Indiana Pacers: 4 realistic free agents to target with the MLE

Alec Burks - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Alec Burks - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Although the Indiana Pacers are virtually absent in NBA circles after failing to qualify for the playoffs, the team exacted some surprising fireworks after hiring former coach Rick Carlisle, who is back with the Blue and Gold in his second stint with the franchise following his tumultuous exit from the Dallas Mavericks.

As we have mentioned here before, the hiring signifies and guarantees that the Pacers, despite a turbulent campaign this year, will attempt to extend their competitive lifespan by proving that it was coaching, and not a defective roster, that propelled the team towards a failed season after failing to crack the postseason for the first time in six years.

The Indiana Pacers will have limited options in free agency

While hiring Carlisle is a bold win-now move, considering Indiana’s well-backed itch for continuity and belief that a healthy roster could lead the team to uncharted waters, a significant roster overhaul may very well be out of the woods, at least heading into the next season. After all, it was the Pacers’ rock-solid core, at least in a theoretical, injury-free circumstance, which majorly led to the veteran coach going back to Indy.

Barring a significant trade, which is unlikely, the Indiana Pacers will be bannering a roster filled with familiar faces. Luckily, since the team is still below the luxury tax apron despite being hard-capped, the front office can maneuver around free agency by plucking out players with the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception worth more than nine million. Here are four players that the team should consider signing with the MLE.