The Pacers have held trade talks about their No. 13 overall draft pick with the Rockets, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.
With new coach Rick Carlisle in the fold, the Pacers likely want to move into contention behind the likes of power forward Domantas Sabonis, guards Caris LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon, small forward T.J. Warren and center Myles Turner.
Adding a veteran to that crew may help push it to another level — as opposed to adding a rookie who may need time to develop and contribute to an otherwise veteran club.
Per Michael, president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard and Pacers are exploring the idea of moving the pick if they can find someone who can offer immediate help, provided that player is under contract beyond just next season.
“If the player at No. 13 isn’t deemed immediately playable for the Pacers, it will make more sense to deal him for one who can contribute,” Michael wrote.
Along with owning the No. 2 overall pick, the Rockets also have the Nos. 23 and 24. Word is, they are open to moving one or both of the later picks. They also are supposedly among a handful of teams evaluating a trade with the Pistons to move up a spot to No. 1 overall.
“Gordon would appear to be the most logical fit from a contractual perspective,” DuBose wrote. “Houston’s only other players with contracts of at least two more seasons are D.J. Augustin, who likely isn’t valuable enough for Indiana to move the No. 13 overall pick; John Wall, whose massive deal is likely too large to trade; and members of Houston’s ‘young core’ like Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate, Kevin Porter Jr., and K.J. Martin.”
Obviously, a trade for a veteran would mean the Pacers would have to return salary. DuBose noted that shooting guard Jeremy Lamb could be a potential trade candidate, as Lamb has just one year left on his contract.
The NBA Draft is scheduled for July 28 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.