The Indiana Pacers have been one of the most surprising teams in the league this year.
Their preseason win total was set at 23.5 and they have already reached the halfway point just 21 games into the season.
Indiana sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 12-9.
They have a top-10 scoring offense in the NBA led by young phenom Tyrese Haliburton.
Tyrese Haliburton in his last three games:
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) November 29, 2022
Haliburton was acquired in the Domantas Sabonis trade last year with the Sacramento Kings.
Just 21 years of age, Haliburton has appeared in every game this year and is averaging 19.3 points and 11.2 assists per game.
For a team that was widely regarded to be in sell mode heading into the season, have things changed?
Pacers Should Look to Sell
Even with the strong start to the season, the Pacers should not look to buy at the trade deadline.
Outside of Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin, this roster is mostly devoid of potential high-end talent under the age of 25.
The Pacers should keep an eye on the future with the star-studded 2023 NBA Draft Class looming.
Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson are two can’t-miss prospects headlining the class.
While both have received high grades as prospects, Wembanyama is in a class of his own.
The French center has been labeled an “alien” by LeBron James.
If Indiana has a chance to pair either Wembanyama or Henderson with Haliburton, they should do everything in its power to make that happen.
That includes selling off veteran talent at the deadline.
Players to Sell
Given the Pacers should still be sellers at the deadline, the question now becomes who to sell.
Each player has had their name in trade rumors for well over a year.
Pat Bev and Kendrick Nunn’s salaries combine to $18.2M. Here are some *potential* Laker trade targets within that salary range:
Mike Conley – $22.7M
Nikola Vucevic – $22.0M
Terry Rozier – $21.5M
Buddy Hield – $21.2M
Bojan Bogdanovic – $19.5M
Myles Turner – $18.0M pic.twitter.com/ufLdmVOB2G
— Lucas Burns (@nba_indepth) December 1, 2022
And with each player having a solid season to this point, the Pacers should look to capitalize.
Hield is a marksman in the NBA, shooting 39.6% from three in his career on 7.7 attempts per game.
Turner is an elite rim protector who can also stretch the floor on offense.
He averages 2.3 blocks per game for his career while shooting 35% from three on 2.6 attempts per game.
Hield makes a reasonable $21.2 million this year which drops to $19.3 million next year.
Turner, on the other hand, is a free agent after collecting the $18 million he is owed this year.
The Pacers should look to fetch as much draft capital as possible for each player.