NBA Trade Rumors: Indiana Pacers looking for a ‘Nikola Vucevic type of package’ for former All-Star

Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers
Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis has been in the news lately with reports of a potential move. The chatter has intensified, with the suggestion the Pacers would only consider a Nikola Vucevic type of package.

With the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline less than two weeks away, front offices have gotten busier trying to facilitate trades that might help a team in the second half of the season.

The Pacers are in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, a far cry from their ninth-place finish last season. Coming into the season, fans had high expectations for the Pacers but have been disappointed so far.

The Sabonis-Myles Turner partnership has not yielded the expected results. Both players have not thrived playing together, and perhaps a time for change has come.

Speaking on the league-wide trade rumors, including that of Sabonis, HoopsHype's Michael Scotto gave insight into an NBA executive's thought process. According to Scotto (from 15:45), the Pacers would only be interested in a Vucevic type of package:

"Regarding Domantas Sabonis, one NBA executive told me he doesn't see the Pacers moving Sabonis unless they get a Nikola Vucevic type of package in return as Orlando did when they traded the All-Star center to Chicago last season. That executive is with a team that has been looking at some big men."
"Certainly, they are doing their due diligence, and if that's the asking price for Domantas Sabonis, I don't think that's out of bounds at all. I think that's pretty fair value."

For Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu, the Bulls gave up Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. with two first-round picks in 2021 and 2023. It was reported late last year that the Pacers might be looking to rebuild, which makes sense for them to require first-round picks for a successful trade.

Domantas Sabonis might miss the All-Star Game

Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers dunks between Carmelo Anthony and Austin Reaves of the LA Lakers.
Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers dunks between Carmelo Anthony and Austin Reaves of the LA Lakers.

Although Sabonis is dependable for the Indiana Pacers, he might miss the opportunity to make his third consecutive All-Star Game appearance. He is not on the top-10 list in fan voting, and that might be largely due to how poorly his team has performed.

Nonetheless, Sabonis has done a decent job scoring and cleaning the glass. He is averaging 19.0 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 57.7%.

Domantas Sabonis has been handing out posters all season 🔥The @Pacers take on the @warriors at 10:30pm ET on NBA TV!

Despite his efforts, the Pacers have never won four consecutive games. Last time out against the Hornets, they gave up the most points ever in franchise history, losing 158-126.

Sabonis is an exciting talent and could grow into one of the best big men in the league. However, he needs to deliver more for his team, especially on defense.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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