Two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis might return from a sprained left ankle this weekend for Indiana. Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters, including James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link), that “the weekend is potentially in play” for Sabonis, who injured the ankle during Indiana’s win over the Lakers last Wednesday.
As we noted earlier today, Sabonis’ name has been frequently linked in trade rumors over the past couple of months, but it would take a lot to pry him from the Pacers. One reason for that, aside from his strong play, is he’s on a very team-friendly contract, having signed a four-year, $77MM rookie extension in October of 2019. After this season is complete, he’s still under contract for two more years, and will earn $18.5MM next season, followed by $19.4MM in 2023/24 (both seasons include $2.6MM in unlikely incentives, per Spotrac).
The 25-year-old is having another outstanding season for Indiana, putting up 19.0 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.0 steal per contest on .577/.327/.744 shooting through 44 games (34.9 minutes). Sabonis is also shooting a career-high 63.7% on two-pointers and leads the team in several advanced statistics, including player efficiency rating, true shooting percentage, win shares, box plus/minus, and value over replacement player, per Basketball-Reference.
In addition to Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Myles Turner (currently sidelined with a stress reaction in his left foot), Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb have all been mentioned in trade rumors to varying degrees for the struggling Pacers, currently 17-31, 13th in the East.