The Indiana Pacers might be on the verge of pressing the reset button. According to a report by Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic, Indiana, which started this season 10-16 and is already 3.5 games out of a spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, are weighing going through the kind of “substantial rebuild” that the franchises has long avoided pursuing.
Per the report, a trio of players’ names have been kicked around as potential trade bait. One is Caris LeVert, who the franchise acquired last year, while either of Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner could also be available for a move after years of rumblings that the duo could be broken up.
As for the scope of a rebuild, The Athletic reports that owner Herb Simon — who has resisted past efforts to move in this direction — is on board, even if he does not want it to be the sort of thing that involves bottoming all the way out for an extended period.
The Pacers don’t want to embark on a long-term “process” or a tank-athon because it’s fiscally hurtful and the Indianapolis market won’t stay engaged — even if fans understand the necessity of starting over. But after several years in NBA purgatory, management has decided it’s time to shake things up. The Pacers haven’t advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs since 2013-14. They’re also on their third coach in three years — Nate McMillan, Nate Bjorkgren and now Carlisle.
While those three names are the most prominent, The Athletic indicates that potential unrestricted free agent TJ Warren has signaled that he would like to remain with the team, while Malcolm Brogdon cannot be traded due to the contract extension he signed during the offseason.