Even in a rebuilding year, Indiana Pacers fans have nothing to root for aside from the team for the most part. However, given the circumstances that could affect the franchise’s crest of assets, fans may want to root for another team next season, albeit on a lesser degree.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the most promising teams in the association, hold the Pacers’ fate regarding one of their possible 2023 first-round picks. One of the returns of the Caris LeVert trade, Indiana was supposed to acquire the Cavs’ selection this year, but due to its lottery protection, the pick remained with them after narrowly missing the playoffs.
Fortunately, the Pacers will have another shot at landing Cleveland’s first-round selection next season, though it will depend on the latter’s success in the upcoming campaign.
The Indiana Pacers will benefit from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ success next season
As long as the Cavaliers make the playoffs (not just the play-in tournament), the Pacers will acquire their 2023 first-round pick. Conversely, if they miss the postseason, Indiana will have to settle for two second-rounders in 2025 and in 2026 (via Lakers).
With the 2023 NBA Draft class touted to be an extraordinarily deep one, any first-rounder that the Pacers can snag for their own will be massive for their ongoing youth movement. Hence, Indiana will be a big benefactor from Cleveland’s success next season, so to speak.
The road to the playoffs for the Cavs will not be easy considering the Eastern Conference’s yearly improvement, but they themselves have a compelling case to make the playoffs in 2023. After all, despite multiple and lengthy injuries to key cogs, Cleveland was in the running for homecourt advantage for the most part and almost made it to the postseason.
Thus, while Indiana Pacers fans may not be too keen on rooting for another team in what is projected to be a tough campaign for the Blue and Gold in the wins column, they should at least monitor how the Cleveland Cavaliers fare in the following campaign and see if the team can add to their relatively ample draft capital.