Indiana Pacers: Goga Bitadze’s possible ascendance could be massive for offseason

Goga Bitadze - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Goga Bitadze - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

If Indiana Pacers big Goga Bitadze‘s production is on the uptick, it could have some hefty implications regarding the roster this offseason.

The Indiana Pacers have quite a bit on the agenda for this upcoming offseason, and just plenty of questions to answer regarding the construction of this roster. The consensus number one question is simply: What should we do with the Turner-Sabonis pairing?

The solution to the debacle of unfit big men could be found easier if second-year big, and former 2019 18th overall pick Goga Bitadze, continues to showcase his promising skillset in what should be a massive minute opportunity thanks to the injuries suffered by both members of the Turbonis duo.

With Myles Turner realistically out for the rest of the season with a torn toe, Goga should be counted on the be the starting center thanks to the surrounding roster lacking size and Goga’s own aforementioned potential shine through.

What does Goga Bitadze add to the Indiana Pacers?

Sure, Goga’s shooting percentages aren’t always the best to look at from a game-to-game basis, but one thing that does flow through each game is his effort and the real skill Goga has as a rim protector. He may not be Myles Turner, but the 6-foot-11 21-year old who plays at 250 pounds with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a truly natural feel for the game is still a very legitimate presence at the rim on both sides of the court.

He may not have shot incredibly well in the recent loss to the San Antonio Spurs, (he shot 1-7 from the field), but Goga snatched himself five rejections and stepped up as the rim guardian that the team sorely lacks without Myles.

Bitadze has shown the ability to be a plus shot blocker for a while now, and he also adds a lot of physicality to the game as he is a genuine rebounding force and the man’s screens can be just downright mean. If Goga’s promising shooting form can transform itself into tangible stretch-big capabilities, he could carve out some real minutes as a starter for the now and future, especially if he shows enough value to warrant trading one of the Turbonis boys.

What does this even mean for the future?

Goga’s hypothetical emergence would be massive from an asset acquisition perspective for the Indiana Pacers. Like I said before if Goga can be a better fit next to one of the big men, or even allows you to feel confident to have him coming right off the bench to give what would be a single-big with wing lineups a breather, it’d still be valuable.

Trading a player like Domantas Sabonis could in turn yield the Indiana Pacers assets to create a real team for the future to build next to players like Edmond Sumner, Goga Bitadze, and Oshae Brissett. I get flack for this comparison, but if the Orlando Magic got loaded for trading a 31-year old Nikola Vucevic, you have to wonder what Domantas Sabonis would yield from the trade market.

That being said, Goga granting the Indiana Pacers a “safety net” to trade a productive big like Sabonis could be huge for a Pacers team that’s trying to build a more modern and balanced NBA roster.

Wings are almost always going to be more important and valuable to NBA teams, and trading Sabonis for an elite wing process would be absolutely massive for a perimeter-dominated Nate Bjorkgren offense.

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