Indiana Pacers are at a critical crossroad in the schedule

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers were expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. They’ve been a huge surprise and surged up to fourth in the East at one point. Since then, they have slid down to seventh in the standings and sit at a critical point in their schedule.

Indiana sits one game above .500 at 18-17. In their next ten games, they only face two teams that are under .500. Those teams are Charlotte, who is terrible, and Toronto. They face teams such as Milwaukee, Cleveland,  Philly, the Clippers, and the Knicks. All of them are pretty darn good.

This is the time to find out whether to not this Pacers team is going to make any moves. A 7-3 or 8-2 record through those ten games could make the Pacers buyers in the trade market. Conversely, a 2-8 or 3-7 record might force them to start selling.

The Indiana Pacers need to figure out what their plan is after these ten games.

Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin are foundational players. Andrew Nembhard has shown to be a useful player as well. Everyone else is expendable if the Pacers do indeed want to go tank mode, only those three players will be off-limits in doing so.

Indiana would likely part ways with Myles Turner and Buddy Hield if they start to slide too far in the standings. They would try to get some draft capital for these guys so they could accelerate the rebuild. I don’t actually see this happening anymore though.

The more likely scenario in my mind is that the team stays as is throughout the season. Halliburton raises the floor of this team too much that they would have no shot for the number one pick even if they did trade Turner and Hield. He’s just too good.

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I do think there is a slight chance that Indiana turns into buyers. They could use a wing if they are trying to make a playoff push. I think that’s much less likely than the other two scenarios though. This is the stretch of the schedule where we find out just how good this team is.