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Survey Says: NBA GMs not yet set on Pacers’ reset

With the Pacers hitting reset from last season, the league’s decision-makers aren’t yet set on the vision.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

It’s that time of the NBA calendar again when the league’s general managers respond to a bunch of questions, as compiled by’s John Schuhmann, about the best players, teams, coaches, and offseason moves. For the Pacers, who are selling their vision instead of wins as the season approaches, the hope is that their young core can provide reason for optimism about the future. As of now, though, it doesn’t seem as though the league’s decision-makers are completely sold, at least not by comparison to other teams.

In one category, the GMs were asked which team has the “most promising young core.” The Pacers didn’t receive any votes, as the Cleveland Cavaliers (41%), Memphis Grizzlies (38%), and Detroit Pistons (10%) landed among the top-three, with the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Orlando Magic earning honorable mention.

When speaking to the media at the end of last month, Kevin Pritchard referenced the development plan of Memphis, as far as being a team that built through the draft and is now positioned to be “a power house,” as he termed it, for the next several years.

Individually, Tyrese Haliburton received votes in the category “Which player is most likely to have a breakout season,” but GMs aren’t expecting him to make the same level of impression as other second and third-year players who dominated the category, including Evan Mobley (21%), Cade Cunningham (17%), and Anthony Edwards (17%).

Bennedict Mathurin, meanwhile, earned honorable mention as to “Which rookie will be the best player in five years,” as well as “biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft,” but also didn’t manage to crack the top spots in either category. Outside of those two, no other members from Indiana’s 25-and-under club registered anywhere on the survey.

“We’re developing a core,” Pritchard told the media. “People ask me all the time, ‘Do you have a core?’ ‘Yeah, maybe. Maybe not. But, we’re getting closer.’”

As for the veteran members of the team, Myles Turner, who is still only 26 years old, got completely shut out in the “best interior defender” category, perhaps shedding some light on the current state of his trade market, while also reflecting the impact of being out of sight, out of mind at the end of last season.

On the bright side, Rick Carlisle still scored somewhat favorably in the coaching categories, earning votes for “running the best offense” and “ best in-game adjustments.”

Overall, though, in a season that isn’t trending to be about optimizing winning in the playoffs as much as growing young talent, it seems as though the Pacers will have a lot to prove — both to themselves, as far as discovering what they have in their young core, as well as to the rest of the league in terms of how the players on their roster are valued.