With the NBA Trade Deadline under a month away, the Indiana Pacers are a contending team that may look to make a few moves to better their roster for a potential playoff run. Sitting at 27-13 and as the third seed in the top-heavy Eastern Conference, the Pacers have quietly been a top team in the NBA throughout the first half of the season.
Even though star player Victor Oladipo has missed several games this season, the Pacers have been extremely consistent and gotten major contributions from Darren Collison, Bojan Bogdanovic, Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young and Domantas Sabonis to name a few.
The combination of Sabonis and Turner at the center position has been huge for Indiana. Sabonis averages 15 points and 10 rebounds per game off the bench, with Turner putting up 13 points and 7 rebounds per game as the starter.
Indiana not only has a very productive starting lineup, but also a very solid bench unit, which is lead by Sabonis, Cory Joseph, Tyreke Evans and Doug McDermott.
With plenty of playmakers and dominant big men on the roster, the Pacers could be active looking for shot-makers and “three-and-D” players come trade deadline time. Adding a couple players with those capabilities would undoubtedly make the Pacers better and give them a needed boost come playoff time.
Here’s three potential trade targets for the Indiana Pacers ahead of the deadline on February 8th, 2019.
3. G/F Terrence Ross – Orlando Magic
Terrence Ross has quietly been one of the most improved players in the NBA this season. After a couple consecutive seasons plagued with injuries, Ross has been huge for the Magic this season, averaging 13 points per game on 43 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from three.
Ross is in the final year of his three-year, $31.5 million contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. His expiring contract and noticeable improvement has made him a popular name on the trade market this season.
The Pacers are a team lacking depth at the forward and wing spots, and Ross could immediately fill in at one of these spots to bolster their roster. However, Ross is probably carrying a high-asking price with him at the moment.
Indiana might need to explore moving first-year player Aaron Holiday to acquire Ross, even though the Pacers are very high on Holiday’s talent. Trade rumors circulated at the beginning of the season that the Pacers might look to move Darren Collison or Cory Joseph to free up minutes for Holiday in the rotation.
However, those rumors have seemingly died down after Indiana’s hot start. Holiday is a solid asset they could look to move to get a player of Ross’ caliber. Holiday would be a great piece for Orlando to acquire, as the team is in dire need of a point guard of the future.
2. G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Los Angeles Lakers
It was a bit of a surprise that the Lakers opted to bring back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a one-year, $12 million contract this past offseason after a disappointing 2017-2018 campaign. After starting 74 games for Los Angeles last year, Caldwell-Pope has assumed a bench role, playing around ten less minutes per game this year.
He’s been underwhelming for the Lakers again this year, averaging 10 points per game on 37 percent shooting from three-point range. With a plethora of options off the bench, the Lakers could look to move Caldwell-Pope come trade deadline time.
KCP’s one-year deal makes him very expendable league wide, and he’s drawn interest from several teams across the association. The Indiana Pacers could use a player like Caldwell-Pope, especially if the asking price isn’t too high.
Caldwell-Pope’s “three-and-D” ability and upside from the perimeter would make him an instant contributor off Indiana’s bench. If he can start to get hot from outside, an acquisition like this would pay dividends for the Pacers.
A deal for KCP would most likely get done for a package of second round draft picks and TJ Leaf, if that. Nevertheless, the asking price won’t be too high from the Lakers end, and making a deal like this would surely improve the Pacers’ already formidable rotation.
1. F Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers
After signing a four-year, $120 million extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer, Kevin Love has been a trendy name on the trade market of late. Love has only played four games this season, and is still sidelined with a toe injury he suffered in October.
With the Cavaliers tanking, there has been no rush for Love to come back, but the team has recently cleared him to “resume basketball activities.”
As soon as Love does return, trade talks for the 11-year veteran will pick up rapidly. The Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets are two teams that have already expressed interest in trading for the him.
It is rather unlikely that the Indiana Pacers will pull the trigger on Love, especially with his large contract. However, Love’s fit as a prototypical stretch four alongside Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis is certainly intriguing.
A five time All-Star and double-double machine, Love averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers at the beginning of this year before getting injured. His services would come at a high price.
The Pacers would most likely have to package Aaron Holiday, Thaddeus Young, TJ Leaf, and future draft picks to even have a chance at acquiring Love. This is a steep price, and one that may not be worth it overall for Indiana, especially with Love’s injury history.
However, anytime you can pull the trigger on a player of Love’s caliber, you need to at least explore your options. A starting lineup of Collison, Oladipo, Bogdanovic, Love, and Turner would certainly be fun to watch and extremely productive.
The Cavaliers will be looking to shop Love around the trade deadline, and the right offer for the big man could get the job done. Indiana will need to be prepared to offer a steep price to get a deal done, however.
Acquiring Kevin Love could be the home-run acquisition the Pacers need to assert themselves as clear contenders in the Eastern Conference and in the NBA.