The Pacers had a decent trade deadline, adding Jordan Nwora and three second rounds picks. But we would be lying if it didn’t disappoint many fans who had hopes of OG Anunoby or Obi Toppin joining the team at the deadline.
Kevin Pritchard talked a bit about the trade deadline afterwards and had some interesting insights into what the front office is thinking in recent weeks,
"“We want to be competitive in every game and try to win every game, but we want to develop […] We want our young guys out there competing like crazy, learning, getting better. And everybody says, you can’t develop and win. It is tough. It’s challenging.”"
It sounds like the Pacers are still committed to the long-term rather than selling off assets for the short term. The difficult thing most Pacers fans will have to accept is that the front office decided to go this route and still keep players like Turner and Hield, when the team could have tried to sink even higher into the draft odds.
If we look at the cap space for the upcoming season, the Pacers will only have four teams with bigger cap space in the offseason as it stands now: Rockets, Spurs, Jazz, and Thunder. That means that the Pacers could potentially be a big player in the upcoming offseason, especially with a future perennial all-star point guard running the show.
And Pacers president Pritchard has said that the team typically intends to leverage the cap space as best as possible and has just loaded up on second round picks at the trade deadline. The stars look to be aligning to an aggressive offseason for multiple reasons.
- The Pacers will have significant cap space that Pritchard says the team intends to use. This means that whether we get players we plan to actually play or take on bad contracts for additional capital, expect offseason moves.
- The Pacers have already been stockpiling draft capital that can be flipped around for young pieces that fit the timeline of the team. Given we have more draft picks than we realistically have roster spots, expect some to be bundled and traded for better assets.
- The Pacers signed Myles Turner signaling they expect to be competitive within one to two seasons. This indicates that the rebuild will not be a years long process but something they expect will happen sooner, meaning the upcoming offseason is likely to be busy.
All in all, signs seem to point to the Pacers being aggressive in either trading up in the draft or bringing in high-upside young players.