The NBA trade deadline hits this Thursday (Feb. 10) at 3 p.m. ET which will put an end to the endless chatter about the Pacers altering their roster, at least until the summer trade season ramps it up again.
Reports and rumors of the Pacers engaging in trade considerations for several big name players, including Myles Turner, Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis, have been easy to find over the past six weeks or so via stories from many national NBA writers and podcasts filled with speculation on how contenders may bolster their lineups and the Pacers may blow theirs up.
The circumstances surrounding the Pacers have been dynamic through all of this chatter, as well. COVID protocols and injuries have put several young players into prominent roles in the Pacers rotation and a few have stood out as quality rotation guys, who could bring great value off the bench at a much lower salary cap hit than say, veterans Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday.
But the week for the Pacers begins in Cleveland on Sunday evening where the Pacers play a Cavaliers team that is exceeding expectation and is a prime candidate to bolster their rotation for the playoffs. The Pacers just happen to have the perfect guy in Caris LeVert to fill that role and LeVert certainly showed what he can do in his last game, putting up 42 points on the Chicago Bulls.
LeVert would be a perfect sixth-man type player for any contender, adding an offensive jolt to a reserve lineup, as long as he buys into the role he would need to play. The Cavs have injured Ricky Rubio’s contract to match salaries and could throw in a young player like Isaac Okoro and a draft pick. The value of the draft pick may be the most important part of such a deal.
But for now we wonder if a deal will be made, not what the deal will be. The Pacers play the Cavs at home again on Friday. Which team will LeVert be playing for on Friday? Will he even leave Cleveland tonight?
That’s just the first of many trade deadline storylines to follow. Again, with the recent play of emerging rotation role players like Duane Washington Jr., Isaiah Jackson, Terry Taylor, Lance Stephenson, Oshae Brissett to name a few, the Pacers have a chance to reshape their roster and salary cap to move into the future even if they don’t want to use the terms rebuild, reshape, blow up, tear down.
Use whatever euphemism you want to make you feel better, but the Pacers are in good position to continue entertaining fans this year with the young talent while setting themselves up for a much better future by making moves before the deadline and/or before the draft this summer.
Now they just have to do it.
What deals would you like to see the Pacers make?
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