3 Trades the Indiana Pacers Should Already Be Considering

Ryan ReedCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2012

3 Trades the Indiana Pacers Should Already Be Considering

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    The Indiana Pacers entered the 2012-13 season with lofty expectations and have so far failed to meet them.

    Still, the Pacers have managed to get to a 14-12 record after starting off the season by losing six out of their first nine games. More impressively, Indiana has been able to get to this record with Danny Granger sitting on the bench with an injury.

    Regardless, the Indiana Pacers have to be looking at all plausible trades that would make their team better, as most teams constantly do.

    So, who should Indiana attempt to trade for? Keep reading to find out.

D. Granger and T. Hansbrough (Kings) for J. Salmons and T. Evans (Pacers)

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    One of the hottest names when it comes to trade ideas is Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings. The 6'6" wing player is averaging 15.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in his fourth year in the NBA. Still, he has struggled since his sensational rookie year and is having a difficult time carving out a clear role on a youthful Sacramento team.

    On the other side of the trade is Danny Granger, the Indiana Pacers' injured small forward. Granger, who has yet to play a game this season, is a dynamic scorer from the wing and has a solid defensive presence.

    John Salmons, the Kings small forward, would allow for the contracts to balance out while the struggling Tyler Hansbrough would sweeten the pot for the Kings.

    The trade works for the Pacers because they receive depth at wing as well as another creator who can work well alongside solid shooting George Hill. The move would also be important because it allows Indiana more depth and moves toward a win-now mindset by trading the currently injured Granger.

    As for the Kings, they would receive a veteran presence for a team that seriously needs one. More than that, they would be able to jettison the three-year contract of Salmons, which has become a burden on the team. Finally, the move would also give them a good small forward who can help their scoring punch and ease the burden on DeMarcus Cousins.

    The one caveat is that the Pacers should know they will be able to re-sign Evans before making the deal.

D. West and G. Green (Hawks) for J. Smith (Pacers)

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    Josh Smith is another name often connected to trade discussions, mostly due to his expiring contract.

    The 6'9" forward has given no indication as to whether he will re-sign with the Atlanta Hawks or leave during free agency, making him a perfect candidate for an early trade.

    Meanwhile, David West is having a sensational season, averaging 17.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while providing the team with a steady veteran presence.

    Finally, Gerald Green allows the trade to work monetarily and gives the Hawks a true small forward, something they are severely lacking. So far, he is playing solid for the Pacers in 22.2 minutes per game and remains a threat from beyond the arc.

    This trade works for the Pacers because it allows them to sell high on David West while receiving a younger forward to pair with Paul George. The move would also rid the Pacers of the contract of Green, who has not played up to par, while freeing up more time for Lance Stephenson, who has played well and will lose time when Danny Granger returns.

    The trade also works for the Hawks, who will either be able to clear significant cap space, something they have done a lot recently, or add depth at small forward and retain an excellent power forward should they choose to re-sign West.

    Once again, this trade is predicated on the idea that the Pacers could re-sign Josh Smith.

A. Jefferson, D. Gallinari (Pacers) for D. Granger (Jazz) for D. West (Nuggets)

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    A third often discussed player in trade ideas is Al Jefferson, the 6'10" center for the Utah Jazz. Jefferson is in the final year of his contract, and Utah has other skilled big men who are looking for playing time.

    Danilo Gallinari, the small forward for the Denver Nuggets, has struggled so far this season and has shot only 40.3 percent from the field. While he has not come up in trade rumors, his large contract, struggles and the depth of the Nuggets roster make him very moveable.

    If this trade occurred, the Indiana Pacers would benefit from the offensive and defensive play of Al Jefferson, who could be moved to replace David West at power forward, while also using the versatility and scoring touch of Gallinari. The fact that Jefferson also has a large expiring contract would allow them the decision of either paying him or opting for a lot of cap space.

    The Nuggets would also benefit from being rid of the inconsistent play of Gallinari, while also freeing up minutes for Corey Brewer and Jordan Hamilton, who each have comparable PERs with Danilo. The move would also give them significant depth at power forward while giving them a chance to play Kenneth Faried at small forward.

    Finally, the trade would allow Utah to free up minutes for Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, something that should be done given each player's potential. The Jazz would also benefit from more depth at small forward, yet have enough depth to sustain the absence of Danny Granger for much of the season.

    If needed, however, the Pacers could throw in a second-round draft choice to sweeten the deal for either Utah or Denver.