The calendar has turned to December and this is the time of year when trade chatter typically starts to ramp up. On the other hand, the standings are very muddled in the middle of the pack and with the play-in tournament, most teams can still talk themselves into thinking they have a shot this year.
So when a couple of teams start signaling that they are ready to make changes, ears perk up. Granted, Brad Stevens has almost certainly been keeping an open dialogue with all 29 other teams all year long, but we have a few data points in the public news cycle to build upon with speculation.
First there is the Blazers, who have floundered this year and just fired their GM. What does that mean to the future plans for the franchise? Do they want to double down building around Dame Lillard, perhaps offering up other key pieces in return? (Note: get well soon C.J. McCollum, a collapsed lung sounds scary) Or do they pivot to a full rebuild and entertain offers for Lillard? On his podcast Zach Lowe floated the idea of the Celtics being a darkhorse candidate for Dame (even without giving up Brown) in part because we have all our own picks going forward.
In other news, the Indiana Pacers have seemingly raised the white flag on this middling era and are ready to break up their core.
In need of a new direction amid a 10-16 start to the season, the Indiana Pacers are moving toward a substantial rebuild and are expected to open up trade conversations around some of their veteran stalwarts, sources tell The Athletic.
Multiple sources said that the Pacers are receptive in trade dialogue with rival teams centered on potentially moving guard Caris LeVert and either two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis or center Myles Turner.
My mind immediately went to Malcom Brogdon, but Keith Smith poured cold water on my soul with this tweet.
Something important to note when dreaming up your Pacers trades: Malcolm Brogdon is ineligible to be traded before the trade deadline. This is due to the extension he signed this offseason.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) December 7, 2021
I’m going to stop short of dreaming up elaborate trade packages with these teams. I’ll leave that up to all of you. Hit us up with your best trade ideas, analysis, and conjecture in the comments below. Just remember to be nice to each other (trade ideas are hard!).