NBA Trade Rumors: Pacers' Domantas Sabonis Eyed by Suns, Kings

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 08:  Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball while defended by Julius Randle #30 of the  New York Knicks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 08, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.     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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks "have shown interest in recent years" in potentially acquiring Indiana Pacers star big man Domantas Sabonis, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

Sabonis is "expected to generate strong interest and is among the attractive players who could be available in a trade" ahead of the NBA's Feb. 10 trade deadline, per Charania.

Last week, The Athletic's Charania and Bob Kravitz reported that the Pacers were "moving toward a substantial rebuild and are expected to open up trade conversations around some of their veteran stalwarts."

That meant players like Sabonis, fellow center Myles Turner and Caris LeVert, among others, could be put on the trade block. 

Sabonis will likely be considered the crown jewel of that group. The 25-year-old is averaging 18.2 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He's shooting 58.4 percent from the field but only 31 percent from three. 

While Sabonis isn't the modern prototype at center, offering little in the way of floor spacing out to the three-point line or elite rim protection, he's a dominant scorer and rebounder. 

However, it would be somewhat surprising if the Knicks and Suns seriously pursue him.

The Knicks' floor spacing with Sabonis next to Julius Randle would be questionable. While Randle shot 41.1 percent from three last year, he's hitting only 32.6 percent this season, which is much closer to his career average.

Meanwhile, Phoenix already has young star DeAndre Ayton at center. Unless the Suns are willing to move on from Ayton—perhaps they won't be interested in matching a max offer if he receives one this summer as a restricted free agent?—it's hard to see the defending Western Conference champs, who currently sit at 21-4, messing with a good thing when it comes to their roster. 

But there are plenty of teams around the NBA who could benefit from an upgrade at center. It won't be surprising in the least if Sabonis gets moved.