The Indiana Pacers were on the hunt to add forward depth this summer. Their roster is constructed well, but adding another defensive-minded guy in the frontcourt would bolster their depth.
Rumblings from earlier this summer revealed that the Pacers took an interest in a potential OG Anunoby trade with the Toronto Raptors, as he’s one of the best 3-and-D forwards in the league.
However, he wasn’t the only two-way forward they went after.
Indiana Pacers discussed De’Andre Hunter trade with Atlanta Hawks
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Pacers were one of a few teams that spoke with the Atlanta Hawks about a trade for De’Andre Hunter. The Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons were other teams that Atlanta talked to.
The Hawks went into the offseason looking to make some sort of change, and they found said change in the form of a John Collins trade to the Utah Jazz. They cleared a ton of salary from their books in the move. Moving Hunter would have likely been the Hawks’ way of accomplishing the same goal.
Hunter was reportedly floated in Atlanta’s offer to the Raptors for Pascal Siakam, which Toronto ultimately declined. He was offered alongside AJ Griffin and draft picks.
In the case of the Pacers, Hunter would have made a ton of sense. His 3-and-D play would have fit like a glove next to Tyrese Haliburton and the rest of Indiana’s roster.
The Hawks forward just wrapped up a solid season, appearing in a career-high 67 games and playing 31.7 minutes per contest. He averaged 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 46.1% from the field and 35.0% from behind the three-point line.
If the Hawks’ goal was to shed salary, a trade package for Hunter would have likely come about before Indiana signed Bruce Brown, as the Pacers would have had enough cap space to absorb his money.
Indiana may have been able to snag Hunter for a great price, capitalizing on Atlanta’s desire to remove money from their books, and he would have been an amazing addition to the roster.
They could have rolled out a lineup of Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Hunter, Jarace Walker, and Myles Turner. And with Hunter being just 25 years old, that’s a group Indiana could run with into the future.