With the Los Angeles Lakers finishing off the Miami Heat in six games to clinch the title, a season that took almost a full calendar year to finish is finally over, but that doesn’t mean the offseason is ready to begin. Other than the draft and Indiana’s ongoing coaching search, everything else — including the start of free agency and the start of next season — is effectively on hold until the salary cap for 2021 is finalized.
For the Pacers, who have the potential to be active players in the trade market, here’s what the state of flux means for housekeeping decisions, both big and small:
- Earlier in the summer, there were reports that October 17 would be the deadline for qualifying offers, team options, and partial guarantees; however, with the rest of the league calendar still up in the air, that date no longer applies. Previously, for instance, if T.J. McConnell had been on the roster past 3:00 PM on Saturday, that would’ve meant that his $3.5 million salary for next season (which is currently guaranteed for only $1 million) would’ve become fully guaranteed. Likewise, the Pacers also would’ve had until that date to extend a $1.9 million qualifying offer to Alize Johnson. Now, Indiana’s brass will still have to make decisions on the staying power of both players, but the deadline for doing so is TBD.
- In a regular year, with reports circulating that Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner could both be on the move, the Pacers, in theory, could’ve started making trades as soon as the season ended. According to the Indy Star’s J. Michael, Oladipo and the Pacers have “talked a couple times recently,” with the two-time All-Star set to enter a contract year. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a trade is imminent; however, given that the transaction moratorium is still in place, a trade also isn’t possible — at least not yet.
In the meantime, now that the Heat have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, the Pacers can commence with narrowing down their list of coaching candidates, perhaps seeking in-person interviews with Miami’s Dan Craig and Chris Quinn.
Outside of those with ties to the Heat, other names which have been mentioned in reporting as either strong contenders or potential finalists for the vacancy include former Memphis and Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger, Milwaukee assistant Darvin Ham, Toronto assistant Nate Bjorkgren, Pelicans assistant Chris Finch, former NBA point guard Chauncey Billups, and former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni.