Pacers Report Cards: Grading every Pacers player at season's end

With the playoffs on the way, now is a good time to give out end-of-season grades for every Pacers player.
Mar 16, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) celebrates with
Mar 16, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) celebrates with / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Bonus: Pascal Siakam trade

The trade: Toronto Raptors trade Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers for Bruce Brown, Kira Lewis Jr., Jordan Nwora, two 2024 1st-round draft picks, and a 2026 1st-round draft pick.

While this is not an individual player, it would be criminal to do a report card and skip over the most important moment of the season.

First off, this trade gets a good grade right away, specifically because Indiana only gave up one rotation player and no young pieces for a bonafide All-Star and All-NBA level player. With that out of the way, even with the three first-round picks, it is still a fantastic trade all things considered.

Indiana is already struggling to give Jarace Walker playing time, despite him being their lottery pick in 2023. With that in mind, it is highly unlikely they could give any other draft picks playing time, especially since their days of being in the lottery are seemingly over. Giving up two first-round picks in one of the worst drafts in recent memory as well as another pick in a year where Indiana will most likely be competing for a title seems like a small price to pay for Pascal Siakam.

Additionally, while Bruce Brown was decent on the Pacers, he was not a piece worth keeping around. First of all, he was signed with a team option for the second year, which means Indiana anticipated putting him in a deal like this even months prior. Second of all, Brown did not turn any heads with his play in Indiana, and if there is an opportunity to trade for an All-Star with Bruce Brown being the only rotation piece you have to give up, you take that chance.

Pascal Siakam has been nothing short of spectacular with Indiana so far, giving them the spark they needed with Tyrese Haliburton out and later on a minutes restriction. He has helped them on both sides of the ball and has given them everything they need, hence his prior grade. Additionally, he provides that extra playoff experience that can help the Pacers immensely going forward, as well as an easy way to take pressure off Haliburton if he is getting double-teamed or if he is just having an off night.

Above all, however, Pascal Siakam has made Indy his home. He has spoken plenty of times on how much he loves the team and the state, and how he is prepared to stay here for a while. With this in mind, it would be a miracle (in a bad way) if Siakam were not to re-sign with the Pacers in the offseason, as he very clearly loves Indiana and the Pacers can offer him more than any other team due to bird rights. While there is a chance this grade can change if Siakam were to go elsewhere, it is very unlikely, and this is probably going down as a steal in the history books.

Final Grade: A+ (Would do it again 10 times out of 10)