Pacers President Kevin Pritchard and General Manager Chad Buchanan have already made one big trade prior to the deadline. Could they add another piece before 3pm eastern on Thursday, February 8th?
These are the contracts that Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin, and Jalen Smith are on:
- Buddy Hield (31) – final year of contract, due $19M this season
- Jalen Smith (23) – has a $5M player option for 2024-2025, due $5M this season
- Obi Toppin (25) – final year of rookie contract, will become unrestricted free agent after the season, due $6.8M this season
Indiana has been competitive against some of the top teams in the NBA. They’re 10-4 against the top five teams in the Eastern Conference (Celtics, Bucks, 76ers, Cavaliers, and Knicks). The Pacers are:
- 6 games behind Milwaukee for second
- 5.5 games behind Philadelphia for third
- 3 games behind Cleveland for fourth
- 2 games behind New York for fifth
Clearly the front office feels like they can make a push for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference to get home court advantage for two series. In order to add another piece, the Pacers have made Hield, Toppin, and Smith available. Brett Siegel from Clutch Sports joined Query & Company Tuesday afternoon to weigh in.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are actively looking to trade these guys. They’re simply going out there on the market and they’re willing to talk with teams and see what upgrades are available for their roster. If they can get a solid good player in return potentially out on the wing is where they’re really looking, there is a chance they move Buddy Hield on that expiring nineteen million dollar contract. The same can be said for Obi Toppin, although they have liked his production at the power forward position before they got Siakam.”
It’s hard to determine what kind of return the Pacers could get for Hield & Smith or Hield & Toppin.
In the NBA, you have to match salaries when making trades. Hield & Smith would be sending out $24M, whereas Hield & Toppin would send out $25.8M. This is a list of players that Indiana could land, if their team were to make them available:
- Gordon Hayward, 33, Charlotte Hornets
- Andrew Wiggins, 28, Golden State Warriors
- Kyle Kuzma, 28, Washington Wizards
- De’Andre Hunter, 26, Atlanta Hawks
- Keldon Johnson, 24, San Antonio Spurs
Other topics that Siegel discussed with Jake Query & Jimmy Cook were:
- Names to monitor during the trade deadline
- What’s going on with Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins
- Believes Siakam will be the biggest name moved
To listen to Jake Query and Jimmy Cook’s conversation with Brett Siegel, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Query & Company from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. You can also watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.
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