Indiana Pacers: Front office should explore sign-and-trades this offseason

Rick Carlisle - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Carlisle - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers are armed with powerful ways to reinvent their roster this offseason with the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency. Using these avenues to try and turn their franchise around, the Blue and Gold could be in line for a winning season in the following campaign if they maximize this crucial summer.

However, the front office has another option that it could use to improve the team besides the draft and free agency: sign-and-trades. While not the primary and direct way to bolster the roster, it is one track where the team could add to their collection of assets in the middle of a rebuilding. Thus, it would serve the Pacers well if they explore sign-and-trade opportunities in the next few months.

Sign-and-trades could be a good way for the Indiana Pacers front office to rack up even more assets

With impending free agents on their roster, the Indiana Pacers should maximize the fact that few teams have considerable cap space to make relatively major moves in free agency and try to work out sign-and-trades to extract the most of out of their flight risk players.

One player is TJ Warren. While it is possible that he is signed on a bargain deal after missing two years due to injury, a Warren with a shaved value will certainly be something that teams in need of a scoring boost will flock on. Meanwhile, teams with cap space, which are mostly rebuilding, are unlikely to have him atop their whiteboards.

Thus, the Pacers could viably entice hard-capped teams, especially playoff locks and contenders, into a sign-and-trade for draft capital, sending Warren in return while Indiana takes on unwanted short-term salary to incentivize potential bidders.

Absorbing salary may not be the most attractive route on the first impression, but the Pacers realistically do not have anyone on the free agency board that they are zeroing in, as they are baking largely on the draft and on the trade market to move the needle and manage their finances.

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Another looming flight risk is point guard Ricky Rubio, who was never with the team this season after sustaining an ACL injury with Cleveland. While he has no on-court value for the Blue and Gold right now, that he was never waived opens the sign-and-trade possibility involving him.

There are various win-now teams who could use a reliable floor general who can lead the second unit and play as spot starter when needed, and the Spaniard has proven with the Cavs this season before his injury that his playmaking skills and perimeter defense are still intact, while his offensive output has become more respectable than before. Clubs could hesitate in light of his major injury at his age, but he could be had for less, which should play to their advantage.

Still, few teams can afford to sign him outright, and those that have a clear need for his services do not have much cash to spare. This is where a sign-and-trade with the Pacers could come into play, as they could play the salary matching game (or target teams with trade exceptions) and still get an asset or two instead of letting him walk for nothing.

Overall, aside from the two players, the Indiana Pacers have different ways that they can go to explore sign-and-trade this offseason. The front office simply has to be more creative and fluid in taking calculated risks as long as the chance to add to their collection of assets presents itself.

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