Lakers fans offered loud cheers Monday night for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, two Pacers veterans who have been rumored as L.A. trade targets for several months, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. The Lakers rejected the potential swap because of Indiana’s insistence on getting unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, but the rumors haven’t died down.
Both players made an impression on Monday as the Pacers pulled out a win on a last-second shot. Turner, whose upcoming free agency both makes him a trade candidate and complicates his value, had 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. Hield, who has one year left on his contract at $18.6MM, also had 15 points, although he was just 1-of-6 from three-point range.
“It’s been great to be with those guys,” coach Rick Carlisle told reporters on Monday. “I can see where people would have interest in them. I have a lot of interest in not trading them, you know?”
If the Lakers revisit the deal with Indiana, it may not happen for a while, Goon adds. L.A. has several players who can’t be moved until December 15, and a Monday report from ESPN indicated that the type of trade the Lakers are hoping to make may not be available until January.
Here’s more on the Pacers:
- Carlisle believes the franchise got a draft steal in Andrew Nembhard, who hit the game-winning shot on Monday. Nembhard, who was taken with the first pick in the second round, has earned a rotation role and is averaging 7.1 PPG in 20.7 minutes per night. “He’ll go down as a top-12 or (top-)15 pick in this draft when it’s all said and done,” Carlisle said (Twitter video link from Alex Golden). “It’s where he should have been taken.”
- In a discussion for The Athletic, Anthony Slater and Sam Amick revisit the Tyrese Haliburton/Domantas Sabonis deal from last season’s trade deadline. While Slater and Amick acknowledge that there’s some nuance involved when reevaluating the trade, they point to the Kings‘ and Pacers’ success so far this season and suggest it could end up as a win-win. Haliburton has been playing some of the best basketball of his career as of late, having become the first player since the NBA began tracking turnovers in 1977 to record at least 40 assists without a turnover over a three-game span (Twitter link).
- Within that same Athletic story, Amick writes that a number of people around the NBA believe the Pacers’ desire to continue tearing down their roster “just isn’t as strong as advertised.” Team owner Herb Simon has long been averse to tanking, so if Indiana stays competitive, the odds of the team trading away key veteran contributors before the deadline seem likely to decline.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.