The Indiana Pacers should sign this veteran forward in free agency

The Indiana Pacers need some help off the bench at the forward spot. They should target this veteran guy this summer in free agency.

Mar 12, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle watches his team
Mar 12, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle watches his team / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers are a team that is on the rise. Regardless of how they finish this year, they are a team that will look to add in free agency, not shed contracts. They are already going to re-sign Pascal Siakam this Summer, so they will have a co-star to pair with Tyrese Haliburton.

After getting him on board, the goal is going to be to build the roster around those guys to take this team to the next level. Bennedict Mathurin will be back from his injury and should be better. Jarace Walker might get some more playing time, Ben Sheppard will be valuable off the bench too.

Still, the Pacers need some help at the wing position, especially off the bench. They will likely let Doug McDermott walk so they need a backup small forward. If Walker still isn't quite ready to step up into that roll, Indiana should go after an Indiana native and bring him home.

The Indiana Pacers should sign Gordon Hayward in free agency

Gordon Hayward would be the perfect guy for the Pacers to sign in free agency. He won't command anything close to the $30 million contract he's got right now. His production has declined because he can't stay healthy. But he's still good enough to come off the bench and do things for 18 minutes a game.

Hayward hasn't played in more than 50 games since the 2018-19 season. That's part of the reason why he will be relatively cheap. Prior to being traded to Oklahoma City, he was putting up 14.5 points per game and shot 36% from three for the Hornets.

When he's relatively healthy, Hayward is a good defender who can switch across four positions. He'll be 34 next year and will be in the twilight of his career. He could come home and be a mentor to a young team while still playing meaningful minutes for a playoff team.

The Pacers should be able to get him on a one-year $7 million deal or a two-year for $12 million. Something along that range should still keep them under the luxury tax and give them a valuable veteran. The fans would love for the Brownsburg native to come back too.

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I'm sure this is something the Pacers will look into this Summer.