Report: Rival executives believe Indiana Pacers could make another trade

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Rival executives reportedly believe that the Indiana Pacers could make another trade prior to the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

“Following the acquisition of Pascal Siakam, rival executives applauded Indiana’s ability to retain young assets Bennedict Mathurin, Jarace Walker, Obi Toppin, Andrew Nembhard, and Ben Sheppard, along with the expiring contract of Buddy Hield,” wrote NBA insider Michael Scotto.

“The result, however, creates a logjam within Indiana’s frontcourt, with Jalen Smith, Toppin, and Walker competing for limited playing time behind Siakam.

“Given Indiana’s newfound frontcourt conundrum and the notion outside the organization that Hield would eventually be moved to give Mathurin, Nembhard, and Sheppard more playing time looking ahead, rival executives believe the Pacers could make another trade to bolster their team before the deadline.”

This week, the Pacers struck a deal with the Toronto Raptors to acquire Siakam, giving Indiana’s roster some new blood as the squad looks to take a step forward this season.

Siakam averaged 22.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from outside the 3-point arc in 39 appearances with the Raptors this season, his eighth season as a member of the organization.

In his last game before being dealt to the Pacers, he dropped 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and one steal on 5-of-15 shooting from the floor in a game the Raptors lost at home to the Boston Celtics by nine points.

The 29-year-old is joining a Pacers team that owns the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference at 23-17 but is in a slump at the moment. Indiana has lost its last two games, with those defeats coming at the hands of the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.

The Pacers’ defeat against the Jazz in their last game was particularly ugly, as the squad lost by 27 points. No player on the team had a big night offensively, considering Hield and Nembhard led the Pacers in scoring with 14 points each.

It’s understandable why executives may believe that Hield could be moved prior to the trade deadline to free up playing time for younger players in Nembhard, Mathurin and Sheppard, but it’s debatable whether doing so would make the Pacers a better team right now.

After all, Hield is having a productive season for the Pacers and is one of the better 3-point shooters in the league, as he is averaging 12.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 38.0 percent from behind the 3-point line in his third season with the franchise.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.