The Indiana Pacers are looking to buy before Thursday’s trade deadline. Indications are that the team is willing to give up a first-round pick in order to bring in someone to help Paul George and youngster Myles Turner as the season progresses.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor has long been on the trade block. The team removed him from action earlier this month when a deal seemed imminent.
So it stands to reason that the two sides might be talking trade leading up to the deadline.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, that’s exactly what is happening.
Pacers and Sixers have had talks about Okafor, sources told ESPN. https://t.co/Mbx5RHYaDD
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 21, 2017
This comes on the heels of previous reports suggesting that Indiana was engaging in trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez.
Needless to say, the focus for general manager Kevin Pritchard is to find a big to team up with the up-and-coming Myles Turner inside.
The addition of Okafor would enable Indiana to play Turner at the four, creating one of the most-talented frontcourts in the Eastern Conference. It’s also a clear indication that the team is not looking to move George.
It remains to be seen what Philadelphia would receive in a hypothetical deal with Indiana, but the starting-off point should be the Pacers’ first-round pick in 2017. After that, a combination of Aaron Brooks and C.J. Miles could be used as cap fillers.
Either way, look for both Indiana and Philadelphia to be active between now and Thursday afternoon.