NBA Rumors: Pacers Still 'Trying to Win' Despite Sabonis, Turner, LeVert Trade Talk

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 9, 2021

Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (11) dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

The Indiana Pacers are keeping their options open after a disappointing 11-16 start to the 2021-22 season.

A source told Peter Botte of the New York Post the Pacers are still "trying to win ... but it doesn't mean trades can't happen."

This comes amid reports the team is now "receptive in trade dialogue" on Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, according to Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic.

Though Indiana might not deal all three, the trio has generated "significant interest from rival teams."

Sabonis has earned All-Star selections the past two years and remains a threat in the post while averaging 18.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this season. Turner is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate while leading the league with 2.8 blocks per game, which would be the third time in four years he's led the NBA in that category. Even if the Sabonis-Turner fit can be clunky at times, the two still produce.

LeVert has struggled with consistency and availability during his first full season in Indiana but is still averaging 14.9 points per game and is always capable of taking over.

With Malcolm Brogdon, who signed an extension before the season, the Pacers have enough talent to compete in the Eastern Conference.

The team hired veteran coach Rick Carlisle this offseason, and the 62-year-old likely wasn't planning to hang around for a rebuild.

However, the roster as constructed hasn't done enough to prove it can be a contender. Indiana missed the playoffs last year and hasn't gotten out of the first round since 2014, and the lack of depth on the current team could prevent any more success in 2021-22.

It means the front office could be forced to make changes before the end of the season.