Category Archives: news

Rumors: Details on the Pacers and Lakers Russell Westbrook trade negotiations

The Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers have discussed a deal that would send both Myles Turner and Buddy Hield to L.A. and Russell Westbrook and draft compensation to Indiana according to multiple media outlets.

Bob Kravitz of The Athletic reports the deal is currently “dead” as the Pacers would like an additional first-round pick to the current draft capital that’s being offered.

The biggest issue with the deal is that the Lakers are limited in what draft picks they have to even offer after sending so many out to get Anthony Davis and the limits on trading firsts in consecutive seasons. Continue reading Rumors: Details on the Pacers and Lakers Russell Westbrook trade negotiations

Pacers are trying to prep the runway for Tyrese Haliburton to takeoff

The Indiana Pacers are rebuilding. While doing so openly and without shame by accumulating draft picks and pursuing young talent, the foundation of it all is Tyrese Haliburton and everything they’ve done this off-season has giving their point guard every opportunity to make a leap in mind.

MFW when a Pacers front office isn’t scared of the word “rebuild”

The first step for the Pacers front office was to move Malcolm Brogdon who didn’t fit a rebuilding timeline and limited Haliburton’s impact when they shared the floor last season. It was only eight games, but in over 200 minutes the Pacers had a net rating of -16.3 with both guards playing together and Haliburton’s usage rate dropped to just 16.1% which was far below his 20.5% rate in his Pacers minutes without Brogdon.

In clutch moments, Brogdon was far too likely to be handling the bulk of playmaking duties instead of the more dynamic threat in the Pacers newcomer. Moving the veteran leaves no doubt about who should be running the offense and Haliburton, who can be deferential to a fault, knows his team will be relying on him more than ever next season.

“The load, or what I’m being asked to do, is more than probably I’ve ever been asked to do in terms of responsibility,” Haliburton, who averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 assists per game with Indiana, told USA Today. “So, yeah, I’m just really excited for it. It’s an opportunity that everybody wants in their life and grew up wanting this opportunity in the NBA.” Continue reading Pacers are trying to prep the runway for Tyrese Haliburton to takeoff

Pacers Summer League Takeaways: What we learned in Las Vegas

The Indiana Pacers finished off their Summer League schedule with a loss to the Washington Wizards and suffered perhaps the worst shooting performance ever seen against the Phoenix Suns. Before the Wizards game, they actually had a shot at playing in the championship if they would have won by at least 15 points but Indiana rested many of their top players including Bennedict Mathurin, Isaiah Jackson, Chris Duarte, and Terry Taylor. Duane Washington Jr. was also inactive after being waived earlier this week so the Pacers could sign Deandre Ayton to an offer sheet. The Summer Pacers finished just 2-3 overall.

With three draft picks and seven players that were on the team’s roster in some capacity last season—plus newcomer Aaron Nesmith—this was a loaded group for the Pacers for Summer League in the first three games. While it’s important not to overreact positively or negatively to anything that happens in Las Vegas, there’s still plenty to learn and takeaway from these exhibition games. Here’s my takeaways from each player:

Bennedict Mathurin

The number six pick in the 2022 NBA Draft didn’t disappoint in his pseudo-debut for the Pacers as he averaged 19.3 points, 4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in just 22 minutes per game. He finished his three games with shooting splits of 48.8/38.5/76.5. His numbers efficiency-wise compare favorably to any rookie in his class.

Mathurin averaged the third-most PPG among rookies in Vegas despite a much lower minute total than those above him.

Mathurin impressed in catch-and-shoot situations off the ball as expected but showed also showed off some nice on-ball skills with step-back 3-pointers and a variety of drives to the rim where he often finished or drew a foul (5.7 free throw attempts per game). Continue reading Pacers Summer League Takeaways: What we learned in Las Vegas

Pacers drop historic max offer sheet to Deandre Ayton, Suns immediately match it

The Indiana Pacers and Deandre Ayton saga has reached its dramatic conclusion as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the two parties have a agreed to a 4-year, $133 million max offer sheet that is the largest in NBA history, and the Suns matched it instantly as soon as it was received.

The Pacers cleared about $4.6 million in cap space to have the room to sign the center by waiving Duane Washington Jr. and using the stretch provision on Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, and Nik Stauskas who were all acquired in the Malcolm Brogdon trade. This is actually the second time that Stauskas has been traded to Indiana and waived without playing a single game for the Pacers.

This is a historic move for the Pacers franchise in multiple ways beyond just the fact that this is the largest offer sheet in league history. Continue reading Pacers drop historic max offer sheet to Deandre Ayton, Suns immediately match it

Pacers Summer League Grades: Bennedict Mathurin dominates, Aaron Nesmith debuts

The Indiana Pacers looked like Summer League contenders again in a dominant effort against the Detroit Pistons as they won 101-87 behind rookie Bennedict Mathurin’s best performance in Las Vegas so far.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Jaden Ivey in this matchup after he tweaked his ankle in Pistons previous game, but the Pacers starters bounced back from the previous game and made this an entertaining one for fans to watch. Let’s dive right into the grades.

Bennedict Mathurin – A+

Mathurin airballed his first 3-pointer of the night and then just destroyed the Pistons defense at every opportunity. Continue reading Pacers Summer League Grades: Bennedict Mathurin dominates, Aaron Nesmith debuts

The Pacers & Deandre Ayton are the will-they-won’t-they plot of the NBA off-season

The Indiana Pacers are interested in restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton and could give him a max offer sheet or complete a sign-and-trade for him with the Phoenix Suns as early as well yesterday. This according to media reports for what feels like the last week but most recently by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Scott Agness of The Fieldhouse Files confirms the Pacers are interested in Ayton. Marc Stein has reported that much of the league is waiting to see if Indiana will make that widely anticipated offer. Windhorst has been all over the ESPN world rumor mongering for a few days about this one including that the Pacers have met with Ayton. Plenty of smoke just from yesterday in the NBA Rumor Mill.

You may be thinking: So what’s the hold up? Why aren’t the Pacers making this move already that I’ve been hearing rumors about for the entire off-season? Are these two going to end up together or what? Come on, Ross and Rachel! We don’t want to go through 236 episodes of every ESPN talk show waiting for the answer here. Let’s get on with it!

I am right there with you, hypothetical reader, and ready for the constant Ayton anticipation to reach its climatic ending whether that’s in Indiana or elsewhere. There are lots of layers to this slowly-developing situation, but the biggest reason that the Pacers and Ayton are stuck in this will-they-won’t-they loop typically reserved for sitcoms is restricted free agency. Continue reading The Pacers & Deandre Ayton are the will-they-won’t-they plot of the NBA off-season

Pacers Summer League Grades: Starters struggle against Kings

The Indiana Pacers fell to the Sacramento Kings in their second Summer League game 103-96 in a showdown between two top draft picks in Bennedict Mathurin and Keegan Murray.

Chris Duarte sat this one out after he looked too good for these summer exhibitions in game one and the Pacers starting lineup missed him, but some guys that didn’t play in the first game had nice showings today. Without further ado, let’s jump into the grades:

Bennedict Mathurin – C+

Mathurin’s final line of 15 points (6 of 16), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 turnover sums up an okay performance decently in this one. His numbers easily could have looked better if just a couple more things fell his way: 2 of 5 from the free-throw line, missed all three of his catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts, and couldn’t buy a whistle on a few drives to the rim. Continue reading Pacers Summer League Grades: Starters struggle against Kings

Pacers Summer League Grades: Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte lead the way

The Indiana Pacers looked very fun in their first game in Las Vegas Summer League as they beat the Charlotte Hornets 96-84 behind stellar performances from their rookie Bennedict Mathurin and second-year player Chris Duarte.

As always, remember this is Summer League. The results of the games don’t matter but some of the details can tell us a lot about these players, many of which will be on the Pacers roster during the regular season. That being said, the Summer Pacers look like Vegas contenders so let’s add some meaningless grades to these semi-meaningless games.

Bennedict Mathurin: Grade A-

Mathurin looked good in his debut for the blue and gold. He led all players with 23 points (9 of 16 from the field) and added four rebounds and a steal to his tally. Mathurin started off strong hitting a 3-pointer to open the game on a beautifully run Spain pick and roll by the Pacers. Continue reading Pacers Summer League Grades: Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte lead the way

Possible effects of Jalen Smith being a starter for the Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers held a press conference for the re-signing of Jalen Smith yesterday with much pomp and circumstance as team employees clapped and cheered at every opportunity for some added flair and energy to the events.

The biggest news to come from it is that Smith, who averaged 13.4 points and 7.6 rebounds in just under 25 minutes per game with the Pacers, will be the team’s starting power forward next season which came straight from the mouth of the head coach, Rick Carlisle.

Details of the contract were reported by Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Originally reported as a 2-year deal when news broke of his re-signing by multiple outlets, Agness says the deal was tweaked over the last few days and it is now a 3-year contract with a player option on the third season. The first season in the deal will start at $4.67 million, which is what the Pacers were limited to offering due to the Suns declining his team option of the same amount. Continue reading Possible effects of Jalen Smith being a starter for the Indiana Pacers

T.J. Warren and the Pacers’ problem moving forward

Pacers free agent T.J. Warren has agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets according to multiple media reports.

Warren who suffered multiple stress fractures in his foot after his unforgettable breakout in the NBA Bubble played just four games for the Pacers over his last two seasons with the team including none all of last year.

Warren’s absence amplified the biggest weakness of the team’s roster makeup. They simply haven’t had any forwards that can play both small and power forward at a high level the last few seasons. Big wings have been torching this group since Warren went out and never returned. Oshae Brissett was a huge addition for this team late in the lost Bjorkgren season simply because he was the right body size. It was a bonus that he was actually good at basketball and added things on both ends. Continue reading T.J. Warren and the Pacers’ problem moving forward

Indiana Pacers re-sign [redacted]

CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT: Bureaucracies move slowly. While there is no longer a reason for information about Jalen Smith to be redacted, we at iPacers.com have not been given the clearance to declassify everything.

Free agent center Jalen Smith has re-signed with the Indiana Pacers on a 2-year contract per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

As has been discussed ad nauseam by everyone covering the Pacers since he was acquired and started shooting like a human flamethrower , Kevin Pritchard was limited in what he could offer Smith, who averaged 13.4 points and 7.6 rebounds while making 11 of his first 14 3-pointers and shooting 37% from deep overall over 22 games with Indiana, in a potential deal to return to the team due to rules involving what happens when a team declines the team option on a player’s rookie-scale deal. The Pacers were being limited by the decision made by the Phoenix Suns to decline his third-year option and could only offer him $4.67 million in the first year of any contract. Continue reading Indiana Pacers re-sign [redacted]

Thoughts on the Pacers trading Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics

After a quiet initial start to free agency, the Pacers have made their first big move: trading away Malcolm Brogdon for Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis, a first-round pick and a collection of players on minimum contracts according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Everyone knew the Pacers had been shopping Brogdon and trying to find a deal for the guard for months as he simply no longer made sense with their future plans to build around the young point prince Tyrese Haliburton. They end up with their third 1st-round pick in 2023 (their own and the Cavaliers’ lottery-protected selections being the others) and a young wing in Nesmith who was a first-round pick in 2020. Continue reading Thoughts on the Pacers trading Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics

Pacers Summer League Preview

It was a quiet night for the Indiana Pacers on the opening day of the always entertaining NBA free agent frenzy. The biggest news for circle city squad was the announcement of the Summer League roster (well other than that the Pacers have finally shed Monta Ellis from their cap sheet and that Indiana’s free agent big man [redacted] remains unsigned).

Please use up your MLEs and cap space remaining teams that have those available.

As for the Summer League, the Pacers look like they’ll be putting out their best squad since they started coming to Las Vegas instead of Orlando for their exhibition games. The roster is highlighted by both of last season’s first-round picks in Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson, all three of this year’s picks in Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, and Kendall Brown, and returning Pacers Terry Taylor and Duane Washington. Not to mention the two players who ended the season on 2-way contracts with the team in mixtape legend Gabe York and Nate Hinton. The head coach will be Butler legend Ronald Nored who seems destined to be the top dog on the sidelines for an NBA franchise at some point. Continue reading Pacers Summer League Preview

His heart and everything else Bennedict Mathurin is bringing to the Indiana Pacers

Bennedict Mathurin didn’t hesitate when asked what the Indiana Pacers would be getting from him.

“My heart, man,” the 6th overall pick said on the ESPN broadcast after being selected. “They’re getting everything from me from the jump to the end.”

When watching Mathurin tape from Arizona this past season, his heart was evident. He plays with passion and celebrates with excitement on big plays whether by a teammate or himself. It feels safe to assume he loves the game.

As the highest Pacers draft pick since the late 1980s, that quality to go along with his work ethic and desire to improve are intangibles that added to his appeal as a top selection.

“I think one of the things that made the Pacers interested is that they feel like there’s an inferno burning inside this kid,” said Tommy Lloyd, Arizona’s head basketball coach during Mathurin’s sophomore season. “… He’s a super diligent guy. He really immersed himself in the process of becoming a great basketball player … he’s a self-starter and extremely motivated. I think his best days are ahead of him.” Continue reading His heart and everything else Bennedict Mathurin is bringing to the Indiana Pacers

The Many Problems of the Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are 9-16. The 7th-worst record in the NBA. They are on their third head coach in three seasons and out of excuses.

“We can’t be an organization or a team that accepts mediocrity,” Myles Turner said after the latest embarrassing loss for the Pacers who fell to the Miami Heat without both Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. “That’s what we’ve been playing like. We got to up the ante, somehow someway … we have to find a way to fucking win.”

So what’s the problem with these Pacers? Continue reading The Many Problems of the Indiana Pacers

After Sabonis extension, these Pacers have time to grow together

Do you like the look of the current Pacers roster? Because the majority of this team could be in Indiana for awhile after Kevin Pritchard and the front office agreed to an extension with Domantas Sabonis less than two hours before today’s deadline.

It was a bit of a surprise development after rumors that the Pacers were at least listening to offers for their young center this past week and Sabonis seemed unhappy and a little frustrated with the situation after practice on Saturday.

Bobby Marks of ESPN had reported that Myles Turner extension amount of $72 million was seen as a “non-starter” by Sabonis’s agent, so it seemed he was looking for much more than the terms that ended up being agreed upon.

Sabonis’s contract extension is for four years and $74.9 million according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, just a shade larger than Turner’s deal signed last year at about this same time. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that with bonuses the deal can reach up to $85 million. This amount won’t start until next season as he plays out the last season of his rookie contract in 2019-20.

With Sabonis under contract for the next five seasons, he joins many Pacers that are in long-term deals with the team: Continue reading After Sabonis extension, these Pacers have time to grow together

Rumors: Thoughts on the Domantas Sabonis trade talk

The Indiana Pacers have until Monday to sign Domantas Sabonis to an extension, but the two parties appear unlikely to agree to terms before that deadline according to multiple media reports.

The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that they are far apart to the point that the Pacers “have engaged in active trade talks with several teams this week.” While Amick notes that there is no lack of interest in the young center, his sources say that the Pacers asking price remains too high.

The IndyStar’s J. Michael confirmed that an extension is not imminent at the moment and said he “wouldn’t be surprised by anything as the deadline nears.”

Based on all the reporting, here is some speculation on what’s going on. I repeat this is just speculation and is only my best guess for the entire situation:

When the Pacers realized that they were probably not going to reach an agreement with Sabonis, they started to check what the trade market would be for him.

This doesn’t mean that they are necessarily looking to trade him right now (unless they got a huge offer they couldn’t pass up which would line up with their rumored “high” asking price) but perhaps it is more of a situation where the Pacers are just seeing what they could possibly get in a deal and what teams would be interested down the line if Kevin Pritchard and company decided to go that direction in the future. In other words, it’s just due diligence. Continue reading Rumors: Thoughts on the Domantas Sabonis trade talk

India Pacers showed us what is possible — both good and bad

It’s only preseason, but the Indiana Pacers showed us a little of what was possible for them this season. While most of it was good, there are a few reasons to worry as well.

It’s easy to write off anything good about a pair of preseason games, especially when two teams are playing far, far from home, but with a new roster for the Indiana Pacers, we’re at least getting a glimpse of what’s possible.

T.J. Warren won’t shoot 5 of 6 from deep every night — he shot 1 for 4 after getting us drunk on expectations in his first preseason game. We also saw him lost on defense several times, but that’s not why the Pacers brought him in, as they knew that was a liability of his.

Warren is a microcosm of the Pacers’ situation at the moment. There are great possibilities in what he and many of the new (and old) members of the team add, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t look at the negatives as well.

The Sabonis-Turner pairing is still fraught with danger

No matter where you put one of them, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are both effectively centers. We saw them both try to play the position as such more than once in the two games.

Some of those mistakes will fix themselves over time as they adjust to not always being the ‘real’ center on the court but expect to see that happen from time to time until further notice.

Turner is better at recovering when he gets caught out of place, but that might just mean teams will look to make sure they can force Sabonis to be the one having to show and recover back to the basket.

It’s my biggest fear for the Pacers this season — that in the long-run, the duo can’t work together — but they did show some adaptations, too.  Continue reading India Pacers showed us what is possible — both good and bad

Is Victor Oladipo on the Masked Singer?

The burning question that all Pacers fans want to have confirmed this week has nothing to do with setting screens, defensive alignments, or offensive sets. It’s bigger than all of that:

Is All-Star guard Victor Oladipo on the Masked Singer?

Fox’s fairly new reality series pins well-known celebrities up in a singing competition with a twist. Their identities are masked, both literally and figuratively.

In season two’s premiere, a contestant known only as the “Thingamajig” showed off a voice that seems eerily familiar to Pacers fans while singing “Easy (Like Sunday Morning)” and Oladipo has long been known to sing dating back to his days at Indiana University. He has released multiple R&B albums and has sung at numerous NBA events including the 2015 NBA Dunk Contest, 2018 NBA Awards Show and talent contests during All-Star weekend.

But it’s not just the voice that has Pacers fans convinced. Continue reading Is Victor Oladipo on the Masked Singer?

Pairing of Turner and Sabonis the talk of Pacers Media Day

With Media Day unofficially marking the start of a new season for the Indiana Pacers, there’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the team that saw a lot of change over the off-season  with no bigger question than the now starting big-men duo of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.

Can the two play together on a successful team? Who guards who defensively? Can they figure out the spacing issues on offense? These are questions that may decide the fate for the upcoming season and both Nate McMillan and Myles Turner’s press conference started off with a question early on about the pairing.

“Me and Domas have been talking about playing together for a long time now,” said Turner. “We definitely still have a lot of work to do but I think we bring a lot to the table.”

Coach Nate McMillan said match-ups will dictate who guards the four and who is the five, but deep down, we know they are both centers. Turner acknowledged the challenge that guarding the perimeter will be for one of them as well. Continue reading Pairing of Turner and Sabonis the talk of Pacers Media Day