The Indiana Pacers have been one of the more up-and-down teams this season. Early in the year, they looked like a legitimate playoff team, but post-In-Season Tournament run, they struggled to find their footing.
Their offense has been one of the best all season, but on the flip side, their defense has been at the bottom of the league for the entirety of the year thus far.
With the trade deadline steadily approaching, the Pacers are undoubtedly going to be keeping their eye on potential available players, and one of the most common names that was brought up was OG Anunoby.
Anunoby was just recently traded from the Toronto Raptors to the New York Knicks for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a second-round pick, closing the door on a potential move to Indiana.
While Anunoby would have been a nice fit next to Tyrese Haliburton on the Pacers, his move to the Knicks could actually benefit Indiana more than hurt them.
Obviously, it could hurt them because, one, they can no longer go out and trade for Anunoby, and two, because both teams could potentially get a bit better.
However, the Anunoby trade could open the door for Indiana to make a trade of their own, as if the Raptors decide to let this trade dictate their plans this season, Pascal Siakam could become available, too.
Siakam may not be quite as traditional a 3-and-D player as Anunoby, but his shot creation could give the Pacers a better boost next to Haliburton, who is currently doing everything himself in Indiana.
But even past that, not trading for Anunoby could give the Pacers a chance to trade for a more dynamic player. Anunoby could blossom into a better offensive player than he was in Toronto, but right now, he just looks like a high-level 3-and-D guy.
That’s not to say that’s a bad thing, but it feels as though the Pacers could use a player who’s a bit more dynamic on the offensive end next to Haliburton, who is taking on too heavy a load right now.
If this trade leads to the Pacers holding off on a major move right now, other players around the league could become available to trade, and the Anunoby move to New York may have saved them from spending their best tradable assets. It’s not perfect logic, but it’s a real possibility.