So the Pacers desperately need a power forward. They have very badly needed a power forward for multiple years now. And the Wizards had too many of them and were looking to move off of one, and in particular, it appeared they were ready to part with Rui Hachimura.
Well, Woj has reported that the Wizards decided to part ways with Rui Hachimura prior to the trade deadline. The reported team was the Los Angeles Lakers with a return of Kendrick Nunn, and three second round picks.
But what is shocking, is how little that actually is for a player that continues to have the growth potential that Rui has. .
They got rid of a promising young power forward for an expiring player that will likely never play long-term meaningful minutes in a Wizards jersey, and a handful of second round picks. The Pacers would have offered a better deal in their sleep, so the question is, why didn’t they?
The Pacers must have their eyes on a different horizon
The only way to make sense of this move is that the Pacers knew that Rui was acquirable but felt there was a bigger fish that they could ultimately go after. Many of us in Indiana are hopeful that the bigger fish might be OG (who would be a perfect fit for this team), but there are other potential players the Pacers could be looking at.
The other major implication of the trade is that the Wizards are probably unlikely to let Kuzma go or feel that they are close to an extension with the blossoming forward. Kuzma would be a great fit with the Pacers, but likely is close in talks with Washington. So the Pacers will have to look to other teams that are sellers at the deadline such as Charlotte, Toronto, or New York.