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Indiana Pacers players and coaches react to Pascal Siakam acquisition: 'He's a special player'

The Pacers traded for Siakam earlier this week

The Indiana Pacers made a blockbuster deal on Wednesday that netted them former Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam. It is one of the biggest trades in Pacers franchise history, and it vaults the blue and gold up the perceived rankings in the Eastern Conference.

Right now, though, it's a unique moment in time. Siakam has yet to debut for the Pacers, and the team lost Bruce Brown and Jordan Nwora from the locker room. As assistant coach Jenny Boucek pointed out during a halftime interview on the Bally Sports Indiana broadcast of Pacers vs Kings last night, it's an emotional time for the roster.

But they are pushing on and will have their new, talented forward available soon. Siakam is averaging 22.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game this campaign. He was an All-Star last season and has been named to an All-NBA team twice.

Now, he's with the Pacers, a team that his talents should fit perfectly. He can boost the squad's floor on both ends and raise their ceiling by pairing well with Indiana's already established talent.

"I think we both open each other's game up," Pacers center Myles Turner told reporters in Sacramento earlier this week about how Siakam can fit. Turner believes that he won't be able to be defended by smaller players anymore with Siakam in the fold, which should benefit both guys.

Sam Amick reported in The Athletic that Siakam has wanted to play with Turner for a while. Like Turner, Siakam reportedly believes that the stretch five who can defend is an ideal frontcourt match for his game.

"I think it was an exciting move and a big move at the same time," Turner said of the deal to bring Siakam to the Pacers. The former Raptors forward had 36 points and 10 rebounds against Indiana earlier this season.

T.J. McConnell shared similar thoughts with Turner about the acquisition. "We're excited to have him... he's a special player," the veteran guard said on the Bally Sports Indiana broadcast of Indiana vs Sacramento on Thursday.

Siakam can slice through defenses. He drives to the rim nearly 12 times per game, is a nearly 82nd percentile cutter, and rates highly as a transition weapon. In short, he can score in most of the ways that Indiana will need him to.

The Pacers rank third in transition frequency, ninth in cutting rate, and second in drives per game. Siakam should fit like a glove. He will have to figure out where his shots are going to come from, especially playing alongside one of the best passers in the NBA in Tyrese Haliburton. But once all that is settled, he's going to give Indiana a ton of offensive firepower.

"Excited to add another great player to our team," Haliburton shared with gathered media members in Sacramento earlier this week. "Anytime you add a top player in the world, that will help your team... he plays the way we want to play."

Haliburton is happy with the move, and it will ease the pressure on the Pacers star guard every night. He was getting blitzed and trapped often recently, and while he worked through that attention, having someone like Siakam on the roster makes it much more painful for defenses to trap Haliburton. There now will be an elite safety valve somewhere else on the hardwood.

Siakam will help the blue and gold defensively, too. He isn't an elite defender, but he has size and mobility, something Indiana lacks. Haliburton noted that it's a wings league, and they acquired a talented one in Siakam. That alone should help the team on defense.

"It's not a secret that forwards have had kind of a feeding frenzy with us... I think it's exciting to add him," Haliburton shared on Siakam's potential defensive impact.

Head coach Rick Carlisle agreed, citing Siakam's length as something that will be helpful. Carlisle believes that the newly-added forward can play the three or five position on occasion when needed and shared such with media members earlier this week.

"We like him very much. Been a long-time admirer," Carlisle said of Siakam.

The Pacers will now progress forward in a new era, and one that they are clearly excited about. The four man is expected to play tonight in Portland for the first time as a Pacer, kicking off a second half of the season that could be significant for the blue and gold. 

  • Pascal Siakam has been traded to the Indiana Pacers. CLICK HERE.
  • Tyrese Haliburton progressing and ahead of schedule with hamstring injury, still ranks first in Eastern Conference guard All-Star voting. CLICK HERE.
  • What the Indiana Pacers accomplished in their first weekend without Tyrese Haliburton. CLICK HERE.
  • Shorthanded Indiana Pacers have no problem taking down Sacramento Kings on the road. CLICK HERE.
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