The Indiana Pacers (10-16) are off to a rough start this season, underperforming their preseason expectations. And now, according to a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the team is considering blowing it all up.
“Multiple sources said that the Pacers are receptive in trade dialogue with rival teams centered on potentially moving guard Caris LeVert and either two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis or center Myles Turner. All three players have frequently garnered significant interest from rival teams. Pacers officials have received frequent calls on both of their big men over the past several seasons, but new head coach Rick Carlisle wanted an opportunity to spend time with Sabonis and Turner and grow with the roster. Even still, Carlisle has remained interested in seeing the frontcourt duo together.
The Pacers are moving toward opening further playing time for Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson, the team’s 13th and 22nd overall picks, respectively, in the 2021 NBA Draft. Indiana is 13th in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the Central Division. In 24 games this season, Duarte has shown to be a dependable player on both ends of the court, and is a favorite of Carlisle.”
The Pacers are currently sitting in the 13th seed in the Eastern Conference but aren’t out of the playoff picture. They’re currently trailing the eighth-seeded Hornets by just four games and the play-in tournament is still very much a possibility. But if the Pacers do decide to throw in the towel and pivot towards a rebuilding effort, their phones will undoubtedly be ringing off the hook with teams looking to add their final pieces.
At least three starters could be available to the league, with Domantas Sabonis likely being the most attractive. Sabonis, 25, is averaging 17.9 points, 12 rebounds, and 4.1 assists through 26 games and was an All-Star the past two seasons. Sabonis also comes with a contract that runs through 2024.
Myles Turner and Caris LeVert would also be of interest for other teams looking to add a starter-caliber player to their roster this season. Malcolm Brogdon, who signed a two-year extension before the season, isn’t eligible to be traded this season. According to Charania, it’s unclear how quickly the Pacers will pivot to a rebuild, but they’re at least considering the idea at this point.