The Pacers deal smart before the 2023 NBA trade deadline
Indiana got off of the Goga Bitadze contract and brought in a young wing with size. Additional draft capital is also sent to the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers got to work as the 2023 NBA trade deadline came and went. Indiana waived three players and consequently acquired three others hours before the 3:00 PM deadline. Three future second-round picks will also go to Indiana in this deal.
Indiana took part in a four-team trade with the Nets, Bucks, and Phoenix in which they navigated a few non-flashy deals. Although non-flashy, the deals made were smart and a net positive for the team’s future. They traded for Serge Ibaka, George Hill, and Jordan Nwora. Ibaka will be waived, according to multiple reports, which leaves George Hill and Nwora with Indiana.
As part of the trade, the Pacers sent the draft rights to Juan Pablo Vaulet to Brooklyn.
Bitadze was the team’s 18th overall pick in 2019 and never found his footing with the Pacers. Indiana played a two-big starting five and often staggered Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner for much of his tenure. Bitadze was in his fourth season and averaged 3.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 21 games.
Moving away from Bitadze was the best decision for both parties. He was not going to get an opportunity in Indiana and a fresh start will be ideal for him.
Terry Taylor has a gift of talent if rebounding the basketball. Last season with more consistent minutes, he averaged 9 points per game and five rebounds in 20 minutes. He is 6’5’’, but he is multi-positional and played five for the Pacers at times last year. Taylor’s role diminished this season after a promising offseason, and he is now seeking an opportunity elsewhere.
Jordan Nwora was the 45th pick of the 2020 NBA draft and has played three seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was part of that championship team in 2021.
Nwora will be a welcome addition to this Pacers organization for one main reason — he is 6’8’’ and 225 lbs. They have Oshae Brissett and Kendall Brown, but they are young players too. Brissett is also an inch shorter and weighs less, so the size Nwora brings will be an advantage. Indiana should explore all its options for the position, and if Nwora can find a role on this team, that is a win.
In the coming days, we will have an in-depth article on Nwora and his play in Milwaukee.
Serge Ibaka is reportedly going to be waived from the Pacers, but that has yet to happen. Ibaka is 33 years old and has played a limited role with Milwaukee over the past two seasons.
George Hill? That name sounds familiar. He played five seasons with Indiana and helped take them to several playoff appearances. Hill last played for the Pacers in 2015-16 where he averaged 12 points and four rebounds. Hill will be welcomed back to Indiana and likely play a veteran/leader role in this new era of Pacers basketball.
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