The Indiana Pacers look towards a rebuild as the team gets off to a rocky 10-16 start and T.J. McConnell could be out for the season. Will T.J. Warren remain a Pacer?
A report from The Athletic dropped Dec. 7th detailing that the Indiana Pacers are looking at a rebuild. The report shares that Caris LeVert, Myles Turner, or Domantas Sabonis are potential trade options for the team.
Since signing an extension with the Pacers a few months ago, Malcolm Brogdon is unable to be traded this season.
Domantas Sabonis is averaging 17.9 points, 12 rebounds, and 4.1 assists this season and coming off a 30 point double-double in last night’s win versus the Washington Wizards.
Sabonis has been the Pacers’ two-time All-Star with good reason. This year, however, it seems as if they can’t figure out how to get the ball to the right place at the right time.
“Turbonis” as it were, has worked about as well as the most recent Star Wars trilogy – looked great for fans of the “characters”, but the execution isn’t practical, for a Rick Carlisle offense.
Indiana is looking for a new hope.
As for Myles Turner – he’s been fantastic this season. Shooting 53.3% from the field and nearly 40% from behind the arc, which is effectively what makes the big man pairing work.
He averages 12.6 points per game and a career-high 7.5 rebounds per game, which has been an obvious improvement.
On top of that, he’s again leading the league in total blocks and blocks per game:
Myles is a fan favorite and has been since he was drafted.
The Pacers have made his name available in trade talks before and with his recent play teams might be more interested in how they can utilize his skillset in another system.
The two-big combination of Sabonis and Turner is likely being split up, hopefully in a way that benefits both the players and the teams trying to improve in this toughening Eastern Conference.
Pacers President, Kevin Pritchard has previously inquired about a rebuild for this team – that was turned down by owner Herb Simon.
Walsh is now receptive to the idea of a rebuild for the team in hopes to move past being average and pushing to excel in a growing challenge of teams in the Eastern Conference.
The timing of this makes sense, the Pacers are last in the entire NBA in attendance – with just 13,135 average fans.
How many times in a late-game situation have you seen the Pacers turn into a one-on-one matchup or a late shot with the clock winding down?
There are some problems surrounding the Indiana Pacers.
Caris LeVert and his complicated start to the season.
Caris has been an interesting factor in the Pacers’ offense this season, coming off of that stress fracture in his lower back that he still battles – missing eight games this season.
The biggest and most obvious factor to his worsened play this season to me has been his shooting.
Caris is shooting 25% from behind the arc this season on 4.5 attempts per game. Strange dip for a career 33% shooter from the spot.
Recently, he has had better luck at getting to the rim and scoring in the post but has also been less of a distributor than in seasons past.
Last year he averaged 4.9 assists after returning from having cancer removed. This season, that number is 2.9.
This is an example of reading the action for a pass to Sabonis, as LeVert attacks Plumlee, the smaller defender is switched onto Sabonis in the post off the roll. Instead, an easy two-point play turns into a fast break for the opposing team.
The benefit of getting teammates involved when he doesn’t have the scoring option is the ball finding someone who has a better look. He has lacked that this season.
An update on Pacers guard, T.J. McConnell & T.J. Warren.
T.J. McConnell will be out for potentially the rest of the season after having surgery on his shooting hand to repair ligaments:
McConnell has been a great boost of energy off the Pacers bench and has been a huge part of the team’s depth when Brogdon missed time.
T.J. averaged 11.7 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game in Brogdon’s absence earlier this season.
He played in every game for the Pacers this season before getting hurt and the team will certainly miss his presence on the floor.
T.J. Warren was mentioned in the article by the Athletic in what is good news for Pacers fans in my opinion.
Warren will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so him expressing his interest in staying with the Indiana Pacers is beneficial for the team looking to fit new pieces and build a new core of players.
Warren hasn’t played in nearly a year after having surgery on his foot.
As the Pacers look to rebuild for the future, fans should enjoy each bit of Sabonis and Turner while they still play for the Blue and Gold.