Does Kevin Durant getting traded to the Suns impact the Indiana Pacers? The short answer is yes. But there is a longer answer in the multiple different ways it impacts the Pacers. We cover a few below.
It makes the East less top-heavy
The easy and obvious way it impacts the Pacers is that there is now less competition at the top of the Eastern Conference for the Pacers. Most of the major stars in the NBA have made their way out west, and so the eastern conference actually is pretty thin at the top sans the Bucks and the Celtics.
It will open up the trade market
Another way this impacts the Pacers is that it will open up the trade market for potential players like OG Anunoby. There was perhaps hesitancy on the part of teams like Toronto to make any major moves in fear of potentially missing out on the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. Now that the ship has sailed, teams like Toronto may be more willing to talk to the Pacers now that they feel no reservation regarding the mess in Brooklyn. As Pacers fans, we should hope this makes making a run at a player like OG is more likely now that the situation at the top is worked out.
A star player moved to a small-market
This also impacts the Pacers in terms of optics. One of the best players in the league was just traded (and it appears he has no issue) to a small-market team. Not to a coastal city like New York or Los Angeles, or to a major market or destination city like Miami or Chicago. Regular old Arizona. And this should be encouraging to Pacers fans that if we can build the right pieces through our organization, perhaps we too could attract a big-name player to Indiana at some point.
In summary, it impacts us, just not incredibly directly.
Small moves may open up today in the wake such as Royce O’Neale to Indiana or something similar. However, expect the Pacers to stay relatively isolated from the whole ordeal.