The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Indiana Pacers, who hope to return to the playoffs and take the next step under new head coach Rick Carlisle.
Indiana Pacers 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, Torrey Craig
Duarte and Jackson should be immediate contributors and Craig brings playoff experience from his run with the Phoenix Suns last season. All three players should be valuable rotation players for the Pacers, who will be in contention for one of the final playoff spots in the East.
Key departures: Doug McDermott
The Pacers will miss McDermott’s shooting, but the small forward didn’t offer much defensively and might’ve been phased out of the rotation under Carlisle. This won’t do much for Indiana in the grand scheme of things.
Indiana is a competitive team with good talent across the board. Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and T.J. Warren form a great starting lineup, while the rookies headline a decent bench group. With Carlisle pushing the right buttons, this team could make a surprising run in the playoffs.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Caris LeVert
After missing most of the 2019-20 season, LeVert averaged 20.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game in 35 contests with Indiana in 2020-21. If he can maintain that consistency over an 82-game season, LeVert will take a lot of pressure off Sabonis and Brogdon to score. DFS players and fantasy owners will likely be able to get LeVert at a low cost or late draft pick, so there’s value if you believe his production can be sustained over a full season.