NBA Rumor: Three Potential Trade Deadline Targets For Indiana Pacers

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JB Baruelo

After hiring Rick Carlisle as their new head coach, the Indiana Pacers headed into the 2021-22 NBA season with the goal of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title. Unfortunately, as of now, the Pacers aren't playing like a team that is ready to capture the Larry O'Brien Trophy. So far, they are sitting in the No. 13 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 14-20 record.

With their current struggle, some people started questioning if the Pacers are still eyeing to remain competitive or already planning to undergo a rebuilding process.

Pacers Moving Toward Substantial Rebuild

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Earlier this month, Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic shared an interesting rumor about the Pacers. The Pacers still have plenty of games left to turn things around this season, but they are reportedly considering the idea of undergoing a "substantial rebuild."

"In need of a new direction amid a 10-16 start to the season, the Indiana Pacers are moving toward a substantial rebuild and are expected to open up trade conversations around some of their veteran stalwarts, sources tell The Athletic," Charania and Krovitz wrote, as quoted by NBC Sports.

If they decide to take a different route, the Pacers are expected to trade their veterans for young players who could be part of their long-term future.

Pacers Get A New Centerpiece

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One of the most intriguing trade targets for the Pacers is All-Star point guard Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. The Pacer would no longer wait for Simmons to be available on the trading block since he has been finding his way out of the City of Brotherly Love since the 2021 NBA offseason.

Simmons may still have some major flaws in his game but compared to all the young players on the Pacers' roster, he has more potential to become a legitimate superstar in the league. After successfully acquiring him from the Sixers, the Pacers could immediately make him the centerpiece of the next title-contending team that they will try to build in Indiana.

Cam Reddish Becomes Part Of Pacers' Rebuilding Plans

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If the Pacers undergo a full-scale rebuild, it would be necessary for them to add more young players that they could develop. According to Nicolas Kyle Pring of Fansided, the Pacers should strongly consider adding an up-and-coming star like Atlanta Hawks small forward Cam Reddish to their list of trade deadline targets.

"One player loaded with potential that the Indiana Pacers should try to make a move for is Atlanta Hawks wing Cam Reddish," Pring wrote. "Reddish, the 10th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, has turned heads this season with his electric play off the bench for the Hawks. After juggling between undefined roles in his first two seasons, the Duke product seems ready to make a huge leap."

Pacers Resume Pursuit Of Gordon Hayward

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If the Pacers want to overhaul their roster without giving up on their plan to return to the playoffs, targeting Charlotte Hornets small forward Gordon Hayward would make a lot of sense. The Pacers have long been interested in adding Hayward, an Indiana native, to their roster. Hayward is currently not available on the trading block, but the Hornets may consider moving him for the right offer.

In the proposed trade scenario by NBA Analysis Network, the Pacers would be sending Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb, and a 2023 first-round pick to the Hornets in exchange for Hayward and two future second-round picks.