Why better draft odds should still be the Pacers’ goal this season

Tyrese Haliburton - Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrese Haliburton - Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2022-23 Indiana Pacers season is one that many fans didn’t know how to approach. Should the team try to build up the young core with existing pieces? Or should they trade away players that don’t fit their timeline to acquire a better draft position? On top of this, Bennedict Mathurin’s hot start has sparked even more debate in this conversation.

The case for tearing it up:

The Pacers currently have multiple pieces that are worth building upon. Young stars such as Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin do not easily come by in today’s NBA. They naturally present good fits with holdover veterans, especially Buddy Hield with his volume three-point shooting and Myles Turner with his imposing defensive presence and range. To top this off, the latter is not far outside the team’s timeline at only 26 years old.

Time is running short and NBA windows run tight. With big wins this season over teams such as the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans, this team appears to be much better than anticipated.

The question becomes whether these big wins indicate a potential of being a title contender with the current core or if they indicate a middling playoff team. It will only be a matter of time before Tyrese commands the big paycheck he rightfully deserves.

The case for tearing it apart:

The Pacers have three first-round draft picks next year, as well as all of their own draft capital down the road. Couple that with the existing young core of Haliburton, Mathurin, and Duarte, and there is a lot to like about the current construction of the team

Shedding some of the bigger contracts now, such as Hield and Turner, would allow the team to have more financial flexibility heading into future extensions and of course, arm them with better draft odds. The loss of Hield and Turner, who average over 37 points per game combined, would certainly limit the Pacer’s offense in the short term, translating to more losses.

However, the picks acquired for these veterans would be icing on the cake for a team in the rebuilding process.

Ultimately, while the Indiana Pacers don’t have a history of losing for too long, it would likely benefit them to trade away high-dollar players to grow into the next generations’ new contracts and have enough draft capital to fill out the roster needed to compete for championships.

Next. Rumored price for retaining Myles Turner suddenly looks like a bargain. dark