Indiana Pacers: 3 Possible Fallouts in Missing the Playoffs

Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers NBA Draft
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The Indiana Pacers Will Get Aggressive in the Draft

If the Indiana Pacers fail to net quality returns for the players whom they are willing to deal in the trading block, the front office may try to get creative and leverage their present to build for the future while remaining competitive by being aggressive on draft day.

It is no secret that the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft figures to be one of the deepest ones in recent years. From the likes of Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, and Jonathan Kuminga, the talent in the looming draft will prompt teams to deal more actively than before.

There are no guarantees in the NBA draft, but given the Indiana Pacers’ failure to get over the hump in the past six years, they may be better off taking a bet on one of these prized prospects, even if it means giving up multiple key cogs in return.

However, even if the Pacers fail to qualify for the playoffs, they will only be picking in the late lottery. If they are gunning for a better draft acquisition, they would have to part with a key player and their own selection in order to trade up. But even that may not suffice. In reality, Indiana does not have a player who can easily move the needle to get a top three pick in return, especially with the loads of promise shown by the draft prospects.

One team to monitor however, is the Minnesota Timberwolves, though the lottery needs to be good to them and end up in the top three for them to keep their pick and avoid losing it to Golden State (via the D’Angelo Russell trade last season). While still a bottom-dweller in the league, the T-Wolves figure to be buyers in the summer, since they may be desperate to finally build a competitive core around Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and Russell. One or two of the Pacers’ big guns may be enough for them to bag their high draft pick, as well as another quality player, though salary-matching may be tough.

Ultimately, if the Pacers commit to a competitive rebuild in the draft, a boisterous deal is necessary. It may be a gamble, but in the grand scheme of things, parting with a combination of  Sabonis, Turner or Brogdon to get Mobley or Suggs to gear up for the future may benefit a franchise that has been too conservative on the rebuild front.