Pacers still long shot to make noise in playoffs after Pascal Siakam trade
The Indiana Pacers made the first blockbuster deal of the NBAs trade season, acquiring two-time All-Star Pascal Siakam on Wednesday.
The trade pairs Siakam with fellow All-Star Tyrese Haliburton, creating one of the more promising duos in the Eastern Conference and bolstering Indianas playoff hopes.
While the deal certainly helps their chances to come out of the East or win an NBA title, the Pacers are still far from the class of the league.
Indianas odds to win the NBA title this season halved from +10000 last week to +5000 post-trade at BetMGM Sportsbook, a steep increase but nowhere near the inner circle of contenders.
Those championship odds are tied with the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans for the 14th-best on the board at BetMGM.
The Pacers still trail teams like the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings, who are both +4000 to win the Larry OBrien Trophy and hardly considered championship contenders.
In the East, Indiana isnt expected to be much of a factor either.
Despite moving from +3000 to +2000 to win the conference after bringing in Siakam, the Pacers are still being given just the sixth-best chance, behind the Celtics, Bucks, 76ers, Heat and Knicks, to make the NBA Finals.
Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors looks on against the Atlanta Hawks. Getty ImagesHeading into Wednesday’s action, the Pacers are tied with the Knicks at 23-17 for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Oddsmakers arent giving them much of a shot this season, but this trade may have more to do with the young Pacers core.
The 29-year-old Siakam, who is averaging 22.2 points per game on 52.2 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists a contest this season, is a free agent after this season, but is eager to work out a new contract with the team after this season, per ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski.
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At an athletic 6-8, 230 pounds, Siakam is also widely considered one of the best all-around defenders in the NBA, a welcome addition to Indianas high-powered offense but defensively deficient team.
Siakam emerged as an All-Star-caliber player during the 2018-19 season, winning the Most Improved Player Award and helping the Raptors claim their first NBA championship in franchise history.
But players of Siakams caliber are tough to lure to Indianapolis over more glamorous NBA cities.
The trade may not help the Pacers title odds this season very much, but for a team building for the future, there arent many better additions than Spicy P.
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