The 2024 Trade Deadline is February 8. The Pacers have already made one major move, acquiring Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors. But are they done?
Regarding the trade deadline, Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle went on 107.5 The Fan and had this to say: “I suppose something could happen but I am not overly convinced that it will. We like our team and I am very comfortable playing it out with the group we have. But we will see what happens.”
Carlisle's prediction of the Pacers' trade deadline moves is both encouraging and confident. After all, with the addition of Siakam and the return of Tyrese Haliburton, both have only been in the starting lineup together for the past two games.
Sure, Buddy Hield has been in talks for years being traded. He could ring in another significant piece if packaged well but breakup a potentially good team. Hield is an asset off the bench for the Pacers now.
In the Pacers' win over the Charlotte Hornets, they held an opponent to under 100 points for the first time this season. Siakam had 25 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists, while Haliburton had 17 points and four assists in his 20 minutes of play.
The Pacers collected 49 rebounds, eight more than their season average (which is third-last in the league). Indiana also had 34 assists, shot 49% from the field, 33% from behind the arc, went 14-18 from the strip, and only had 11 turnovers. The bench contributed 35 points as well.
In their next game, Indiana defeated the Houston Rockets thanks to the tandem of Haliburton and Siakam, who combined for 47 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists. The Pacers tallied 35 assists and just 12 turnovers, while the bench was responsible for 45 points in this contest.
Carlisle seems to believe in his current roster, and why not? The Pacers still have the league's best offense, as they boast the best points per game, assists, and field goal percentage as a team. Indiana also has the fourth-best mark from three-point land.
The Pacers have a solid starting lineup of Haliburton at the point, Andrew Nembhard at the two, Aaron Nesmith at small forward, Siakam and veteran center Myles Turner. The bench is also talented and dependable, with TJ McConnell backing up Haliburton, Hield off the bench along with Bennedict Mathurin, in addition to a pair of young big men in Obi Toppin and Jalen Smith.
Enough time together when full healthy will help Carlisle and company string some wins together and improve upon their current position in the Eastern Conference Standings. The Pacers are 29-23 entering Thursday night's game as they host a struggling Golden State Warriors squad.
After that, the Pacers will travel to Madison Square Garden on Saturday before playing five of their next six games against non-playoff contending teams. This includes a rematch against Charlotte and a pair of games against Siakam's former team, the Toronto Raptors.
Carlisle's 'we will see what happens' assessment on his team certainly appears to be best for the Pacers. Indiana looks to end their four-year playoff drought on the efforts of Haliburton, Siakam, and more. After all, when a head coach likes his team, players perform on the court with confidence and results.