Pacers Rumors

Pacers To Consider Trading Veteran Point Guard?

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.

Rotation Tweaks Required With Oladipo Nearing Return

  • Indiana has turned Victor Oladipo‘s absence into a positive, with several Pacers playing their best ball of the season while Oladipo has been sidelined, writes Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star. With Oladipo on the verge of returning, the Pacers will certainly be happy to welcome him back, but they’ll need to make some tweaks to their rotation to accommodate him, says Mark Montieth of Pacers.com.

Pacers Finding Success With Strength In Numbers

  • The Pacers have found strength in numbers this season, using a collective approach to overcome the loss of All-Star Victor Oladipo, writes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. Oladipo has missed the team’s last 10 games to injury, but the Pacers are 6-4 this season without him. Last season, Indiana held a 0-7 record in games Oladipo missed.

Tyreke Evans Still Adjusting To New Team

  • As his first season with the Pacers progresses, Tyreke Evans continues to adjust to a new role and new expectations, as Mark Montieth of Pacers.com writes. Evans, who inked a one-year deal to play in Indiana, has been moved to the starting lineup during Victor Oladipo‘s absence but is still struggling to produce consistently.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/4/18

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Jazz have recalled Grayson Allen and Georges Niang from the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the team’s Twitter feed. It was each player’s only G League assignment of the season.
  • Jevon Carter and Ivan Rabb had an eventful day. The Grizzlies assigned the pair to their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle for morning shootaround, per the team’s Twitter feed. The two were then recalled for the Grizzlies’ mid-day practice before being re-assigned to the Hustle to play in their night game.
  • The Pelicans have assigned Frank Jackson to the G League, according to a team press release. New Orleans doesn’t yet have its own affiliate, so Jackson will play for the Texas Legends, pursuant to the flexible assignment system.
  • The Pacers have recalled Alize Johnson from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, per the team’s website. Johnson has been with the G League affiliate since November 7.
  • The Nets have assigned Dzanan Musa to their G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/3/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Wizards recalled power forward Okaro White from the Capital City Go Go, the Wizards’ PR department tweets. White has appeared in one Go Go game, scoring six points in 25 1/2 minutes. He’s also seen action in one Washington game.
  • The Jazz assigned guard Grayson Allen and forward Georges Niang to the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s PR department tweets. Allen, the 21st overall pick out of Duke, has appeared in 14 Jazz games, averaging 4.6 PPG in 10.5 MPG. Niang has seen action in 18 games, averaging 3.2 PPG in 7.4 MPG. The Stars play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Monday.
  • The Pacers assigned center Ike Anigbogu to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for the fifth time this season, according to a team press release. The 2017 second-round pick has seen action in three Indiana games.
  • The Thunder recalled forward Abdel Nader from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. Nader piled up 31 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the Blue’s game on Sunday. He’s seen action in nine Thunder games after being acquired from Boston during the summer.

Pacers Rule Victor Oladipo Out Indefinitely

4:18pm: Oladipo has no structural issues with the knee and is expected to return in the near future, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

3:56pm: The Pacers issued an update on Victor Oladipo‘s status today, announcing in a press release that the All-Star guard has been ruled out indefinitely. Oladipo is battling a sore right knee and had previously been considered day-to-day.

After enjoying a breakout season in his first year as a Pacer in 2017/18, Oladipo was off to another great start this season, averaging 22.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 4.9 APG in his first 15 games. However, he left Indiana’s game on November 17 vs. Atlanta with a knee issue and has missed the club’s last six contests.

While being ruled out “indefinitely” doesn’t necessarily mean that Oladipo’s absence will be a long-term one, it does mean that there’s no timetable for his return to the court at the moment. According to Scott Agness of The Athletic (via Twitter), Oladipo was encouraged after playing 4-on-4 during Thursday’s shootaround, but has also been frustrated by the injury and said he won’t return until he feels 100%.

As long as Oladipo remains on the shelf, rookie guard Aaron Holiday should continue playing a key rotation role. Holiday has averaged 19.4 minutes per game since Oladipo went down, after playing very sparingly in the early going.

The Pacers also have an open roster spot, should they feel the need to add any backcourt reinforcements while they await Oladipo’s return.

McMillan Plans To Get McDermott More Involved

  • Pacers coach Nate McMillan vows to make better use of sharpshooter Doug McDermott, Mark Monteith of the team’s website reports. McDermott was signed to a three-year, $22MM contract as a stretch four over the summer. He is in the rotation but has averaged just 4.6 PPG this month while making 32.1% of his long-range attempts. He’s scored six points or less 13 times this season. “In the flow of the game you have to know who (the shooters) are,” McMillan said. “It’s like playing with a Reggie Miller. The bigs should look to get him open, it doesn’t have to be a set play. … Doug’s going to be OK. We’re going to get him better opportunities.”
  • The Pacers feel they are better equipped to handle situations when star Victor Oladipo can’t play, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star. The team went winless in seven games without him last season. Oladipo missed his fourth consecutive game on Monday due to a right knee injury. He suffered the injury in the opening minutes against Atlanta on November 17th and the Pacers managed to win that game. They were 1-2 without him last week. “For us, it really doesn’t make a difference who’s out on the floor. We want to play the game the same way,” McMillan said. “Play the game with a lot of energy. Play the game together. We want that ball movement regardless of who is in the lineup.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/23/18

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers have recalled center Ike Anigbogu from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to a team press release. Anigbogu is averaging 12.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.4 BPG in five games with the Mad Ants. The 2017 second-round pick has only seen the court once this season with the Pacers.
  • The Wizards assigned rookie forward Troy Brown Jr. to the Capital City Go Go prior to the G League team’s game against Canton, the team’s PR department tweets. The 15th overall pick in the June draft has averaged 2.5 PPG in 5.3 MPG over eight appearances with Washington.
  • The Magic assigned rookie shooting guard Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round pick has appeared in two Orlando games but is still looking for his first NBA point. In four games with Lakeland, Frazier Jr. is averaging 8.8 PPG in 27.0 MPG.

Aaron Holiday Making Case For Regular Minutes

  • Pacers 2018 first-rounder Aaron Holiday was out of the rotation for the first month of the season, but he has been making his case for regular minutes lately, as Scott Agness of The Athletic writes. With Victor Oladipo sidelined this week, Holiday has averaged 14.0 PPG on .520/.400/.769 shooting in three games (20.1 MPG), which will make it hard to send him back to the bench when Oladipo returns.
  • Glenn Robinson III, a 39.3% three-point shooter during his three years with the Pacers, got off to a bit of a slow start with the Pistons. However, Robinson – who is shooting 33.3% from downtown so far this season – tells Chris McCosky of The Detroit News that he’s still confident he’ll be a good fit in Detroit once he gets fully up to speed after missing most of the 2017/18 season.