The Indiana Pacers offseason was not your typical Pacers offseason. Instead of taking a back seat, re-signing some players, and drafting a few here and there as they usually do, the Pacers were one of the most active teams in the NBA when it came to making moves.
The reason for this may have been that the Pacers cannot afford to coast through the offseason as they were in recent years. Due to the team actually having a direction going forward now, changes and improvements are needed more often than ever now, and the Pacers delivered on that.
By far, the two headline offseason moves for the Pacers were the signing of Bruce Brown and the trade for Obi Toppin.
Bruce Brown surprised the league, especially the Nuggets, as he left the team that just won a championship to accept a deal with the upstart Pacers. Now, while playing with Tyrese Haliburton is certainly a perk, nobody expected Brown to leave the Nuggets and perhaps another championship. Nevertheless, Brown was on board, signing a two-year $45 million contract with a team option after the first year.
One day later, the Pacers completed their offseason, trading two second-round picks to the Knicks for Obi Toppin, a player that Pacers fans have had their eyes on for years.
The Toppin trade excited Pacers fans quite a bit, as the Pacers imagined the lob opportunities with him and Tyrese Haliburton and envisioned a world where Toppin improved tenfold on his Knicks stint where it seemed like he was being misused under Julius Randle and broke out as a star.
That said, both Brown and Toppin have played five games since coming on board to Indiana, and now seems like a good time to see how they have performed so far and give them an early-season grade.
Just a heads up, while Jarace Walker and Ben Sheppard are also two of the Pacers’ most important additions, they have barely played this season, with both of them logging about 38 minutes combined in five games, including three DNPs.
With this small sample size, it is basically impossible to grade their performances so far, as they have barely shown anything due to them not being given the chance to.