Pacers 2023 offseason primer: Targets, outgoing free agents, trades, draft needs and more

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 Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 15, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers defender Tyrese Haliburton (0) and defender Buddy Hield (24) successful nan 2nd half against nan Chicago Bulls astatine Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers person immoderate beardown pieces successful spot but request to make nan astir of offseason trades, free agency and nan NBA Draft to return nan adjacent step.

The Indiana Pacers sewage disconnected to a amazingly basking commencement to nan 2022-23 season, putting up a 12-9 grounds and affirmative constituent differential done nan extremity of November. Injuries mounted, immoderate of their shooting numbers regressed and they went 23-38 from past on. However, a batch of positives came retired of that early tally of occurrence and gave nan squad a guidance that carried them done nan remainder of nan play and into nan offseason.

It was assumed that some Myles Turner and Buddy Hield would beryllium traded arsenic nan Pacers leaned into their younker movement. But Turner had 1 of his champion seasons, appeared to reconcile immoderate lingering frustrations pinch nan beforehand agency and yet signed an extension. Hield’s shooting was electrical and nan Pacers kept him arsenic well. He was 1 much twelvemonth connected his statement and could spell backmost connected nan waste and acquisition market, but it’s imaginable nan Pacers person established capable bully vibes to get him to re-up astatine a reasonable price.

In summation to those 2 veterans, Tyrese Haliburton emerged arsenic an All-Star and 1 of nan champion young constituent guards successful nan league. He flirted pinch a 50/40/90 play while averaging 20.7 points, 10.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game, adding beardown defense arsenic well. He is nan instauration astir which nan remainder of this roster is being built.

The past portion of nan puzzle was beardown rookie campaigns from Bennedict Mathurin and second-round pick, Andrew Nembhard. Mathurin was a cardinal rotation subordinate correct from opening night, averaging 28.5 minutes crossed 78 games and averaging 16.7 points per game. His shooting tailed disconnected arsenic nan play went connected but should proceed to amended and he’s established himself arsenic a beardown complementary scorer pinch his slashing expertise and dependable trips to nan free-throw line. Nembhard has awesome size astatine nan constituent defender position and was a dependable two-way presence, averaging 9.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds, shooting 35.0 percent from beyond nan arc.

The Pacers person a fewer different talented young players who showed flashes during nan play — Jalen Smith, Isaiah Jackson, Aaron Nesmith, Chris Duarte — and could create into reliable contributors arsenic this roster pivots toward contention adjacent season. But nan biggest priorities this offseason are uncovering immoderate semipermanent answers astatine nan 3 and nan 4, who tin fresh pinch Turner, Hield, Haliburton and nan chair and support this squad growing.

Indiana Pacers outgoing free agents

The Pacers person conscionable a fewer players entering unrestricted aliases restricted free agency.

  • George Hill, 37, PG
  • James Johnson, 36, PF
  • Lance Stephenson, 33, SG
  • Oshae Brissett, 25, SF
  • Kendall Brown, 20, SF (RFA)
  • Gabe York, 30, PG (RFA)

Of this group, Kendall Brown is nan only 1 apt to beryllium brought back. As a second-round pick, he played his rookie play connected a two-way statement and will beryllium a restricted free agent. He appeared successful conscionable six games for nan Pacers but showed capable successful nan G League to beryllium worthy keeping around.

Indiana Pacers waste and acquisition targets

The Pacers look prepared to build steadily and it seems improbable that they will jump into waste and acquisition conversations for immoderate of nan biggest targets who are apt to beryllium disposable this offseason. However, they person a fewer assets for illustration nan reasonably hefty salaries of Daniel Theis ($9 million) and T.J. McConnell ($8.7 million) that could beryllium utilized to thief facilitate deals for different teams, returning immoderate early values to nan Pacers.

All that is to say, nan Pacers astir apt won’t beryllium pursuing circumstantial players successful trades. They’ll beryllium exploring really they tin usage those seasoned contracts aliases headdress abstraction creatively to amended nan squad down nan line.

Indiana Pacers free supplier targets

As pinch nan waste and acquisition market, nan Pacers are apt to beryllium looking for worth and upside much than circumstantial high-profile targets, and whitethorn not want to fastener themselves into immoderate semipermanent deals. They are projected to person astir $12 cardinal successful headdress abstraction and players for illustration Cam Johnson, P.J. Washington, Grant Williams, Jalen McDaniels and Naz Reid could conceivably make consciousness for them. However, that will dangle a batch connected what they are capable to get successful nan NBA Draft and really nan marketplace shakes retired for those players, arsenic nan Pacers would astir apt only beryllium willing if they saw an opportunity to bargain low.

Indiana Pacers NBA Draft targets

The Pacers person 5 picks successful this year’s draft, 3 first-rounders and 2 second-rounders — No. 7, No. 26, No. 29, No. 32 and No. 56. With nan No. 7 pick, they’ll apt beryllium looking astatine a imaginable prima that they tin plug successful astatine nan 3 aliases 4 positions and let to proceed increasing pinch nan remainder of their young core.

At that range, they’ll apt beryllium looking astatine players for illustration Cam Whitmore, Jarace Walker, Taylor Hendricks aliases Anthony Black. With Haliburton, Mathurin, Hield, Nembhard and Turner successful place, they really request a subordinate who tin take sides aggregate helping and frontcourt positions. It would beryllium awesome to get personification who tin besides abstraction nan floor, but violative versatility whitethorn beryllium moreover much important.

It’s imaginable nan Pacers could effort and package their either 2 first-round picks to move up but that depends connected uncovering a important target conscionable extracurricular nan lottery. If they extremity up keeping nan remainder of their picks, they will person nan luxury of taking immoderate upside swings arsenic they look to build their helping and guardant depth.

For much accusation connected this year’s NBA Draft class, cheque retired our latest Mock Draft and Big Board.

Check retired The Step Back for much news, analysis, sentiment and unsocial hoops coverage. Don’t hide to travel america connected Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our regular email newsletter, The Whiteboard.

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