The Indiana Pacers could be surprising sellers on the trade market

Indiana Pacers, Justin Holiday - Credit: Carmen Mandato/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Justin Holiday - Credit: Carmen Mandato/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers do not have a reputation as one of the most aggressive front offices in pursuing trades and marquee names, but given their abundance of tradeable bargain contracts, that script could change this season.

Indy’s restraint in handing out lucrative contracts has resulted in the franchise boasting one of the more well-rounded and balanced payrolls in the association. The Pacers are known for their safe and economical approach in exhausting their cap options.

While fans could see this as small-market thinking, and it certainly is, the front office’s guarded disposition in this regard could eventually push them to become surprising sellers on the trade market, notwithstanding their win-now direction.

The Indiana Pacers could be surprisingly active as sellers on the trade market this season

Now, why would Indiana even consider dangling away their pieces on reasonable contracts, you say? Well, if the Pacers fail to gain much winning traction this season due to either persistent injuries or inconsistent on-court play, liquidating some of their expiring assets to maximize their value and properly assess the team’s legitimate building blocks will be a much-welcome move, especially in light of yet another weak free agency class.

In fact, IF healthy (well, that’s a humongous if), Indiana has more than enough cushion with its personnel to trim the fat while remaining competitive. Assuming that both Caris LeVert and TJ Warren return at some point, the Pacers would have a logjam in the wing positions, a spot where the team could easily have the most tradeable pieces, furthered by Chris Duarte’s ascent.

Jeremy Lamb, who has mightily struggled to begin the season and is on an expiring deal, may be an attractive rental for clubs in need of some second unit scoring who have the defensive personnel to mask his deficiencies.

Justin Holiday, whose heady 3-and-D play as a veteran, could easily fetch interesting offers for the Pacers if made available, a possibility that could gain more momentum amidst the Blue and Gold’s positional overlaps on the roster.

To push things to the near extreme, Warren could be the league’s most attractive rental player, again, if available, if he struggles to coalesce with Indiana’s new pecking order and injuries continuously nag him. Championship contenders would certainly receive an instant boost on both ends from having him around. Better yet, returns for him should be relatively generous.

While it is way too early for premature takes, especially on player movement, with the trade deadline still far away, the Indiana Pacers should have a lot of options available for them to be active in the trade market this season in contrast to previous years, giving the front office ample leeway to assess the roster and plan better for the foreseeable future.

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