Executives around the NBA believe that the Pacers may explore trading one of their veteran point guards before this season’s deadline, writes ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
As Windhorst outlines, while Darren Collison has been Indiana’s starting point guard over the last two seasons, he has roughly split the position with Cory Joseph — Collison has averaged 29.0 minutes per game since joining the Pacers, while Joseph has played 26.7 MPG.
Both Collison and Joseph are in contract years, creating some uncertainty about whether they’ll remain in Indiana beyond this season. Meanwhile, rookie guard Aaron Holiday, who entered the team’s regular rotation when Victor Oladipo went down last month, has impressed the Pacers, and Indiana won’t necessarily want to relegate him back to the bench with Oladipo on the verge of returning. Trading either Collison or Joseph would open up minutes for the rookie.
The Pacers, who currently rank fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 17-10 record, will be looking to make a playoff run this spring and won’t want to harm their short-term outlook with a trade. While Collison and Joseph may not be long-term building blocks in Indiana, they’ve been key contributors, with Collison averaging 11.6 PPG, 5.4 APG and a .479/.442/.851 shooting line over the last two seasons, while Joseph has chipped in 7.8 PPG and 3.3 APG on .433/.365/.713 shooting. Any deal would probably have to return immediate help at another position.
There’s no shortage of teams in need of point guard help around the league, though it’s not clear if a trade with a rebuilding club would make the most sense. Collison or Joseph probably wouldn’t welcome a move from a top-four seed to the league-worst Suns, for instance, and even though they’ve sought a reliable point guard, the Suns likely wouldn’t give up much of value for a veteran on an expiring contract. A deal involving a playoff contender like the Sixers, Spurs, or even the Magic might be a better fit, though that’s just my speculation.