The Indiana Pacers will be hopeful of a modestly successful 2022-23 season. A big move saw them acquire Tyrese Halliburton and Buddy Hield from Sacramento in a deadline deal, in exchange for big man Domantas Sabonis and a first-round pick along with some role players.
The Pacers parted ways with Caris Lavert and Malcolm Brogdon, as well, mainly in exchange for future picks in the hopes of going in another direction with the organization. They also selected University of Arizona product Benedict Mathaurin with the sixth overall pick in June, adding to a supporting cast for Myles Turner.
In what seems like a development stage for the team, it’ll be hard to imagine the Pacers sneaking into the postseason, but with a combination of young talent and veterans like Buddy Hield, T.J. McConnell and Daniel Theis, the Pacers could certainly start to gel and make a little bit of noise in the Gainbridge Fieldhouse this year.
The 2021-22 NBA season was a fairly mundane, even poor, season for the Pacers. Their record of 25-57 meant that they finished 13th in the Eastern Conference. There were a few bright spots for Pacers fans, however. Halliburton averaged 17.5 and 9.6 assists per contest in a Pacers uniform, which garnered him All-Rookie first team honors, and Hield averaged 18.2 ppg after the trade.
Despite this, it’s worth noting that if any team ended on a low note to end the 2021-22 campaign, it was the Indiana Pacers. Starting with a one-point home loss to Sacramento, the Pacers closed out the season on a 10-game losing streak. They’ll hope that this run of bad form doesn’t carry over to the upcoming season.
After being founded in 1967 and part of the ABA, the Pacers’ early NBA woes that started in 1976 were followed by the addition and rise of Reggie Miller. Indiana drafted Miller from UCLA in the 1987 NBA draft and in the early 1990s, started to become relevant with a number of playoff appearances.
In 1993, longtime Boston Celtics superstar and Hall of Famer Larry Bird stepped in as head coach of the Pacers. He helped guide the team to consecutive 50-plus win seasons and deep postseason runs, and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals in all three seasons. However, they didn’t reach the NBA Finals until 2000, when they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers. That was the final of Bird’s three seasons as head coach.
The ensuing five years featured Ron Artest as a new member of the Pacers, who they acquired from the Chicago Bulls in a trade. Although Artest complemented Miller well, and the duo were tabbed all-stars, they could never get over the hump to secure a championship. Miller had his jersey retired in 2006 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.
The 2000s were followed by the Paul George era, who led the Pacers from 2010-2017, keeping them competitive and often a contender in the Eastern Conference. But in 2017, George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since then, the Pacers have made three playoff appearances in the past five seasons.