UPDATE: The Pacers have traded Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings. The Pacers are giving up Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday, and a 2027 second round pick while the Kings are giving up Tyrese Hailburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson.
The Indiana Pacers are open to undergoing a full rebuild by dealing Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Of the trio. Sabonis is the clear-cut prize. He’s averaging a double-double and is still only 25 years old, while also being locked into a contract for longer. Teams will be lining up for the Pacers big man, assuming they’ll be able to fit his contract on the books.
When we look around the league for contending teams that can use a big man, it’s not a very long list. The Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat all fit the bill but do they have the assets to make a deal work? Let’s look at some hypothetical trades for each organization.
Heat get: Domantas Sabonis
Pacers get: PJ Tucker, Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo, Gabe Vincent, KZ Okpala, 2024 1st round pick, 2027 1st round pick
There’s a whole lot of nothing in this trade for Indiana but there are two major assets which few other contending teams can offer. The first-round picks would be enough to start the conversation before Indiana hangs up the phone. There’s a reason the team got rid of Oladipo, while Tucker and Morris don’t exactly fit on a rebuild. Okpala is a decent rotation piece moving forward and Vincent has some upside. This would also significantly gut Miami’s rotation, which is already shorthanded due to injuries. It’s tough to see this one working out.
Clippers get: Domantas Sabonis
Pacers get: Luke Kennard, Ivica Zubac
The obvious hiccup here is the Pacers not getting any draft assets, which they’d need in any deal with Sabonis. The Clippers don’t have a first-round pick they can deal until 2027 due to the Stepien Rule. That is clearly too far down the for Indiana, who wants to get some immediate draft capital for a rebuild. Kennard and Zubac would be good complementary players for a rebuilding Indiana team but there’s no future star in that group.The idea of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Sabonis playing together is fascinating but the lack of draft capital on LA’s part makes this one highly unlikely.
Nets get: Domantas Sabonis
Pacers get: LaMarcus Aldridge, Joe Harris, Blake Griffin, Cam Thomas
This one has an even lesser chance, because the championship-ready Nets are gutting their rotation to get Sabonis in the mix. If Kyrie Irving were to return to action, the Nets might have second thoughts about some kind of deal for Sabonis. But this just doesn’t make sense for either team, especially with the Nets unable to include first-round picks for a while due to the James Harden trade. Thomas is a nice young player for the Pacers to get, but the rest of that return is not on a rebuilding timeline.