This John Collins trade could make or break the Indiana Pacers

John Collins (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
John Collins (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Indiana Pacers
John Collins – Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

What are the pros and cons of the Pacers trading for Collins?


The Indiana Pacers seem intent on rebuilding with a competitive design, a grand departure from most teams’ tanking ventures in light of the 2023 NBA Draft. Hence, trading, or attempting to trade for John Collins, seems just as necessary as it is inevitable, especially with the team’s urgent need to bolster its frontcourt.

Collins is an athletic big man who is a very easy fit to envision next to the likes of Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, and even Myles Turner. Particularly adept at finishing around the basket and corralling rebounds, he could quickly fill in the team’s lack of vertical spacing and chronic issues securing boards. There’s also hope that his career 36.2 three-point shooting percentage resuscitates with the squad’s pace-and-space attack.


Banking on Collins to revert to his previous numbers through a mere shift of the colorways is also a big gamble. Trae Young and Dejounte Murray have pushed his role to the margins, but there’s no guarantee that the Pacers will be willing to shoehorn him atop the pecking order, which is the ideal situation for him to log his previous eye-popping numbers. And those numbers, while hypothetical right now, are his main selling points to any team intending to pluck him.

To be frank, being more patient with Jalen Smith is probably the more cost-efficient and risk-devoid move in comparison to chasing Collins via trade. The former hasn’t been as seamless of a fit as hoped for so far, but it’s TOO EARLY (emphasis intended) to let go of the lever. Also, considering his similar struggles, Collins’ theoretical fit with the Pacers may be too stout in contrast to the real picture, using his play this season as a benchmark.