OTG's Trade Deadline Marathon: The Indiana Pacers Add Shooting
IND receives: Luke Kennard & Markieff Morris
DET receives: Goga Bitadze, Edmond Sumner, TJ Leaf, Second Round 2021 Pick (via Milwaukee) & the Pacers 2022 First Round Pick
Why do the Pacers do this: The Pacers ideally want to keep Myles Turner & Domantas Sabonis on this roster for the foreseeable future. Although the two co-existing hasn’t been the smoothest they’ve made it work. Recently when they’ve shared the floor, Turner has become more of a perimeter threat for the offense. Their third-string center, Goga Bitadze has tons of potential but he’s at a position where the Pacers have few minutes free now and in the future. Take that along with Bitadze’s value still being high as he’s shown glimpses of being a rim protector and a well rounded offensive threat now could be the time to sell.
The Indiana Pacers are dead last in the league in terms of three-pointers taken a game and are 29th in three-pointers made. In today’s NBA these numbers will limit your rosters upside and become a glaring issue come playoff time. Luke Kennard is the type of shooter and floor spacer that could add another dimension to this Pacers offense. Kennard on the season is shooting 39% from deep on six attempts per game. The Pacers would also bring in Markieff Morris as he’s a gritty defender who can play alongside either Sabonis or Turner while still providing floor spacing as he too is shooting 39% from three on the year. This move gives the Indiana Pacers, SHOOTERS!
Why do the Pistons do this: The Detroit Pistons are selling and rebuilding after years of being in purgatory. Andre Drummond will likely be moved but at what price? This move for the Pistons gives them several young assets while taking in no bad money. Goga Bitadze will be given a bigger role and could become their center of the future. Edmond Sumner has shown he’s a very capable defender with solid upside. TJ Leaf is for money purposes and taking a flyer on a stretch four who hasn’t had many minutes isn’t the worst move. Not to mention the Pistons will also receive a second round pick for 2021 and the Pacers first round pick in 2022. This would be a solid start to their rebuild.