How one former Pacer can indirectly help the team next season

Rick Carlisle - Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Carlisle - Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers are inching closer to returning to the hardwood after an eventful summer. Now bannering a youth-led roster led by Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, and Chris Duarte, among others, the franchise will be slated for its first year of a clear rebuild after years of riding the middle of the pack.

Racking up wins will not be the immediate goal for the Pacers in 2022-23, but the squad remains in line for an expansive bucket list where development reigns atop. Of course, as is the case with a rebuild, the team will also be well-served setting themselves up for the future, and that is where one former Pacer can help them, albeit indirectly, next season.

The Indiana Pacers can get indirect help from a former player next season

Bojan Bogdanovic, who spent two memorable seasons with the Indiana Pacers from 2017 to 2019 as a vital cog of two playoff teams, finds himself back in the Central Division after being surprisingly traded to the Detroit Pistons with the Utah Jazz undergoing a fire sale.

The Croatian sniper will be one of the key players for a young Pistons team which could be angling towards intently winning next season after acquiring the veteran to augment a team attack led by Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Jaden Ivey, among others.

Bogdanovic’s tremendous spot-up shooting, shot creation, and passable defense in the forward positions should set a stage for a more cohesive and competitive Detroit squad after residing at the bottom of the standings for the last three seasons.

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If things work out and Bogey’s presence heavily factors into unprecedented success for the Pistons, Indiana could be looking at one less competitor for the lottery chase, as the 2023 class figures to prompt rebuilders into an ensuing tank race eventually.

Of course, all of these imply that the Pacers turn in a losing season yet again. But in the grand scheme of things, going for a more loose approach in the win-loss column will give them a better shot at landing the jackpot for the first time in franchise history.

If so, the team can give their former player a pat in the back for giving themselves a better chance by simply performing well—and signifying a shift in era for a Pistons squad to the Pacers’ benefit.

Next. ESPN's wins prediction model has the Pacers entering a dangerous zone. dark