Pacers Rumors

Central Notes: Pacers, White, Cavs, Bone

Thanks in part to the Pacers collecting a $10MM insurance policy on Victor Oladipo, who missed all but 13 games of the postponed NBA season, Indiana’s payroll is scheduled to come in at $104.6MM, the league’s lowest mark. If COVID-19 affects league revenue significantly, the Pacers will be in one of the most comfortable financial situations in the NBA, as J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star reports.

Michael notes that a significant drop in league revenue, such as a 5% drop from the projected $115MM cap ($109.25MM) or a 10% decline ($103.5MM), could impede several teams, but the Pacers are stacked with several players on movable contracts.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Bulls rookie point guard Coby White‘s late-season scoring streak (he averaged 23.7 PPG while connecting on 39.8%t of his 8.5 three-point looks) was one of the few positives in a generally dismal 22-43 season for Chicago. Morten Jensen of Forbes wonders what White’s performance means for his club going forward.
  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting the NBA on pause this month, Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and his assistants have been maintaining their (remote) connection to the young Cleveland squad, according to’s Chris Fedor.
  • Pistons rookie point guard Jordan Bone logged time with Detroit’s Grand Rapids G League club and the NBA squad this season, and remains an intriguing player for the team’s future, according to writer Keith Langlois.

Fieldhouse Renovations Could Be Interrupted

  • The coronavirus pandemic could impact renovations planned for the Pacers‘ Bankers Fieldhouse prior to next season’s All-Star game, Scott Agness of The Athletic writes. Some work has already begun but the renovations were scheduled to ramp up once the season ended. Phase one (of three) is supposed to be completed before the All-Star Game but if Indiana’s games resume this season and last into July, it could impact those scheduled renovations prior to next season.

Where Traded Draft Picks Would Land If Season Doesn’t Resume

Earlier today, we explored what the lottery odds for the 2020 NBA draft would look like if the regular season doesn’t resume. We’re now applying that hypothetical to another aspect of the draft and examining which traded 2020 picks would and wouldn’t change hands based on the current standings.

Our projections below assume that the NBA will sort its standings by winning percentage in scenarios where teams haven’t played the same number of games this season. Again, this is just a hypothetical exercise — if the season resumes, the order below would likely change.

With that in mind and with the help of our reverse standings, let’s take a closer look at where this year’s traded draft picks would land if the NBA has played its last regular season game of 2019/20.

First round:

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nets)
  2. Boston Celtics (from Grizzlies)
  3. Brooklyn Nets (from Sixers)
    • Note: Could be No. 20 depending on random tiebreaker.
  4. Milwaukee Bucks (from Pacers)
    • Note: Could be No. 19 depending on random tiebreaker.
  5. Philadelphia 76ers (from Thunder)
    • Note: Could be No. 22 depending on random tiebreaker.
  6. Denver Nuggets (from Rockets)
    • Note: Could be No. 21 depending on random tiebreaker.
  7. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nuggets)
  8. New York Knicks (from Clippers)
  9. Boston Celtics (from Bucks)

Protected picks:

  • Golden State Warriors (to Nets; top-20 protected)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (to Pelicans; top-20 protected)
  • Utah Jazz (to Grizzlies; top-7 and 15-30 protected)


  • The Thunder pick would be the one worth watching closest if the season does resume. It’s top-20 protected, so OKC would keep it if it were to move up a spot or two, sending the Sixers second-round picks in 2022 and 2023 instead.

Second round:

  1. Dallas Mavericks (from Warriors)
  2. Charlotte Hornets (from Cavaliers)
  3. Philadelphia 76ers (from Hawks)
  4. Sacramento Kings (from Pistons)
  5. Philadelphia 76ers (from Knicks)
  6. Washington Wizards (from Bulls)
  7. New York Knicks (from Hornets)
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Wizards)
  9. Memphis Grizzlies (from Suns)
  10. Boston Celtics (from Nets)
  11. Chicago Bulls (from Grizzlies)
  12. Golden State Warriors (from Mavericks)
  13. Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)
    • Note: Could be No. 51 depending on random tiebreaker.
  14. Sacramento Kings (from Heat)
  15. Golden State Warriors (from Jazz)
  16. Brooklyn Nets (from Nuggets)
  17. Charlotte Hornets (from Celtics)
  18. Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers)
  19. New Orleans Pelicans (from Bucks)

Protected picks:

  • Indiana Pacers (to Nets; 45-60 protected)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (to Nets; top-55 protected)


  • The Hawks will receive the more favorable of Houston’s and Miami’s second-round picks, while the Kings will receive the less favorable of those two picks. Those two picks could end up right next to one another, since the Rockets (40-24) and Heat (41-24) have nearly identical records.
  • The Celtics’ pick looks like it will be one of the rare second-rounders with heavy protection that will actually change hands. Boston would have kept it if it had fallen in the top 53.

Lamb Underwent Knee Surgery; Simon Provides Aid To Arena Workers

  • It fell through the cracks to some extent last week due to the NBA’s suspension, but Pacers swingman Jeremy Lamb underwent surgery to repair his torn left ACL and torn meniscus. He’ll be out indefinitely, according to the team. Given the serious nature of his injury, it seems safe to assume Lamb won’t return until sometime in 2020/21 no matter when the ’19/20 season resumes.
  • Pacers owner Herb Simon is giving financial add to the part-time workers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse affected by the NBA’s stoppage, tweets Bob Kravitz of The Athletic. Meanwhile, the Bucks announced (via Twitter) that they’ll match the donations their players make to part-time arena workers at the Fiserv Forum.

Coronavirus Notes: Mitchell, Thunder, More

After reporting on Wednesday that the Knicks were the only NBA team that wanted to maintain the status quo until forced by a government mandate to play games without fans, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski updated that report today.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), two other teams expressed reservations about playing games behind closed doors before receiving a formal mandate to do so. Those teams were the Rockets and Pacers. Woj adds (via Twitter) that while the Rockets were resistant to the idea of playing games in the short-term without fans, they were in favor of a three-or-four-week hiatus that would have pushed the schedule into the summer.

That discussion is moot now, in the wake of Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell testing positive for coronavirus and the NBA shutting down its regular season indefinitely. Mitchell confirmed his positive test today in an Instagram post.

“We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them,” he wrote in his statement. “… I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help.”

Here’s more on the coronavirus situation:

  • The NBA has a call with its Board of Governors scheduled for 2:30pm central time this afternoon, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The call was initially supposed to happen earlier in the day.
  • There’s some concern among NBA players about coronavirus test results being leaked to the media, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link), given the damage it can do to a player and his family and the stigma it creates. As Amick notes, the fact that it’s a public health crisis complicates the situation. When the Jazz and the NBA announced Gobert’s and Mitchell’s positive tests, they didn’t identify them — the two affected stars were revealed by media reports.
  • Although they weren’t initially tested for coronavirus at the Chesapeake Energy Arena following Wednesday night’s postponed game against Utah, Thunder players and staffers were advised to self-quarantine for 24 hours and will be tested, writes ESPN’s Royce Young. Since Gobert wasn’t at the arena at all on Wednesday, the risk wasn’t considered high for members of the Thunder, but now that Mitchell has tested positive as well, the Oklahoma State Health Department feels that testing is warranted.

Brogdon Confident He'll Be Ready For Postseason

Holiday, Sumner To Pick Up Brogdon's Minutes

Pacers, Lance Stephenson Talking Possible Reunion

Two-time Pacers guard Lance Stephenson is reportedly in “strong talks” for his third tour of duty with the franchise that drafted him with the No. 40 pick in 2010, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link). Charania notes that nothing is finalized yet.

Stephenson could be a helpful addition to a Pacers team that has been depleted at the wing due to a season-ending knee injuries to Jeremy Lamb and a quadriceps injury suffered by Malcolm Brogdon, who is now week-to-week.

Indiana needs all the help it can get. The Pacers are currently the No. 5 seed in the East, but their 38-25 record puts them just 0.5 games ahead of the No. 6 seed Sixers.

Stephenson is currently signed to the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association, which has postponed all its games amidst the developing coronavirus outbreak. Charania notes that Stephenson will need permission from FIBA and the CBA to leave the Flying Leopards and return to the Pacers.

Stephenson has been working out in the U.S. since January, splitting his time between his hometown of New York City and Indiana in the hopes making an NBA comeback, per Scott Agness of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Along with Paul George, David West, George Hill and Roy Hibbert, the pesky 6’6″ off-guard Stephenson was a core cog on some exciting Pacers teams that pushed the Heat in the playoffs during 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14. The latter two teams battled the Heat in two close Eastern Conference Finals finals contests in 2013 and 2014.

After his initial tenure with the Pacers, Stephenson inked a three-year, $27MM contract with the Hornets instead of a five-year, $44MM deal with Indiana. He then bounced around for stints with the Clippers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and Pelicans before returning to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2017.

Stephenson last played for the Lakers in a disappointing 2018/19 season, in which he averaged just 16.5 MPG and put up 7.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.1 APG.

Pacers List Malcolm Brogdon As Week-To-Week

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has been diagnosed with a torn left rectus femoris (a muscle in the quadriceps), the team announced in a press release. His status is listed as week-to-week.

He suffered the injury Wednesday at Milwaukee when a sore left hip forced him to leave the game after 11 minutes. He underwent an MRI that showed the extent of the damage.

Brogdon is putting up the best numbers of his career in his first season in Indiana, averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 48 games. However, he has suffered seven different injuries that have forced him to miss 15 games, according to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

An extended absence for Brogdon could have a huge effect on the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Pacers are tied with the Sixers for fifth place at 38-25 and are two games behind Miami for home court advantage in the first round.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/6/20

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Celtics assigned rookie center Vincent Poirier and rookie guard Carsen Edwards to their Maine affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. Poirier has seen action in 21 games with Boston this season, while Edwards has taken the court in 35 games.
  • The Pacers assigned forward Alize Johnson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s PR department tweets. Johnson, a 2018 second-round pick, has appeared in 13 games with Indiana this season.
  • The Pistons assigned rookie forwards Sekou Doumbouya and Donta Hall to their Grand Rapids affiliate, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets. Doumbouya, the team’s first-round pick, is averaging 6.5 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 19.9 MPG in 35 games this season. Hall is on his second 10-day contract with the NBA club.