Predicting the Pacers' perfect starting lineup after ideal offseason

The Pacers must upgrade their roster again to take the next step.
Indiana Pacers, Pascal Siakam, Tyrese Haliburton
Indiana Pacers, Pascal Siakam, Tyrese Haliburton / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

SG: Andrew Nembhard

Nembhard beat out T.J. McConnell for the backup point guard role to begin the season, but it did not take long for him to get more run. He began starting in late December and quickly blossomed. Nembhard averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 27.5 minutes per game over his final 50 contests. He shot 51.0 percent from the field and 38.2 percent on his threes over that stretch.

The 24-year-old took his game to another level in the playoffs where he put up 14.9 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per contest. Nembhard made 56.0 percent of his field goals and left no questions about who should be the team’s starter.

The Pacers hope to lock him long-term this summer, but it won’t be easy (subscription required). Other teams believe in him as a lead ball-handler and will offer massive money if he hits free agency. It may price the Pacers out of an extension and force them to make Nembhard a restricted free agent in the summer of 2025.

Andrew Nembhard is years away from his prime and keeps improving. The Pacers drafted a gem in the second round in 2022. He can run the offense when Haliburton needs a rest or act as a floor spacer next to him. Expect Nembhard to take another step forward in the 2024-25 campaign.

Starting him means making Bennedict Mathurin their sixth man. The Pacers need defense on the wing, so they acquire an upgrade.