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NBA Free Agency: Pacers continue search for answers to roster questions

The next phase of the Pacers rebuild is about to begin with the start of the NBA’s free agency period on Thursday.

Indiana Pacers Introduce Draft Picks Press Conferene Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA Free Agency officially tips off at 6 p.m. ET Thursday evening, although Woj and Shams kick started their reports earlier this week with news of big trades and apparent signings locked and loaded to become official.

While the Pacers have been mentioned in plenty of speculation, mostly for trades, there has been no definitive news reported, aside from the team picking up Oshae Brissett’s option, which wasn’t tied the free agency timing this week.

The Pacers do have plenty of components to be active in this free agency period, even if it isn’t by signing an actual free agent straight up. With several veterans available for trades and cap space to work with, they have options to continue reshaping the future.

And this is certainly about the future.

As it stands today, if you use DraftKings odds to rank NBA teams, the Pacers are 13th (+25000) out of 15 teams to win the East and 24th (+50000) out of 30 to win the NBA title next season. Those odds are certainly impacted by the idea that the Pacers will not have a quick fix nor run it back with the bulk of their vets this season.

During a recent interview on Kevin & Query, Chad Buchanan was asked directly by Jake Query if the Pacers were actively trying to trade Malcolm Brogdon. Buchanan avoided the yes or no answer by speaking highly of Brogdon and what he brings to the team, blah, blah, GM speak which was a long-winded euphemism for YES.

The same question was asked about Myles Turner, which Buchanan again replied to with a long answer, but the first word was NO. However, what Buchanan didn’t say was that the Pacers weren’t willing to trade Turner, even if they weren’t trying to initiate a deal.

Of course, this is true for the whole roster. There isn’t a player that couldn’t be dealt for the right price, but in the reasonable context of where the Pacers stand, the type of deals they make over the next week will set the direction.

The Spurs appeared to throw in their chips on a tanking year for a loaded top of the draft next year when they dealt Dejounte Murray to the Hawks for draft picks. Will the Pacers deal Brogdon and others for players that can help now, or bad contracts and picks that can help fortify the future. Another lottery-bound season doesn’t sound great, but a look at some of the options in the draft is appealing. Can I get an AMEN! (Thompson)!

Another direction which seems in play, is dealing for Deandre Ayton which would have the Pacers paying less for the center position than they did with both Myles and Domas, but still have $30-plus million tied up in a center for a few years. The timing isn’t awful with so many key players still on rookie deals and the salary cap rising. Plus, at 24 (later in July), Ayton would fit right in with the rest of the young players. He’d be fun to watch finish lobs from Haliburton, although he would certainly impact Isaiah Jackson’s usage and growth negatively.

In the latter case, the direction of the team would be more firm than dealing for future picks. Plus, a quality big in the East is far more useful than in the West, currently. Regardless, the Pacers have many decisions and questions to answer before the start of the season and the bulk of those questions will likely be answered during the free agency period over the next week or so.

Stay tuned and share your thoughts on the direction of the Pacers.

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