Indiana Pacers 2022/2023 Season Preview
The Pacers enter the 2022/2023 season in a state of transition.
After trading away All-Star Domantas Sabonis for a package centred around emerging star Tyrese Haliburton last season, the franchise clearly decided that despite Coach Rick Carlisle being in the first year of his second stint with the team, that it was time to start rebuilding.
There has been much upheaval over the off-season in Indianapolis, and all of the moves point to the team not being worried about their win-loss record this season. Malcolm Brogdon was moved to Boston, Ricky Rubio (who was acquired last season despite injury) was let go as a free agent and TJ Warren was allowed to walk to Brooklyn without so much as a second thought.
As for players coming in, it’s all about youth with #6 pick Bennedict Mathurin and #31 pick Andrew Nembhard joining Deividas Sirvydis and Aaron Nesmith as new additions who are all 22 years of age or under, while Daniel Theis adds some veteran leadership after coming across from Boston in the Brogdon deal. It’s worth noting the team also re-signed Jalen Smith, who they acquired from the Suns last season.
Tyrese Haliburton was the key piece of the return package in the Sabonis trade with Sacramento last season, and looks to be leading a youth movement in Indianapolis. Credit: Mo and Sports
The youth movement in Indiana raises question marks around the futures of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield especially. Their value to playoff and potentially contending teams around the league is obvious, and I would think future draft picks and contract dumps to match salaries would be what the Pacers are looking for in return.
On the court, Haliburton has potential as a fantasy darling as he will likely run the heavy majority of the offense, and I’d expect the aforementioned quartet of youngsters to all see significant playing time as the Pacers turnover a new leaf.
The Pacers appear to have embraced a youth movement after trading away their All-Star last season, and have doubled down by bringing in additional youth in the off-season. There are still capable veterans on the roster who could help them win games in the immediate future, but their potential return in deals to teams looking to bolster their squad for a title run may prove too tempting to resist as the deadline approaches.
Ceiling: 12th seed
Floor: 15th seed