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The Pacers GM Says They Will Be Aggressive On The Trade Market, But What Young Player Would They Be Willing To Give Up?

A lot of question marks for the Indiana Pacers roster this offseason, and this statement is exactly what you want to hear from your GM. Being aggressive with trades is what put this team, which was in the middle of a rebuild, ahead of schedule. What "being aggressive on the trade market" means exactly for this roster's future is up to interpretation, but there are plenty of pieces on this current team with value on a team that needs to make a few small improvements. I'm all for keeping this current roster exactly how it is at the moment. Everyone knows the Pacers probably don't make the ECF without some help from oppanent's injuries, but this is an extremely young team that could make it to the NBA finals if the young core talent simply grows and gets better. Defense and rebounding will most likely get better with this team having more than just post all-star break playing together, but Indiana definitely needs to find a player that immediately makes the team better in those categories. It doesn't need to be a big, sexy name necessarily to do so. 

If the Pacers do want to make a big name addition to this team, it will have to be via trade due to most of their cap being tied up with All-NBA talent Tyrese Haliburton and potentially/hopefully Pascal Siakam signing longterm with Indy. A Paul George reunion keeps getting brought up, but the only reason is it makes a "great" storyline. I couldn't be more out on bringing PG13 back. I don't care about mending a relationship, there have to be better wing players that aren't 100 years old, I want to win. Let George go to Philly and get bounced in the 2nd round of the playoffs. 

As far as being aggressive goes, pushing for Siakam to sign a max deal is the most important move for Indiana this off-season. Renting Spicy P for half a season at the cost of 3 -1st rounders and Bruce Brown Jr would be a devastating loss, and really the only unacceptable outcome this offseason. Indiana pushed the chips in for the trade, P makes this roster significantly better, he's worth every penny of the max. 

The other big question is, what happens with Obi Toppin? Is Toppin fine coming off the bench, or does he want to be a starter somewhere for more $$$. There isn't a better offensive scheme in the NBA fit for an athlete like Obi. High paced offensive, with little defense. Granted, Toppin did get better defensively as the season went on, but there is much more left to be desired. Toppin played a huge role in the post season run, and would be missed. But could a player like Jarace Walker step in and immediately take Obi's place on the roster?  Walker's ceiling is much higher than Obi, and Walker is more versatile, he could be the answer to the Pacers' need at 4 or a 3 and D wing player. BUT, who knows if the youngest player on the roster, Jarace Walker, will be ready to go by next season. That's why picking up a starting caliber player in the offseason who plays defense and rebounds would be huge. 

Myles Turner is always on the trade block, and after a great playoff run from the big man, I say we let him relax for a season. Maybe give him a handshake and a wink to let him know we aren't moving him like we said we would for the last 8 years. 

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People love to put Ben Mathurin in trade talks because he's probably the Pacers best bargaining chip. As a second year player, Ben wasn't the best defensively, but holy shit was this man a walking bucket. Mathurin is better creating his own shot ball in his hand, so playing off the bench without Tyrese is the best spot for him at the moment. I could see Mathurin being 6 man of the year if he can perform consistently.

Andrew Nembhard is the most interesting piece the Pacers have. After a solid playoff performance, an amazing game winning shot, and an incredible audition as a starting point guard in the ECF, Nembhard's name is hot in these streets. I DO NOT want to see this guy leave. Nemby is one of the few 2nd year players that can actually be effective on defense, and he proved that he may be more comfortable on the court with the ball in his hands. It would be interesting to see what teams would be willing to give up for a guy that could potentially become their franchise starting PG, and I'd be willing to listen if the price is right. 

You've got to give up something to get something, but I'm fine riding with this core. With plenty of young talent already being developed on the roster, the Pacers need more players that are ready to play right now. Their young core being around the same age is perfect. Collecting draft picks would only be good if the Pacers could turn around and use those picks to get someone who can immediately make a difference.  Who that is is yet to be determined, but with one or two minor tweaks to the roster and players improving from last season, there is no reason why this core can't be a finals contender.