The NBA Draft is upon us. Tonight is the day where 60 young men have their dreams come true as they are drafted by an NBA franchise. The Pacers have a lot of options in this draft. Yesterday, we looked at a few prospects that could be available at 23 that might be able to contribute right away for the Indiana Pacers in their rookie season.
Today, we look at a few possible, at least semi-plausible, trades that Kevin Pritchard and the Indiana Pacers front office could look to make on draft night. Pritchard used to have so much success via trade when he was with the Portland Trailblazers that “The Pritch Slap” was born. We’ll see if Pritchard can pull something off like that tonight.
Trade One: Moving on up!
- Indiana Pacers receive: Kenneth Faried and the 14th overall pick
- Denver Nuggets receive: Al Jefferson and the 23rd pick
This trade has been thrown out there by many people including most recently Bobby Marks and ESPN. This was also close to what a possible deal at the deadline looked like according to some Pacers rumors at the time, but Al Jefferson and other Pacers asked Pritchard to let the team stick together for the rest of the season and no moves were made.
I think this trade and others in the list would be more likely to happen if Thaddeus Young had already decided that he was going to decline his option and look to test out the free agent market. With his decision still up in the air, the Pacers may be less likely to take Faried’s deal on. It doesn’t affect the Pacers cap space next year since Faried only has a single season left on the deal and that seems to be a possible sticking point for Pritchard on why a long-term agreement hasn’t been reached with Young.
This could also be the type of deal that is already in the works if a certain player makes it to the 14th pick. If the Pacers guy is available at 14, say Miles Bridges, then maybe the Pacers pull the trigger on the deal.
Trade Two: Moving Down
- Indiana Pacers receive: 26th pick, 38th pick
- Philadelphia 76ers receive: 23rd pick
Some of the prospects that I would like for the Pacers at 23 like Melvin Frazier and Khyri Thomas are often projected to go later in round one or early in round two. Trading down could possibly give the Pacers a chance to grab two of these players. 38 might be too low to still grab the second player but the Pacers could possibly package the 38th pick with the 50th pick and move up in the second round or offer the 38th plus cash.
Hat-tip to Tony East of 8 points, 9 seconds, who was on a similar train of thought with the Pacers possibly trading down in the draft.
Other teams that have two draft picks between 23 and 40 that could also be trade down candidates include the Atlanta Hawks (30, 34) and Brooklyn Nets (29, 40), but those two rebuilding teams would seem less like to want to trade multiple picks away in order to move up.
Trade Three: Another Moving Up Option
- Indiana Pacers receive: Markieff Morris, Jodie Meeks, 15th pick
- Washington Wizards receive: Al Jefferson, 23rd pick
The Wizards are likely looking to save some money and avoid the luxury tax. These two players are probably the easiest for the Wizards to get rid off and since they both only have one year remaining they wouldn’t hurt the Pacers salary cap in the next season. The Wizards would probably prefer to part with Marcin Gortat or Ian Mahinmi, but the Pacers simply don’t need another center on the roster and definitely don’t need two years of Mahinmi’s contract. Morris could also fill the void at power forward if Young were to decline his option and Meeks would provide some wing depth.
This could work the same way for the Pacers as the theoretical deal with the Nuggets as the Pacers would likely want to see who was available at 15 before pulling the trigger. The Wizards may hold out hope that they can find a better deal to get rid of a different, larger contract instead of taking this one.
The Pacers could also try and pry away Otto Porter if Pritchard thinks he can do more with a larger role. It would take a more substantial offering like Bojan Bogdanovic, Al Jefferson and TJ Leaf along with the 23rd pick (and that still might be lacking to the Wizards). It’d be a large commitment to make on Porter who still has three years left on his $24 million per year contract, but it could be worth looking into if you believe Porter is capable of more and the Wizards end up being that desperate to shed salary.
Trade Four: A “Shooting Four”
- Indiana Pacers receive: Marvin Williams
- Charlotte Hornets receive: Al Jefferson
This would be a cost-saving move for the Hornets and the Pacers would get the true shooting four that Pritchard seemed to be salivating over at the end-of-season press conference. This would be another option if the Pacers believe Thad will decline his deal, but they could make it work even if he opts in.
You can probably add some pieces to this deal and still get it to work. The Hornets probably wouldn’t mind parting with something to help shed the salary. Swapping the 11th pick and the 23rd pick is an option but as the Hornets start to rebuild that drop off may be too far. The Pacers could see if Charlotte is willing to give up on Malik Monk after only a single season; Pacers could even off their first-round pick for him if they’re high on him. This seems unlikely, however. Maybe the Hornets would give up a lottery protected first-round pick that becomes unprotected after three or four years for the Pacers trouble of taking on Williams. Lots of possibilities to ask the Hornets about here. If the Pacers want to go big and try for Kemba Walker, that is discussed in the link below from before the trade deadline.
Trade Five: Moving Way Up!
- Indiana Pacers receive: Chandler Parsons and the 4th overall pick
- Memphis Grizzlies receive: Al Jefferson, Bojan Bogdanovic, 23rd overall pick
This is probably the least plausible deal in the bunch. The Pacers would have to absolutely love someone at the top of the draft to be willing to take on that giant Parsons deal which would make him the highest paid player in Indiana. Since the Pacers haven’t been meeting with guys near the top of the draft, it’s another reason to find this highly unlikely as well as that’s a big commitment to make for a player you may not have vetted as much as other prospects. But the Pacers will never select this high in the draft without some kind of trade since they never tank (barring some crazy lottery win), so if Pritchard sees someone that could be a franchise cornerstone, maybe he goes for it.
It’s also quite possible that going all the way down to 23 would be too far for the Grizzlies liking just to get a couple of contracts that would create instant cap relief instead of just waiting out on the Parsons deal instead. The Knicks are rumored to be a possible team that would be willing to take on the contract and in order to move up from 9th, which would be much more appealing the the Grizzlies. A number of teams were listed as being interested in a possible deal in the below article but none of them were Indiana.