Report: Pacers' Myles Turner, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis Linked to Trades

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 26: Caris LeVert #22 of the Indiana Pacers attempts a shot in the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on November 26, 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 Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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The Indiana Pacers are reportedly "moving toward a substantial rebuild and are expected to open up trade conversations around some of their veteran stalwarts" amid a disappointing 10-16 start, according to Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of The Athletic. 

Those talks are reportedly centered on veteran guard Caris LeVert and either one of their two star centers, Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner. Malcolm Brogdon, already signed to a two-year extension, isn't eligible to be dealt this season.  

Per that report, "all three players have frequently garnered significant interest from rival teams."

The Pacers will reportedly attempt a soft rebuild through the draft and trades and want to give more playing time to rookies Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson.

The former has been superb, averaging 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 34.6 percent from three. The latter has appeared in just five games because of a hyperextended left knee, though clearing out some veterans would open more avenues to playing time in the future.  

Sabonis will likely be the headliner on the trade market. The 25-year-old is a two-time All-Star, though he's averaging a modest 17.9 points per game to go along with averages of 12.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. The question in Indiana has long been whether he and Turner could play together at a high level for the team. 

Given the start to the season, it would appear the answer is no. 

Turner, also 25, is averaging 12.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and an impressive 2.8 blocks per game while shooting 39.5 percent from the field. In many ways, he's the antithesis of Sabonis as an effective rim-protector with the ability to stretch the floor on the offensive end. Sabonis, meanwhile, averages 0.3 blocks per game and is shooting 27.9 percent from three but terrific on the boards and in the low post. 

As for LeVert, the 27-year-old has struggled through injuries but has been very good when healthy. Like many of the Pacers, he is having something of a down year, averaging 14.9 points per game, his lowest tally since the 2018-19 season. He's also shooting just 25.9 percent from three.

The trade rumors come amid a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that backup point guard T.J. McConnell might be done for the season after having surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right hand on Tuesday.