Kevin Pritchard entered the offseason looking to swing big for the Indiana Pacers. Not only were they looking to add talent around Victor Oladipo, they were looking to add top-notch talent. That isn’t easy for a small-market team like Indiana.
Despite all the difficulties that the Pacers face on a yearly basis, they were able to make a big-time splash. After entering deep negotiations with point guard Ricky Rubio early in free agency, Pritchard pivoted when he had the opportunity to sign-and-trade for Milwaukee Bucks’ point guard Malcolm Brogdon. Indiana sent a future first-round pick and two second-round picks to get him.
Now, Brogdon is signed to a four-year, $85 million contract. In addition to getting Brogdon, the Pacers were able to sign talented scoring wing Jeremy Lamb on a three-year deal. Indiana also brought in T.J. Warren in a draft night trade for cash considerations.
To say that this offseason was a success for the Pacers would be a massive understatement. Granted, they didn’t get an All-Star to pair with Oladipo, at least right now. Brogdon certainly has the talent and potential to become an All-Star in the future.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at the three biggest takeaways for the Pacers this offseason.
3. It’s Time for the Bigs to Step Up
If there was one obvious takeaway from the moves the Pacers made this offseason, it would be that they are going all in on Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. Pritchard and head coach Nate McMillan have both stated that the two big men are going to start alongside each other on a nightly basis for the first time.
Fans have been waiting to see this pairing since Sabonis was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Paul George trade. There have been some concerns about their fit together, but it’s time to find out just what they have. If it works out, Indiana is going to have one of the best front-court duos in the game.
2. Indiana Is Confident in Victor Oladipo’s Full Return
Secondly, Oladipo is set to return at some point this coming season from a quad rupture that he suffered last season. It was a brutal injury for the franchise, but Oladipo has been attacking his rehab and is progressing well. His return is expected at some point in December or January.
The moves the Pacers made make it clear that they are building around Oladipo. They are not trying to replace him in any way, shape, or form. Indiana has full confidence that their franchise star will be back and better than ever.
1. The Pacers Are Going for It in the Wide Open Eastern Conference
Some fans were disappointed that the Pacers weren’t able to grab an All-Star in free agency like D’Angelo Russell. What they don’t realize is that Brogdon, Lamb, and Warren are all big-time talents and are capable of developing into exactly what the Pacers need. Indiana is heading in the right direction.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are going to be tough, as will the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. The Pacers are going for it with a much improved roster and players who can take them to the next level. Assuming Oladipo returns at 100 percent, Indiana will be a serious team to watch.