4. Potential supporting cast improvements
Despite the Pacers having a decent all-around supporting cast around Haliburton, they still do not have another go-to scorer or engine for their offense. Myles Turner is the closest Indiana has to a real second option, but when he shrunk in the Lakers game, and nobody else picked up the slack, Indiana's hopes of a tournament title got flushed down the drain.
This, of course, brought up more whispers that Indiana needs a second star to pair alongside Haliburton, as on nights like Saturday, too much was asked of the young star, with the supporting cast not doing their fair share to help him.
Games against talented teams such as the Lakers and the inevitable playoff struggles this team will have are key examples of why the Pacers may not go as far as fans want them to with the team they have now.
Currently, Tyrese Haliburton is the first option for the Pacers, but the team does not have a concrete second option. Depending on the game and occasion, players like Myles Turner, Bennedict Mathurin, Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin, and Bruce Brown can serve as the second option for the Pacers.
While a balanced team is good and certainly better than nothing, as the Pacers look like a playoff team so far, it is not a good formula for a deep playoff run. Most top playoff teams in the league have a certified one-two punch.
Look at the Lakers with LeBron and Anthony Davis, the Celtics with Tatum and Brown, the Heat with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and even the Knicks with Brunson and Randle. A team with a certified first option and a combination of players as second options can only go so far in the modern league, and it's only a matter of time before Indiana catches up to the times and looks to make a move.
Tyrese Haliburton has not exactly done much to contain Pacers fans' excitement about a possible second star.
As was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski prior to the Bucks matchup, Haliburton is letting it be known around the league that he wants stars to come join him in Indiana, a far cry from the Victor Oladipo days when the former star would reportedly ask teams if he could come play with them while still being on the Pacers.
These reports, combined with fans' desires, have led to plenty of players being linked to the Pacers, most notably a couple of Raptors forwards, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.
Siakam and Anunoby are currently the most realistic targets for the Pacers to get, as they will be free agents soon, and with Toronto looking to rebuild around Scottie Barnes soon, Masai Ujiri may be looking to unload them sooner rather than later.
These players are not the only ones linked to Indiana, though, as Mikal Bridges, Lauri Markkannen, and even former Pacers superstar Paul George have all had their names linked with a potential Pacers trade or signing down the line.
Whether Indiana makes a trade for a star, signs one in free agency, or stays put with the team they have now is anyone's guess. For now, one thing is for sure: The In-Season Tournament was nothing but a huge plus for the Indiana Pacers, and they have certainly learned a lot that they can take into the rest of the season, going into the playoffs come April.