Indiana Pacers: Torrey Craig could be a great under-the-radar trade piece

Indiana Pacers, Torrey Craig - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Torrey Craig - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers are currently the darlings of the NBA rumor mill. With the team having far less success than anticipated at this juncture, it’s not surprising that they are tabbed to be one of the most active teams on the trade market as sellers in the foreseeable future.

Over the next few months, expect the Pacers to make a bold move or two to kickstart a much-needed rebuild, though how much they are committed to truly building from scratch remains to be seen.

With their win-now direction in a dangling position, one player that could eventually turn out to be a great under-the-radar trade piece for the Blue and Gold is forward Torrey Craig, Indiana’s newcomer through free agency who has seen his minutes dwindle in recent games.

The Indiana Pacers should be able to find a robust market for Torrey Craig

After impressing in spurts in his limited action with the Phoenix Suns in their cinderella run last season, Torrey Craig was signed by the Indiana Pacers to a two-year, $10 million deal. Bumped by the exit of Doug McDermott, the tweener was signed to play a straightforward role off the bench—to play tough defense after the team declined on that end last season, and hit open threes.

So far, Craig has been as good as advertised defensively, even bringing solid hustle and rebounding in his minutes. However, his three-point stroke has gone MIA. So far, the forward is hitting just 26.4 percent of his attempts from rainbow country, way below the 36.8 percent rate he registered last season.

As a result, third-year forward Oshae Brissett, whom Craig initially usurped in the rotation, has now been given the keys to manning the 3-and-D role off the bench. In the last seven games, Craig played no more than seven minutes and even logged one DNP. Brissett, on the other hand, saw the court for more than 20 minutes in each of the last four games, three of which ended in a victory.

There’s also a defining argument to keep the rotation as it is. Brissett provides not only the same solid rebounding and defense that Craig offers, but he is a far superior offensive threat. On the season, Oshae is drilling 41.2 percent of his treys.

Given Craig’s hazy rotation spot moving forward, it makes sense for the Pacers to gauge the market for him. And given his skillset, I doubt that they’ll have a difficult time finding a suitor for his services.

Teams like Brooklyn, Atlanta, Dallas, and Denver could all use additional depth on the forward positions. Aside from those teams, other clubs jockeying for better playoff positioning, or even those in title contention, could take a liking to Craig’s modest contract for the defensive boost he provides.

Torrey Craig will not likely fetch much of a return for the Indiana Pacers, but given the franchise’s looming pivot to starting off with a cleaner slate, their free agent addition could be a more attractive trade piece than expected.

Next. Two trades to kickstart a rebuild for the Indiana Pacers after recent news. dark