As reported earlier, the Indiana Pacers have acquired Forward Rakeem Christmas from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Christmas last played for Syracuse as a senior in college. He averaged 17.5 points per game (Second in the ACC in conference play), boasted a career 56 percent line over his college career and was second in the conference in blocks per game with 2.5.
My immediate reaction is....why hello there. What's not to like about him? Christmas stands at 6'9 and weighs in at 250 pounds. The Pacers were looking for more physicality and they found it in this young man. He brings in a size advantage in the weight game that cannot be matched by other forwards on the team (Paul George weighs 220 and is same height, Jordan Hill is taller by an inch and comes in at 235). For what the Pacers paid (a second round pick in 2019), I think this could be a great deal. Low risk trade with the chance to find a physical presence off the bench. Part of me really wants him to materialize into a star just for the NBA on Christmas commercials...let the puns begin. The Pacers have had a noisy and productive offseason thus far with the signing of Monta Ellis, the trade of Roy Hibbert, the drafting of Myles Turner and the signing of Jordan Hill. Add Christmas to the list and the roster is starting to take its form. Lots of young talent...but will it materialize?
Sound off in the comments below! What do you think of this trade from the Pacers? What do you think of the offseason moves from the front office so far? I'll be involved in the conversation as well. Til next time Indy Cornrows!