The Indiana Pacers are 17-32 and sit 13th in the Eastern Conference.
For all intents and purposes, their season is over. Now it’s all about getting the rebuild off to a good start and planning for the future.
It’s something of an open secret at this point that Indiana is shopping its biggest stars.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Pacers are making some pretty sizable demands for Sabonis.
“Regarding Domantas Sabonis, one NBA executive told me he doesn’t see the Pacers moving Sabonis unless they get a Nikola Vucevic type of package in return as Orlando did when they traded the All-Star center to Chicago last season,” he said.
It’s worth remembering, Vucevic fetched quite the deal last year. The Bulls sent away Wendell Carter Jr, Otto Porter Jr, and two first-round picks in return for the talented center. That’s no small package.
That being said, the Vucevic trade – both in terms of talent addition and what it signaled to players regarding the direction of the franchise – is a big reason why the Bulls are the second-best team in the East right now.
In that spirit, it makes sense that a team would sacrifice a little more for Sabonis if they feel like they’re in a similar boat as last year’s Chicago group.
The Pacers’ general demands for Sabonis have been out there for a while, but this is the first time something concrete and specific has been mentioned.
Now that’s how you get over a tough loss. https://t.co/4KQZNvnLyA
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 26, 2022
At this point, one team seems like the favorite to swoop in and steal Sabonis – should a deal actually go down.
But given the asking price and what front offices have been willing to part with so far this year in proposed agreements, it also doesn’t seem all that farfetched to assume that Sabonis will remain in Indiana past the NBA Trade Deadline.