The Indiana Pacers have been one of the more pleasant surprises around the league this year. They’re sitting in the top tier of the Eastern Conference at the moment and have the NBA’s best offense.
And on top of their hot start, the Pacers have also performed well in the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament so far. They are currently 2-0 in their group and in line to advance to the next stage.
Also in the Pacers’ group are the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, and Detroit Pistons. The 76ers are second in the group standings at 2-1.
However, the 76ers have a chance to add some serious talent this season, as Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports recently reported that Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine, who could be on the trade market, has three preferred destinations - the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and 76ers.
LaVine’s Bulls have struggled mightily this season, and it was recently revealed that the two sides could look for a move. As a two-time All-Star, LaVine is the biggest trade target in the league at the moment.
So far this season, LaVine is averaging 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 42.7% from the floor and 34.0% from behind the three-point line.
Philadelphia traded James Harden to the LA Clippers earlier this summer, so they have plenty of tradable contracts to match LaVine’s salary in a potential trade.
However, while the 76ers are currently one of Pacers’ rivals in the In-Season Tournament, a potential LaVine trade likely wouldn’t have an impact on their place in the tournament.
The players the 76ers got back in the Harden deal cannot be traded for 60 days from the time of the deal, which means that Philadelphia could only trade for LaVine in time for the In-Season Tournament if they shipped out Tobias Harris, and that seems unlikely.
Adding LaVine to their rotation would create one of the league’s most potent offensive backcourts with him and Tyrese Maxey. Combined with Joel Embiid, the 76ers would have a strong case to win the East.
As Indiana continues on their path in the In-Season Tournament, keep an eye on the 76ers, as LaVine’s interest in joining their squad could be an intriguing storyline to watch.