The NBA trade deadline of 3 p.m. ET is less than 48 hours away, and the Indiana Pacers have reportedly been very active in their search to improve the team in the frontcourt and on the wing. The Pacers, 29-28 on the season, are currently in 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings, but just three games ahead of the playoff bubble after coming into the All-Star break in the middle of a season-long six-game losing streak.
The Pacers have made it clear that they are looking to bolster the roster for the stretch run and are not interested in trading all-star Paul George, who can become a free agent at the end of next season.
Indiana has been linked to several names over the past week, but here are a few who appear to be their most serious targets:
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets
Even with second-year big man Myles Turner playing well in his first season as a full-time starter, it appears the Pacers are not opposed to acquiring players who would eat into his development process. A trade for Lopez would seem to do just that.
Peter Vecsey reported on Sunday that the Pacers are offering their 2017 first-round draft pick, along with Al Jefferson and Rodney Stuckey.
The veteran center is currently averaging more than 20 points per game for the fourth time in his career and would help solidify the front line as Turner continues to develop.
Acquiring an established veteran scorer could also help the Pacers in their campaign to get Paul George to sign a contract extension prior to becoming a free agent.
Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia 76ers
According to ESPN, the Pacers have also inquired about Jahlil Okafor of the 76ers.
Okafor is in his second year and his name has been mentioned in trade rumors since the moment he was drafted by Philadelphia with the 3rd pick in 2015 due to the abundance of young front court players currently on the 76ers roster.
After a strong rookie campain, Okafor has continued his progression this year, but it is unclear how he would fit amongst the rest of the Pacers roster. The Pacers already have Al Jefferson logging significant minutes on a nightly basis and Okafor possesses many of the same skills.
Any trade with Philadelphia would almost certainly include Indiana’s 2017 first-round pick, but is unclear what else would be included in a potential deal.
Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns
Knight is a part of a similar situation in Phoenix as to that of Okafor’s in Philadelphia; he seems to be the odd-man out of a rotation that features several players at the same position.
Knight scored 17 points in Phoenix victory over the Pacers earlier this season and averaged just shy of 20 points per game as a consistent starter last season.
With Monta Ellis struggling to perform to the expectations placed on him before the season, the Pacers could acquire Knight to fill the same role as a scoring wing.
Phoenix has been reportedly shopping Knight for quite some time now, but the Pacers could be reconsidering his potential fit on the roster.