During what is shaping up to be a mediocrity-ridden season for the Indiana Pacers, passing the NBA trade deadline without any moves towards the future was something close to a disaster.
While I am admittedly a leader in the Kevin Pritchard parade, and won’t be short with my praises for his skill as a GM, his lack of urgency this trade deadline left me, and other Pacers fans alike, with a dastardly taste in our mouths.
The Indiana Pacers had a disastrous trade deadline
This is because of two major phenomena that are currently shaping the future of the league and what should have given the Pacers every reason to sell as hard as possible at the deadline.
The first one is the Brooklyn Nets, and this is because with the formation of one of the most talented big threes in NBA history with the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, and the aforementioned players all being under contract for the next 3 years, the Eastern Conference won’t be truly competing with that team anytime soon.
The second would obviously be the 2021 NBA Draft, and how absolutely star-filled it is. This draft is loaded to the gills with real talent with prospects like super-talents Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. With the Nets being as strong as they are to win now, an older team like the Pacers should be investing as much as it can into the future once Brooklyn has hopefully aged out.
When you also consider the packages that were given to Orlando for their fire sale-like moves of Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic, which netted them Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, Otto Porter, Wendell Carter Jr., and three first-round picks, it’s difficult to see why a team that is richer in assets like the Pacers didn’t cash in on the inpatient teams instead.
If Orlando got all of those picks and young players oozing with potential for basically Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Al-Farouq Aminu, imagine what the Pacers could have gotten out of players like Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, and quality rotational guys like Dougie Buckets, Aaron Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, etc.
It’s reasonable to assume that Chicago would’ve given even more for the much younger Sabonis, and teams like Atlanta would’ve easily mustered a first or even two for Malcolm Brogdon for his leadership and seamless fit with star Trae Young.
I’m not saying the Pacers should trade a young star like Sabonis willy nilly, but if it means having a shot at players like Cade Cunningham or Evan Mobley, it may be the brightest future possible for a 21-23 squad.
In the end, the only player who should’ve been truly unmoveable was Myles Turner, and he was the only one we heard the buzz about once again. If the Pacers don’t genuinely take the initiative in the offseason after seemingly gauging their current roster, it could be a bleak future as Brooklyn runs the East for years, and other teams snag up Superstar talents in the 2021 Draft.