The Indiana Pacers are currently fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 17-10 record, but the team might be planning to make some changes to their roster soon, as a new report claims that the team is considering trading starting point guard Darren Collison or his backup, Cory Joseph.
In his report on Wednesday about the Los Angeles Clippers’ hopes of signing Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant in the 2019 offseason, ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst included a footnote on other rumors around the NBA, where he cited league executives and wrote the Pacers are planning to ship either Collison or Joseph to another team. According to Windhorst, this is because the team has high hopes for 2018 first-round pick Aaron Holiday, and wants to give him more playing time at the point guard position. No potential trade targets were mentioned in the footnote.
Windhorst’s report came one day after Fansided’s 8 Points 9 Seconds published an opinion piece justifying why the Pacers need to trade Darren Collison. Although Collison had been overcoming a slow start in recent games, he is still averaging only 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, and, as the publication noted, is now 31-years-old, making him substantially older than fellow core players Victor Oladipo (26) and Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis (22). Collison’s declining shooting percentage and “reasonable” contract were also mentioned as reasons why Indiana might want to trade him to another team.
Here’s how it looks inside the locker room of the surging Pacers, a team about to get back injured star Victor Oladipo: Myles Turner saying something crazy. Darren Collison saying something crazier. And Oladipo just singing and having a good time.https://t.co/uEBgWXJrJb— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) December 12, 2018
In addition, 8 Points 9 Seconds suggested two “great targets” the Pacers could trade for if they actually end up shipping Collison elsewhere — Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz and Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza. The Pacers fan blog stressed that the second trade might be especially beneficial to both teams, as Ariza’s veteran presence could help Indiana in the postseason, while Collison could address the Suns’ weakness at the point guard position.
As for Cory Joseph, 8 Points 9 Seconds suggested that the Pacers keep him on the roster, considering he’s a tough defender and fairly accurate three-point shooter who’s also a few years younger than Collison. Currently, Joseph is averaging 7.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
Meanwhile, Aaron Holiday is enjoying a fairly productive rookie season despite his lack of playing time, with averages of 5.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. The younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday and Chicago Bulls forward Justin Holiday, the former UCLA standout was picked 23rd overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, but hasn’t had too many opportunities to shine while playing behind Collison and Joseph.