Indiana Pacers: One defunct trade front could make a comeback this season

Indiana Pacers, Myles Turner - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Myles Turner - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers, despite sitting ugly with a 14-21 record as they inch closer to the midseason point, appear to be more relaxed than they should be, staying clear from the actual rumor mill after being the prime subject of trade speculations at the beginning of the month.

With the curve looking to remain as it currently is for the Pacers, however, more smoke on the transaction panel could galvanize the franchise to finally do the obvious fix and make changes to the roster. That being said, one defunct trade front could make a comeback this season for the Blue and Gold.

Gordon Hayward, who flirted with Indiana in the 2020 offseason, has been a key contributor for the Charlotte Hornets since last year. After the Boston Celtics, his former club, foiled a near-done deal that would have sent Myles Turner and Doug McDermott to the Beantown and him to the Pacers, the former All-Star opted to sign a lucrative deal with his current club, putting an end to the Hayward to Indy front.

That, however, could be revived soon one way or the other. And the possibility is more than a dreamer’s take.

The Gordon Hayward to the Indiana Pacers front could return this season after a one-year sabbatical

Indiana, masters of the middle ground and ultimate renegades of the art of rebuilding, is more likely to retool than actually rebuild, and the ownership has made that as clear as day. Thus, in this respect, the Pacers’ best option right now is to make a trade that would push them to trot out a dramatically different team, but still under a win-now philosophy.

Gordon Hayward, in this fashion, makes a lot of sense as a trade target. Not only do the Pacers have the means to trade for him and relieve the Hornets of such massive contract, but Charlotte also has a pressing need for what Indiana can conjure as the centerpiece in a return package.

Both Domantas Sabonis and Turner are ideal fits for the Hornets right now, especially considering their thin big man rotation with Mason Plumlee as their only reliable center. Despite the varied skillsets of the two, Charlotte will surely benefit from either as they attempt to navigate away from the East’s middle tier.

Heck, with the Hornets boasting several athletic scoring wings to power up their second-ranked offense, Hayward should be expendable. Aside from his albatross contract (despite his great play so far), the looming and expensive free agency of breakout star Miles Bridges should be on the axis of Charlotte’s priorities this season.

Pacers fans (including me) may not like it as a primary resort, but as dissidents of rebuilding, Indiana cannot be banked on to suddenly break away from its customs and start from the ground up. As they attempt to double down on winning, reviving the Gordon Hayward trade front is indeed a viable path to take, if only to make the proverbial—yet warranted—revamp.

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