This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.
2022-23 Indiana Pacers Team Preview
The biggest "offseason" move made by the Pacers was really the trade deadline deal they made last February to acquire rising star Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield from the Kings. Indiana sent Domantas Sabonis, depth players and a first-round pick to Sacramento, opening the door for Myles Turner to return as Indiana's main frontcourt presence. But the deal also signaled a rebuild, which could mean vets like Turner, Hield and T.J. McConnell could also be dealt for picks or players on a similar timeline as 22-year-old Haliburton. Add sixth overall pick Bennedict Mathurin to the mix, and we're looking at a young squad aiming for success three or four years from now.
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2021-22 Record: 25-57; missed the playoffs.
2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 24.5 wins (DraftKings)
2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +100,000 (DraftKings)
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Check out our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Rankings, which includes fantasy basketball projections for every player.
Indiana Pacers Fantasy Basketball Preview - Top Players
After an impressive first campaign that netted him first First Team All-Rookie in 2021, Haliburton improved as a sophomore last year. He began the season with the Kings, where he started slow but picked things up in December and January, which coincided with De'Aaron Fox missing significant chunks of time. During his final 31 appearances with Sacramento in December through February, he averaged 16.1 points, 8.9 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals. However, the promising young guard was shockingly traded to the Pacers at the deadline for Domantas Sabonis. Haliburton quickly became the focus of Indiana's rebuild, and he saw his usage increase the rest of the way. In his 26 appearances with the Pacers, Haliburton averaged 17.5 points on 50/42/85 shooting, 9.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 36.1 minutes. Heading into 2022-23, the point guard will remain at the center of Indiana's rebuild, along with No. 6 overall pick Bennedict Mathurin. Across 2021-22, Haliburton ranked 22nd in per-game fantasy production, but his ceiling is clearly higher than that since he'll remain in a very high usage role and will continue developing as a 22-year-old. It appears he'll be a consistent source of efficient 20-and-10 double-doubles with steals thrown in, making him one of the best point guard options for fantasy. It won't be surprising come draft day if Haliburton is off the board in the early-to-middle stages of the second round.
After joining the Pacers midway through the 2021-22 season, Hield finds himself in a very familiar situation. Despite the upheaval, Hield ended the season inside the top 100 of eight-category fantasy producers thanks to averages of 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.9 steals and 3.2 three-pointers. After peaking at rank 38 in 2018-19, this feels like the safe range for Hield and dictates where managers should be targeting him. One thing he has in his favor is that he has been very durable over the past few years, no matter his role. He has played in at least 71 games in five straight seasons, making him a consistent top-50 asset when gauging total value. While he probably shouldn't be drafted in that range, it is reassuring to know that he will serve as a solid plug-and-play option on most nights.
Check out where Turner ranks in RotoWire's NBA Fantasy Center Tiers
Coming off a second consecutive season in which his time was cut short due to injury, Turner comes into the 2022-23 season with a point to prove. While he is slated to be the starting center in Indiana, trade rumors continue to swirl as much as they have for the past couple of years. Turner ended the 2021-22 campaign as the 25th ranked player when considering per-game value in eight-category leagues, thanks mainly to his league-leading 2.8 blocks per game. Add to that the fact he shot a career-high 51 percent from the field while connecting on a career-best 1.5 triples, and you have a player who still has a lot to offer. Based on what we know right now, he should be able to replicate those numbers. However, managers will want to keep in mind that his value primarily relies on one category. If his block numbers fall significantly, his overall value will take a hit. He remains an elite fantasy target but is better suited to category leagues, especially for those chasing early blocks.
Indiana Pacers Depth Chart for 2022-23
Follow the link ahead for the full Indiana Pacers Depth Chart
- PG: Tyrese Haliburton, T.J. McConnell
- SG: Bennedict Mathurin, Chris Duarte
- SF: Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith
- PF: Jalen Smith, Oshae Brissett
- C: Myles Turner, Goga Bitadze, Isaiah Jackson
Indiana Pacers Predictions for 2022-23
This will be a tough rebuilding year for the Pacers. Instead of the won-loss record, focus on the development of Haliburton, Mathurin and trade rumors. This team is not done wheeling and dealing. The Pacers know they are not a glamor destination for free agents, so they'll build via draft picks and trades. End-of-season tanking moves are definitely a possibility.
- 14th in the East
- Miss the playoffs
Haliburton will finish as a Top 10 fantasy player (full-season stats, 8-category). The young point guard will be the maestro of almost every Indiana offensive play. Hield may lead the team in points per game, but Haliburton will be right behind him, plus lead in assists, steals, minutes and threes with strong shooting percentages and rebounds (for a guard). The Pacers have made it very clear that Haliburton is their future star and they are building the team around him.
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