NBA Rumors: Pacers Governor Won't Let Kevin Pritchard Blow Up the Roster

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2021

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 22: Justin Holiday #8, Domantas Sabonis #11, and Caris LeVert #22 of the Indiana Pacers look on during a timeout in the third quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum on March 22, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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The Indiana Pacers fired head coach Nate Bjorkgren after just one season, but team governor Herb Simon isn't prepared to hit the reset button.

The Indianapolis Star's J. Michael reported the Pacers are "likely" to retain key players such as Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren but that "blowing up the roster remains on the table."

Although president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has considered the idea, Simon "won't give him the green light."

The Pacers finished 34-38 in the regular season and failed to advance out of the NBA's play-in tournament, losing 142-115 to the Washington Wizards. That followed five straight first-round playoff exits.

Indiana is stuck between a rock and a hard place because it seems to have a roster with a clear ceiling, and raising that ceiling is difficult for a franchise in a non-marquee market. Pritchard doesn't have a whole lot in the way of trade assets, either, without sacrificing multiple important contributors.

Michael reported the Charlotte Hornets have shown interest in Myles Turner, as have the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. Turner is a great rim protector who can help space the floor—35.2 percent career clip on three-pointers—but probably won't help the Pacers get an All-Star-level talent.

Before he does anything too radical, Pritchard should give it at least one more year.

Little went right for the Pacers in 2020-21.

They had to deal with the Victor Oladipo trade drama before the season even started. Upon finally trading Oladipo to the Houston Rockets, they saw Caris LeVert immediately ruled out for an extended period after his physical flagged renal cell carcinoma of his kidney.

Warren was limited to four appearances, while Brogdon (16 games) and Turner (25 games) missed time.

Then there was the Bjorkgren factor, as it became apparent he was ill-suited for the role he occupied.

With the services of LeVert for a full season and a new voice on the sideline, the Pacers might see some noticeable improvement in 2021-22.

Should the team struggle next year, then a rebuild might be inevitable. Warren and Jeremy Lamb will be free agents in 2022, while Turner, Brogdon and LeVert will be on expiring deals.