One of the ideas was trading Deni Avdija, Thomas Bryant, Rui Hachimura, and a first-round pick for Domantas Sabonis. Based on the rumors surrounding the Pacers, they want substantially more for not only Sabonis but their other players, too. It seems that the “Daryl Morey syndrome” of unrealistic expectations has seeped from the east coast to the mid-west and contaminated the minds of Kevin Pritchard and company. That is more than a fair trade for Sabonis, who has played at an All-Star level but is not a long-term fit in Indy. So why are the Pacers dragging their feet so much on this?

There surely won’t be better offers out there. Indiana should be learning from Philadelphia, who is wasting one of Joel Embiid’s prime years for the sake of vanity and an “I told you so” to Ben Simmons. Another source came out and said that the Pacers were potentially looking for two first-round picks for Caris LeVert, which is quite steep. LeVert is not far removed from a lower back injury, and that alone could scare teams away. Think about Michael Porter Jr; he just got a $200 million contract but has been out with a significant back injury this season. That is not a position you want to be in as an NBA franchise. While there’s no way that LeVert could command that type of salary or carry that much importance, it does dampen his trade value ever so slightly.

Lastly, the Pacers have been in talks to move Myles Turner. Here’s the fundamental problem: he is injured. To make matters worse, it is one of the injuries that potential suitors do not want to see in big men. Anytime bigs obtain knee, hip, or feet injuries, there is a collective holding of breath from suitors as well as a hesitancy to part with assets. More than likely, we will not see the Pacers make any significant moves before the trade deadline, and that will kill any energy towards this team that may be left.

What The Pacers Will End Up Doing?

Let’s call it like it is: there will either be a minor move, like trading Justin Holiday for two second-round picks, or no move at all for the Indiana Pacers. They are entirely too stubborn, and unless someone is breathing down Pritchard’s neck (no one is), it’s hard to imagine substantial moves being made from the Pacers. This may be one of the more passive and calm trade deadlines that we have seen in quite a while. Most teams that are contenders will make minor moves, while the teams in the middle have accepted their position. The teams at the bottom are all in rebuilding mode, except for the Indiana Pacers.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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