The Indiana Pacers have not made any splashy moves this offseason. However, they have added some key pieces for their depth for next year.
While they did not re-sign Lance Stephenson, they were able to add Tyreke Evans – who could be a significant upgrade for Indiana. Evans is one of just three players in the NBA who averaged at least 19.0 points with 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game while shooting better than 39 percent from deep last season.
After waiving 33-year-old Al Jefferson, they signed 28-year-old Kyle O’Quinn. They replaced point guard Joe Young in the draft by selecting former UCLA standout Aaron Holiday. They signed Doug McDermott, who can also help their three-point shooting that was otherwise an area of concern last year.
Otherwise, however, the Pacers will return most of the core that led them to win 48 games in the Eastern Conference. This is the same team that nearly defeated LeBron James in the postseason, fighting hard in a seven-game series.
Their starting lineup in 2018-19 will feature Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo in the backcourt. Bojan Bogdanovic will join them on the wing alongside Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner in the frontcourt. Oladipo and Turner are both continuing to improve, which should excite fans of the Pacers.
Their second-unit will likely have veteran Cory Joseph with Evans in the backcourt. McDermott will play on the wing with O’Quinn as well as young and developing Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks described this group as “one of the best” second units in the league. That’s without even including Holiday, who has a similar skill set as his older brother Jrue Holiday – who was NBA All-Defensive 1st Team last season.
They’ve used most if not all of their cap space for this offseason. But because their players have lots of expiring contracts, they could actually have north of $50 million to spend next year.
This means they can continue to get better in years to come while also being significant players in the free agency and trade market next offseason. As a team in the East, there will be several opportunities to bring on someone who prefers to avoid the powerhouses of the Western Conference.
Indiana has used money responsibly and got a great return on their trade value when shipping out Paul George. Since then, they’ve only gotten better and should be applauded for their efforts.
DunkWire, Aaron Holiday, Al Jefferson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Cory Joseph, Darren Collison, Domantas Sabonis, Doug McDermott, Joe Young, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Stephenson, Myles Turner, Paul George, Thaddeus Young, Tyreke Evans, Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers