Grade the Trade: Pacers land NBA Champion for 2 players in mock deal

In this mock trade, the Indiana Pacers would land Kyle Kuzma from the Washington Wizards.

Indiana Pacers, Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards, NBA Trade Rumors, Buddy Hield, Jarace Walker
Indiana Pacers, Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards, NBA Trade Rumors, Buddy Hield, Jarace Walker / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Grade for the Indiana Pacers

On the flip side, this trade could end up being a massive win for the Indiana Pacers, as they could use an extra offensive engine to take some of the load off of Tyrese Haliburton.

Kyle Kuzma probably isn’t looked at as a top-two scorer on an uber-competitive team, but on the 2020 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, he was the third option. That means something.

Next to an elite floor general like Haliburton, Kuzma would be getting more easy looks than he ever did with the Washington Wizards. His efficiency should skyrocket, and his shot creation would be a big help.

So far this season, Kuzma is averaging 22.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 46.4% from the field and 35.7% from behind the three-point line.

Buddy Hield is already on the trade block, so giving up on him shouldn’t be a huge worry for the Pacers, and they haven’t even been giving Jarace Walker playing time this season.

Add in the fact that Kuzma is under contract for three more seasons after this one (making $23.5 million, $21.5 million, and then $19.4 million), and this deal should be a no-brainer.

3 Sneaky trade targets for Pacers now that OG Anunoby is off the table. 3 Sneaky trade targets for Pacers now that OG Anunoby is off the table. dark. Next

The only thing that should make the Pacers hesitate on this trade is whether or not there could be a bigger fish out there to go after using Hield’s money, Walker’s value, and some first-rounders.

Grade: A-