Over the past few days, the Pacers moved five players, brought back four players who will play and one player (Ricky Rubio) who is out for the season and has an expiring contract. That creates some long-term cap room for the Pacers, but in the short-term the Pacers will save about $400,000 (as explained by Tony East) and avoid tax penalties while also getting much younger.
The last move which helped clean up the cap was sending veteran Torrey Craig to the Suns for a second-round pick and Jalen Smith. Shortly after the trade was announced, Jake Fischer initially reported that the Pacers would try to reroute Smith, but obviously that didn’t happen before the deadline passed. That may indicate that the Pacer don’t expect to re-sign Smith after this season, but for now he may be able to add some depth to the front court, at least until Myles Turner returns.
As for the signature pieces of the Pacers trades, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson practiced with the team on Thursday and plan to play on Friday. There is certainly a benefit to having three players who know how to play together and, as Tristan Thompson mentioned, are pretty close as teammates.
All three, certainly won the press conference as they met the local media for the first time. In fact, Haliburton was incredible, oozing plenty of positive energy while also opening up about dealing with the stunning fact that he was traded. He already sounds like a seasoned vet and it doesn’t take much effort to see how he will become a fan favorite in no time.
Here is his interview from practice on Thursday:
Before you hit the links, here is a solid TJ Warren sighting.
TJ Warren returned to playing one-on-one about 2 weeks ago.— Olivia Ray (@OliviaRayWISH) February 10, 2022
Coach Carlisle calls Malcolm Brogdon “continuing to be close” (right Achilles).
Here they are with Buddy Hield at #Pacers practice | @WISH_TV pic.twitter.com/dp8Lshj74q
Check out the links: