Stein’s Latest: Pacers, Barnes, Anunoby, Hawks, Lively, Beal

If the Pacers aren’t able to trade for a starting-caliber forward, either using the No. 7 pick or other assets, they’re expected to turn to free agency in an effort to land that sort of player, Marc Stein writes at Substack.

One player Indiana has some interest in, league sources tell Stein, is Kings forward Harrison Barnes, who will be an unrestricted free agent next week. As Stein points out, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle coached Barnes in Dallas, while point guard Tyrese Haliburton played with the veteran in Sacramento, so Barnes certainly has fans within the organization.

Stein classifies Barnes as a “strong” candidate to change teams this offseason, though he hears from one source that a return to the Kings hasn’t been ruled out.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • A team with interest in acquiring OG Anunoby described the Raptors‘ feelings about trading him as “strong reluctance,” Stein writes. While Anunoby has no shortage of potential suitors – including teams like Indiana, Portland, Memphis, and Sacramento – Stein says the early signals suggest the Raptors may end up once again holding onto him, like they did at the trade deadline.
  • The Hawks are “known to be interested” in Duke big man Dereck Lively and have spoken to Dallas about trades involving the No. 10 pick, according to Stein. While Stein doesn’t go into detail about how the possibility of Atlanta landing Lively would affect the team’s current big men, such as center Clint Capela, that frontcourt would be getting awfully crowded.
  • A veteran personnel executive tells Stein that Bradley Beal getting to be the third option with the Suns should “suit him very well.” Beal was probably miscast as a franchise player in Washington, but made a career-best 50.6% of his shots this past season as he increasingly shared the scoring load with Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma while his shot attempts per game dipped to 17.6 (his lowest mark since 2016/17).
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