It is true that the Pacers should be taken seriously in the East. With a gritty bunch, a faithful leader, and a winning culture, Indiana has proven themselves to be a formidable opponent to their NBA colleagues.
But are they really on the same level as some of the elites? Most are inclined to say no -- the star power of teams like Philly, Brooklyn, and Milwaukee is just too much to bear.
With one move, all of that could change. Could Jaylen Brown be that move?
In an article by Bleacher Report, Greg Swartz suggests a trade that involves the Pacers acquiring young athletic wing Jaylen Brown for 23-year-old big man Domantas Sabonis.
The Celtics need big men after they lost Al Horford and Marcus Morris in free agency, and Sabonis would thrive in a starting role. He'd be a big upgrade over Enes Kanter as the team's starting center given his superior defensive and passing skills and would push Boston a little closer to the top of the East.
That's worth it for a Celtics team loaded with wings.
The third overall pick of the 2016 draft, Brown (22) is even younger than Sabonis (23) and should be a terrific two-way swingman for the next decade or more.
This trade would give Indiana one of the league's best set of wings with Brown, Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon, allowing it to play smaller and faster with Warren swapped in for Sabonis.
Thanks to Swartz' rationale of the deal, it's easy to see how it makes sense for both sides.
Each team has a certain need that the other can fill. Whether or not it actually happens is one thing, but don't be shocked if the rumblings begin between these teams as both seek to improve their standing in the East this season.