The Indiana Pacers are serious about making a playoff run in the Eastern Conference, even if it means giving up a valuable asset before the Feb. 23 NBA trade deadline.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Pacers are dangling their 2017 first round pick in hopes of acquiring “an established wing or an established frontline player, according to sources.”
The Pacers’ mission, according to Haynes, is to give superstar forward Paul George some help.
George leads the Pacers with 22.3 points per game, and no one else on the team is averaging more than 16. Sophomore center Myles Turner has avoided a sophomore slump, but he’s the only other offensive threat besides George on the Indiana roster.
Big man Al Jefferson has underwhelmed by chipping in 8.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while veteran guard Monta Ellis is scoring just 8.2 points per game — his lowest since he was a rookie 10 years ago.
The Pacers entered NBA All-Star Weekend in sixth place in the East. It’s going to be a competitive fight for playoff positioning down the stretch, though, with the No. 6 through No. 12 positions in the East separated by just six games.
Indiana isn’t going to be a legit title contender this season, even if it acquires a really good player before the deadline, so it would make sense for this team to keep its 2017 first-round pick and add to its collection of young, talented players.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Feb 16, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) brings the ball up court against the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Washington defeats Indiana 111-98. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports