The Indiana Pacers ended the 2021-22 season on a terrible note, losing every one of their last 10 games to end the season with a lazy 25-57 record, the third-worst winning percentage (.305) in franchise history. The past few years have not been good for the Pacers as they haven’t made it out of the first round since the 2013-14 season. Something had to give way, and perhaps after years of trying to stay competitive year after year, the Pacers are now trying a new route back to competition.
As a result, many expected the Pacers to remain one of the league’s worst teams, even though Tyrese Haliburton, who traded from the Sacramento Kings last season for Domantas Sabonis, looked like one of the best floor generals in years come to be.
The Pacers were also the subject of plenty of trade rumors during the offseason, as many in the league expected Indiana to sell some of their remaining plays, most notably Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, to bolster their draft capital while they prepare for the future.
However, like the solid team they usually were, the Pacers started the season on a competitive note, taking a 10-7 lead early on in good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Although they could still be relegated, Rick Carlisle is a coach who is sure to put his team in the best position for success. The Pacers also rarely bottom out; They last drafted in the top ten before picking Bennedict Mathurin with the sixth pick of the 2022 NBA draft in 1989.
Simply put, the Pacers could end up looking to grow their young core rather than pull from it. The Pacers could then target this player, who has surprisingly been involved in trade talks.
Saddiq Bey didn’t have the easiest of tries during the 2022/23 season and even briefly lost his starting spot when Marvin Bagley III returned from injury. Over the season, Bey averaged 14.7 points on 40.8 percent shots from the field (an improvement over last year’s overall field goal efficiency). However, his production from beyond the arc has tapered off considerably.
In 17 games, Bey has shot 29 percent from deep on 5.5 attempts per game — a career-worst if those numbers held up through the season. He just couldn’t build on last season’s production. Nonetheless, Bey is only 23 years old and only in his third season of his career, and he still plans to become a plus shooter – a prime skill in today’s NBA. Additionally, Bey is a 6’7 winger who can slide as a small ball four with ease, making him a solid addition to Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.
However, the Pistons have been reported listening to inquiries about their 23-year-old sniper and the Pacers should definitely jump at the opportunity if Bey is indeed available.
RP Salao ·
Kendall Cap ·
Owen Crisafulli ·
For starters, the Pacers are a bit thin on the wing, regardless of scoring chances from Bennedict Mathurin and Buddy Hield. Chris Duarte was stuck in a minor sophomore slump before injuring his ankle. In Duarte’s absence, the Pacers have started Aaron Nesmith, who for all his athletic gifts has yet to pull it all together in his short career. Nesmith averages a 7.2 for bad shooting splits, production unfit for a starter.
So Saddiq Bey could be a godsend for the Pacers. He’ll have plenty of open looks when Tyrese Haliburton feeds him, and he won’t be burdened too much with the burden of creating his own shot with the Pacers’ abundance of playmakers.
The only question now is what the Pistons’ asking price would be in a potential trade, and given Bey’s low rookie-scale salary, it might take a few draft picks to lure him away from Detroit. But it could well be worth it.