The Pacers are looking for a player who can contribute right away and are willing to trade the 13th pick in this year’s draft for veteran help, according to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (hat tip to RocketsWire). A source tells Michael that Indiana talked to the Rockets about a possible deal.
Michael adds that the Pacers want somebody who is under contract for at least two more years, which means Eric Gordon is the obvious target in Houston. Gordon will make $18.2M in the upcoming season and $19.6M in 2022-23, along with a non-guaranteed $20.9M for the 2023-24 season.
The Rockets are rebuilding after posting the league’s worst record and would welcome another lottery selection. They own three picks in the upcoming draft and may be willing to send No. 23 or 24 to Indiana in the deal.
Gordon, 32, is an Indiana native and played college basketball at the University of Indiana. Injuries limited him to 27 games this season, but he was still productive when he was on the court, averaging 17.8 points and 2.6 assists in about 29 minutes per night.
The Pacers would have to match salary in any deal, and Ben DuBose of RocketsWire notes that Jeremy Lamb, who has a $10.5M expiring contract, would be a good start. The Rockets originally drafted Lamb in 2012, but shipped him to Oklahoma City in the James Harden trade.