The Indiana Pacers sit 13th on the Eastern Conference standings with a 10-16 record, a long way from where they had hoped to be at this stage of the season. For a team with two of the league's best big men that hope to feature in the playoffs, a lot needs to change.
The pairing of Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner has been criticized for a while, and while recent efforts showed signs that they could pull it off, things are not looking good for the duo in their third season together. There have been several trade rumors relating to Turner in the past, but the franchise has been patient with the big man.
With them being ahead of only the Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit Pistons, they might as well start a rebuild like both teams. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Pacers are considering it and could trade veterans like Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner.
"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.
"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."
No one is sure how swiftly the Pacers will be looking to expedite this decision. But these are undoubtedly high-value assets, and the franchise will be looking to get the best return from their trade.
Chris Duarte has been dependable for the team, and it is clear that head coach Rick Carlisle trusts him to make big plays. When the Pacers hosted LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, Carlisle drew up a play that ended with the ball in Duarte's hands. He shot a contested three-pointer from the corner and successfully forced overtime.
Most of Indiana's losses have been close shaves, as they are not dominated throughout the game. But the team is dreadful in closing out games, an area these All-Stars are supposed to take charge of.
It will be exciting to see how things unfold as we approach the trade deadline. Nonetheless, league sources have revealed that the Pacers will be very active from now until then.