According to the Indianapolis Star’s J. Michael, the Pacers are looking to add a player that can contribute right away to the roster.
“If the Pacers keep the 13th pick, it has to be a player who coach Rick Carlisle believes he can play right away,” Michael wrote. “Carlisle, who left Dallas to rejoin the Pacers after signing a four-year deal for $29 million, will have more input than previous coaches.
“If the player at No. 13 isn’t deemed immediately playable for the Pacers, it will make more sense to deal him for one who can contribute.
“The Pacers have talked with the Houston Rockets, a league source told IndyStar, about flipping their pick and getting such a player. They’re not looking for a one-and-done expiring contract. They want a player under contract for at least two years.”
The Pacers made the NBA’s play-in tournament this season, but they were unable to beat the Washington Wizards for the No. 8 seed.
With Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren all under contract, the Pacers clearly want to see if their current core can make a playoff run.
The Rockets, who are in the midst of a major rebuild, would likely welcome a chance to get another lottery pick for a player that has less years on his deal.
While specifics in terms of the player haven’t been revealed, it’s clear the Pacers and Rockets are in different places heading into the draft.