The Pacers navigated through the eye of the Pelicans/Lakers trade storm on Monday and Tuesday, escaping high and dry with a pair of wins. While both teams extended energy on future drama of wildly reported trade rumors, the Pacers took care of business on the court.
Now the Pacers face the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, two days after the Clips made a move for future by dealing their leading scorer, Tobias Harris to Philly along with a two other role players. In return, the Clips received three players from the Sixers in Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler (who is injured) and Mike Muscala, so cobbling together a playing rotation and game plan for the Pacers will put a strain on Doc Rivers and the team he rolls out to face the Pacers.
Of course, with the trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET before the game, there’s no guarantee the Pacers will be business as usual at tip time. As J. Michael reported last night, the Pacers have been fielding inquiries about Aaron Holiday and there is plenty of buzz about their engagement with Memphis regarding Mike Conley.
Conley is 31, has missed just two games this season while averaging over 20 points and over 6 assists per game. He’s a consistent, team-leading point guard that would benefit the Pacers despite his salary in excess of $30 mil. The Pacers have the space to handle the salary and I haven’t heard of any better (or realistic) ways to fill up the cap space coming their way.
So yes, I would like to see Conley with the Pacers, but not at the fleecing of the team’s young core players (Holiday, Sabonis, Turner). One, maybe...but would prefer to stick to expiring contracts and picks. With the Jazz and Raptors in the mix, as well, the Grizz may be able to keep the price for trading too high.
Kevin Pritchard and co. are not dealing from a position of desperation and have enough assets to strike a deal quickly if they receive the right call before the deadline. But they will also be in the same position heading into the draft and free agency this summer. With Oladipo out, no need to overpay for a deal now, that may still be there this summer.
Stay tuned, should be an interesting day.
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