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Report: Pacers open to moving Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis to kick-start rebuild

Indiana is 10-16 entering Tuesday and are considering a full-blown rebuild despite bringing back coach Rick Carlisle.

Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Indiana Pacers interviews after the game against the Washington Wizards on December 6, 2021 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers are eyeing down a full-blown rebuild and are open to moving G Caris LeVert, PF/C Domantas Sabonis and C Myles Turner, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Pacers enter Tuesday 10-16 and are falling out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Despite bringing back coach Rick Carlisle for another stint, the team is looking at purging the roster in favor of assets for the future.

The three players mentioned would be coveted by most teams. Charania says in the report that most rival teams have been interested in all three players throughout the season, though the Pacers had remained adamant about letting Carlisle have a shot at winning. That hasn’t exactly worked out and now the team has made the decision to look to move the three. Here’s a quick look at the Pacers payroll, courtesy of Basketball-reference.com.

Brogdon is under contract long-term, through 2024-25 while the three players who are on the block aren’t on expiring deals, which will play a factor in any trade. Turner and LeVert have friendly deals. If things don’t work out for the other side, both players would be on expiring contracts next season, which makes them easy to move. Sabonis’ appeal is in that he’s an All-Star caliber player on a team-friendly deal given that cap hit.

The Pacers have Brogdon, and rookies Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson as cornerstones in the rebuild. Duarte is already older for a rookie but has shown plenty of flashes of upside, averaging 13.1 points per game this season. Jackson hasn’t played as much but is a former Kentucky big who had some hype out of college, as most Wildcats prospects have.

The Pacers have been coming to the realization that Sabonis and Turner don’t work on the court at the same time. Indiana hasn’t really been able to figure it out and the two developing hasn’t resulted in any playoff success. The roster has plenty of talent as is but has underperformed. So rather than waste more years on their contracts in lost seasons, the team is looking to add assets through trades and potentially tank for better draft position.