Projected starting lineup: Indiana Pacers
Point Guard: Tyrese Haliburton
Shooting Guard: Benn Mathurin
Small Forward: Bruce Brown
Power Forward: Obi Toppin
Center: Myles Turner
Aside from drafting Jarace Walker 7th overall and a couple of minor moves, the Pacers will apparently rely on internal development to improve. That may only get them so far in the Eastern Conference, especially after finishing 12th and out of the play-in tournament last season. However, they are in a better position than many of the teams in the same boat.
Halliburton and Turner are both top-10 players in their respective positions. Meanwhile, Mathurin is an up-and-coming prospect, Brown was a crucial cog on the Nuggets championship team, and Toppin has shown flashes but has gotten little opportunity after serving as the backup to an All-Star in New York.
He, like the Pacers as a whole, could surprise, especially with so many young players in their rotation. If they do indeed overperform, they could look to make a win-now move, such as acquiring Raptors star Pascal Siakam.
However, Indiana should go with their tried and true method of putting together the best possible roster, competing, and relying on their drafting and player development to get them back into contention. It’s what’s worked time and time again for them, and it looks like they are well on the way toward that goal of quietly building another good team.