OTG's NBA Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 6.5
*The Indiana Pacers send a 2018 and 2020 first round draft pick to the Charlotte Hornets. The 2020 pick is protected selections 1-15.*
The Indiana Pacers are currently in a peculiar position. Heading into the season I was ready for a crap shoot. I had predicted the Pacers to finish around 31-51, and now they already have 25 wins in the books. Well, this time, I’m happy to have been wrong. However, with a slightly over .500 roster, what route do the Pacers take?
The Pacers have their own 2018 first round draft pick, yet, with every win that pick gets worse and worse in terms of value. There’s two options for the Pacers on the table, make a move to improve the roster now, or trade some players outside of the core for younger talent and possible draft picks.
This scenario, the dream case scenario, is for win more now purposes. Pacers ship out Darren Collison, T.J Leaf, their 2018 and 2020* first round pick to the Charlotte Hornets for Kemba Walker. Pacers make this move to acquire a true point guard to fill out what would be a dynamic backcourt with Victor Oladipo. The Pacers with Walker get another playmaker, but most importantly another guy who can create his own shot and get buckets. Buckets in an assortment of ways, the Pacers struggle from the 3-point line, Walker has become an improved shooter from deep.
Kemba Walker is on a 2 year, 24 million dollar contract which is very friendly for the talented Walker. The Hornets seem finally ready to pull the plug on things in Charlotte. They're near the bottom, with an older, veteran roster, it’s time to restock. Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Dwight Howard are all for sale. As of right now, Walker and Howard have the most value for teams looking to make a jump.
The Hornets will want a decent load for Walker, but a young TJ Leaf and draft picks may be enough to push through a trade. Again this is a dream scenario, for the Pacers. Acquiring Kemba Walker likely pushes the Indiana Pacers from where they sit currently (6th in the East) to possibly, at best a 4 seed. A lineup of; Kemba Walker, Victor Oladipo, Glenn Robinson(When he returns), Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner would be a fairly tough starting 5.
This is part 1 of a 3 part Indiana Pacers trade scenarios, I have coming for Off the Glass. Stay on the look out!