The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs both enter the NBA offseason in similar positions. They are small market teams who pride themselves on annually making the playoffs but failed to do so after competing in the play-in tournament. Now, they will need to look to making some key changes.
Change has already begun for the Pacers from a leadership standpoint. Indiana fired former head coach Nate Bjorkgren after just one tumultuous season. There is a need to find an experienced replacement in order to help turn things around. Will there be changed beyond coaching? That remains to be seen.
Domantas Sabonis is coming off his second All-Star campaign with averages of 20.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists. It would be difficult to envision the Pacers to choose to move on from him via trade given he accounts for such a large share of the team’s touches and…given how the organization seemingly wants to exhaust their constant pursuit for a lower tier playoff seed.
Instead, much focus has been placed in NBA trade rumors on Myles Turner’s potential availability given how playing two-big men for huge stretches throughout games is not necessarily a viable strategy to win at a high-level in today’s era. His rim protection is pivotal to the team’s defense and their struggles without him raise key questions that must be answered.
Is the decline in defensive production by moving Myles Turner worse to experience than the potential drop in offensive results by moving Domantas Sabonis? Or…would there even be that much of a decline, if any at all, by going smaller after moving Sabonis and embracing a more uptempo, higher perimeter shooting volume approach? There’s really a case to be made either way.
With that being said, here’s what an NBA trade scenario centered around Domantas Sabonis being dealt to the San Antonio Spurs could hypothetically look like based on the analysis of Bleacher Report’s Zack Buckley.