The Indiana Pacers did the Houston Rockets a favor by taking on Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin in a trade. For their troubles, the Pacers will get a second-round pick from the Rockets in the deadline deal reported by ESPN.
The Pacers will waive both of these players, having no intention of keeping them on the roster. The Rockets motivation is getting below the luxury-tax threshold in the trade.
To make the trade legal, the Pacers do have to send something to the Rockets but it will likely just be a top-55 protected second-round pick that will never actually convey to Houston.
The Pacers also plan to waive Ike Anigbogu as part of the trade according to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes. They have to waive someone in order to make the deal and Anigbogu makes the most sense as he remains raw and has spent most of the season with the Mad Ants. His path to a role in the NBA was hard to see with the Pacers as he was fourth on the depth chart at the center position.
Waiving Anigbogu, Stauskas, and Baldwin will leave the Pacers with two open roster spots once the dust settles. One spot is surely going to Edmond Sumner once his 2-way contract is converted. The other likely goes to a veteran on the buyout market. One possible target appears to be Wes Matthews who was traded to the Knicks in the Kristaps Porzingis deal.
Stauskas and Baldwin started the week on the Blazers, then were traded to the Cavs on Sunday who swapped them to the Rockets on Wednesday who sent them to the Pacers today and now they’ll be free agents once they clear waivers.
No crazy trade rumors on deadline day for the Pacers to this point. Reports surfaced yesterday that Pacers had made an offer for Mike Conley but it doesn’t appear likely that anything that big will happen for Indiana.
Elsewhere in the East, the Bucks acquired Nikola Mirotic, Sixers acquired Tobias Harris and the Raptors acquired Marc Gasol. The top teams in the East all got better except for the Celtics to this point.