Indiana Pacers Mailbag: Trades, expectations, and how to fix the lineup

Adam Silver, NBA Draft (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Adam Silver, NBA Draft (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers
Adam Silver, NBA Draft (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

From @Peetie_Peete

If you had a choice, would you prefer this current roster to be bad and get a better pick in this upcoming draft or be good with a worse pick?

This is the question every Pacers fan is asking themself after the unexpected good start to the season for this team, which had such low expectations. It’s an impossible question for me to answer, really. Every time I turn on the TV and see our players running around in the blue and gold, I want them to win. I can’t help it! The logical part of me understands that the goal of this front office should be to surround Tyrese Haliburton with as much high-ceiling talent as possible and develop that talent into a title contender over the course of several years, but my heart is mutinous. My love for the Pacers, for this team’s players- which are so fun to root for- and my admiration for the game itself makes it impossible to harden my heart and root for losses.

I think there are really compelling arguments for the Pacers being a playoff team this year, and for them being one of the four worst teams. On the one hand, this team is already stacked with young talent. That talent needs to learn how to win, and the fact that they’ve been doing that this season is good! If They don’t get a lottery pick this year, they do have some firepower in the form of two other first-round picks and some good veteran trade pieces that they could use to move up and draft a player in the lottery who fits this team (a wing for goodness sake!). There are plenty of teams who have won championships without the help of a player drafted in the top-ten. On the other hand, having even the chance at drafting a generational talent gives the team a huge amount of flexibility to use the rest of their assets to trade for players who improve weaknesses or strengthen strengths in ways that could be truly invaluable, and they wouldn’t have to be so dependent on the development of one player potentially taken in the lottery or just outside it.

All this to say, my head tells me that this organization should prioritize getting the highest pick possible in next year’s draft, but my heart still breaks every time the final whistle blows and the Pacers scored less than their opponent.