Grade the Trade: Indiana Pacers acquire Kyle Kuzma in mock trade with Washington Wizards: Pacers grade
On the flip side, the Indiana Pacers should absolutely consider a deal like this, especially for a player like Kyle Kuzma, who will be under contract for the next four years.
For the majority of the offseason, the Pacers have been chasing forward depth. OG Anunoby has been the primary target, as he’s a stalwart on the defensive end.
Kuzma wouldn’t bring that to the table, but he would be a nice secondary scorer next to Tyrese Haliburton. He would be a volume shooter and could benefit from playing next to an elite playmaker.
Giving up Buddy Hield shouldn’t be an issue for the Pacers, as he’ll be a free agent at the end of next season. Trading him could actually be the best decision for Indiana.
Losing Obi Toppin would hurt a bit, as they just picked him up, but Kuzma is a clear upgrade. Adding his scoring punch would raise the ceiling of the team.
However, the Pacers could be hesitant to add Kuzma’s long-term money, as it would limit the moves they could make in the future. Is Kuzma the win-now move they want to make? Or should they wait things out and add a more defensive-minded guy?
Trading the first round pick is fine, but again, if the Pacers make a move, it needs to be perfect. This is good, but it’s not perfect.