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'Locked On Pacers' previews Pacers' best options at the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

Hosts Tony East and Adam Friedman take a look at what the Pacers' options are at the trade deadline and why the team could end up making a move.
Credit: AP
Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) eyes the basket as he works around Minnesota Timberwolves' Jaylen Nowell (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

INDIANAPOLIS — Locked On Pacers' Tony East and Adam Friedman analyzed the Indiana Pacers options at the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline, which is just two weeks away.

Could the Pacers be sellers?

The blue and gold currently sit 10th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 16-19. As a struggling team that is dealing with numerous injuries, trading away some of the lesser-important veterans in exchange for young players and/or future draft picks could be an option for the Pacers' front office. Forward-thinking moves are always shrewd.

"When you are underperforming expectations and your season is going to end in a way that you already feel like you expect [a bad outcome], sometimes teams in those situations make forward-thinking moves," East said.

Could the Pacers be buyers?

Credit: AP
Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) runs into the defense of Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

While the Pacers' current record is lackluster, the Eastern Conference standings are very jumbled. Only a few games separate the 4th seeded Celtics and 10th seeded Pacers. If Indiana brass sees an opportunity to improve the roster in a way that would allow the team to climb up higher in the Conference, perhaps they would consider it. With an All-Star on the roster in Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert reportedly returning soon, chasing wins is a solid plan.

"It's not a buyer's market this year, which is bad for a team like the Pacers," East said. "If the Pacers do end up being a buyer, it will be something smaller like a second-round pick for a contributor."

What will the Pacers ultimately do?

What Pacers' President Kevin Pritchard and the rest of the front office plans to do is unclear. There are valid arguments for the team to be both buyers and sellers with the trade deadline approaching. How the team performs in the coming weeks could play a big role in determining what the Pacers ultimately end up doing. With so many options on the table, it will be fascinating to see what deals the team makes, if any. 

"I think this will be one of the most boring trade deadlines in recent memory. I think there will be so few moves," Friedman said.