The Indiana Pacers are building a team for the future. With Malcolm Brogdon seemingly no longer a fit for the team’s long-term vision, we’ll four trades the Pacers could pursue to deal him.
Indiana is hitting the reset button. It tried to make the Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner tandem work with T.J. Warren, Caris Levert, and Brogdon. Injuries played a major impact in sinking that core, but the simple fact is that these pieces never fit together and couldn’t succeed in today’s modern NBA.
Maybe the Pacers were trying their version of a modern Twin Towers. Reminiscent of San Antonio’s heyday with David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Looking back on this idea, it was foolish to try. That duo was anchored by two Hall of Famers and the Pacers’ version dwarfed in comparison.
This brings us to the current state of the organization. Which is looking at the future and how best to get back into the playoffs and eventually win a playoff series. With Indiana’s highly-paid guard no longer fitting into the team’s vision moving forward, let’s examine the best potential Malcolm Brogdon trades.
Malcolm Brogdon traded Phoenix Suns
- Indiana Pacers trade: Malcolm Brogdon
- Phoenix Suns trade: Deandre Ayton (sign-and-trade), Cameron Payne
This might be the most unlikely trade on the list. In this scenario, Indiana also deals Myles Turner to another team to open up the center spot. With the Suns ready to move on from Deandre Ayton, the two teams reach a sign-and-trade involving Brogdon and the young center.
This deal would provide the Pacers with a young big man who is an improved low post presence. If it takes him to reach the next level then the Pacers have a nice guard and big man pairing in Haliburton and Ayton. Phoenix gets a vital upgrade with their third guard. It’s an especially important spot for n aging Chris Paul, who the Suns often want to rest and limit his minutes.
Dallas Mavericks find a partner for Luka Doncic
- Dallas Mavericks receive: Malcolm Brogdon
- Indiana Pacers receive: Davis Bertans, Josh Green, and Frank Ntilikina
With Jalen Brunson joining the New York Knicks, Dallas will most likely be looking to replace his firepower so they don’t fall back in the competitive Western Conference. While Brogdon isn’t Brunson, he had his most efficient seasons when playing alongside a franchise player in Giannis Antetokounmpo back with Milwaukee. Adding Brogdon would allow Dallas to always keep two playmakers on the court at all times. It would also reunite Brogdon with head coach Jason Kidd.
- Malcolm Brogdon stats (2021-’22): 19.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.9 APG
Why would the Pacers accept this trade? Well, Green and, maybe surprisingly, Ntilikina are still young players. Indiana isn’t winning now or next season. As a result, it has the opportunity to play these two players and see if they can be a part of the future. With Bertans, the hope is he can regain his 3-point shooting stroke and then be flipped at the deadline.
If the Pacers keep him, then he can fill the stretch four position that might be vacated if Jalen Smith isn’t re-signed. It’s not a sexy deal but it does free up minutes in the backcourt for rookies Benedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard.
Toronto Raptors acquire Malcolm Brogdon
- Toronto Raptors trade: O.G. Anunoby, Malachi Flynn
- Indiana Pacers trade: Malcolm Brogdon
There is some thought that the emergence of Scottie Barnes makes an O.G. Anunoby trade likely for the Toronto Raptors. There is definitely logic behind that thinking. While Toronto is more likely to be interested in acquiring Turner, there can be a case for them to add Brogdon. Here Brogdon can either start with Fred VanVleet or play alongside Gary Trent Jr.
Having Brogdon and VanVleet on the floor at the same time adds more playmaking to their backcourt. Furthermore, always being able to have one of them on the floor at all times should help each of them maintain consistency. Brogdon also brings some size to the backcourt when he’s paired with Trent Jr.
Anunoby provides Indiana with a premier wing defender. He also significantly improves the Pacers’ defense alongside Turner. The cherry on top is that he’s a former IU alumnus and that fan base will trample themselves trying to get tickets to all the home games.
A possible starting lineup of Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Heild, Mathurin, Anunoby, and Turner is appealing. Flynn is a young piece that can compete with Nembhard to be the backup point guard after TJ McConnell.
Indiana Pacers swing deal with Utah Jazz
- Indiana Pacers acquire: Mike Conley
- Utah Jazz acquire: Malcolm Brogdon
Here is a team that might surprise you on the list. Let’s first lay out some context. There will be changes, possibly big changes, for the Utah Jazz. Their head coach has already retired. There are rumors about both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell being traded and the two of them don’t appear to be getting along. The team has tried to get a strong point guard that can play alongside Mitchell.
Mike Conley is a good fit, but Father Time is starting to catch up to him. As evidenced by Conley not playing in back-to-back games until late in the season and having more frequent load management games. So, here the proposal is almost an even swap. Utah gets Brogdon in return for local hometown-grown Conley. Brogdon is a younger and bigger player than either Conely or Mitchell. He can do some similar things to Conely and Brogdon can play alongside another superstar. Which would help his overall efficiency on offense.
The Pacers get a veteran leader who can help the young roster develop and learn how to be a pro in the NBA. Conley can also come off the bench behind Haliburton to help keep his body fresh. If Conely has a bounce-back year, he can be traded for more assets that fit the Pacers’ long-term goals.