Indiana Pacers: 3 biggest threats to sign Jalen Smith in free agency

Jalen Smith, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jalen Smith, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2022 NBA Free Agency is just a breeze away, and the Indiana Pacers have their own deck of incoming free agents to focus on. However, while they have loads of cap space that they can use to retain their wanted cogs, their hands are all but tied on one particular player.

Jalen Smith, who is about to enter the free agent market, is unlikely to remain in Indiana, not for basketball reasons, but because of money. The Pacers are, as said previously, limited as to what they can offer him, and after garnering attention due to his much-improved play donning the Blue and Gold in the latter part of the previous campaign, it would be very surprising if he takes a discount to remain with the team.

With that being said, here are the three biggest threats to sign Smith in free agency:

The Chicago Bulls could steal Jalen Smith from the Indiana Pacers due to their lack of size

It’s a worst-kept secret in the league that the Chicago Bulls badly lack size to properly contend in the Eastern Conference. After getting eliminated in a gentleman’s sweep by the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoff, it’s become pretty apparent that playing small ball almost exclusively will only serve to their detriment.

That is why the Bulls are a big threat to steal Jalen Smith from the Indiana Pacers. Nikola Vucevic can only do so much, and he is not a strong interior defender at all. Smith, while not a dominant presence in the post, is at least someone with good size who is mobile on defense and will not succumb on the boards.

Better yet, Smith should be a good addition to their offense. Capable of serving both as a pick-and-roll finisher and a floor spacer, he could viably play with Vucevic or play as the lone big in small, 5-out lineups which will maximize DeMar DeRozan and presumably, Zach LaVine’s scoring juice.