NBA Trades #5: Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers were a surprise team last season and also surprisingly have an interest in Siakam. Trading for him would be a win-now move, and the Pacers don’t yet appear ready to compete. Then again, they do have one of the best point guards in the league in Tyrese Haliburton and a couple of very promising young players in Benn Mathurin and Jarace Walker. They also have plenty of draft picks and enough players on big contracts to match salaries in a trade.
The proposed deal would send Buddy Hield and his big expiring contract, along with Daniel Theis and prospect Isaiah Jackson, to the Raptors for Siakam. The Pacers would also send a pair of top-seven protected future first-round picks to the Raptors to complete the deal. For Toronto, Hield could later be moved again for more picks, while Theis has a team option for the 2024–25 season, allowing them to quickly move on from him if they choose.
Meanwhile, Jackson is a promising big man with terrific athleticism, but receiving two Pacers first-round picks is the centerpiece of the trade package. Even with Siakam, the Pacers might not make the playoffs in the East, giving Toronto the possibility of receiving a low lottery pick, perhaps even two, in this trade.
On the flip side, Indiana has never been a team to bottom out, and going for Siakam would definitely boost their ceiling. That could make them relevant again, and if their young players are even better than expected, then the Pacers will continue to surprise next season.