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Earlier in the offseason, ESPN writer Tim Bontemps surveyed a combination of 15 NBA executives, coaches, and scouts about various offseason topics.

In general, the Indiana Pacers had a plain offseason, only bringing in significant pieces via already-owned draft picks and needed trades. Those moves were essential and important for the team's long-term outlook, but Bontemps' piece was centered on the transactions and players that can be associated with the superlatives "best" or "worst". The Pacers were absent from most of the survey.

They did find their way into the results of one of Bontemps' questions, however. When the panel of 15 was asked "What was the most surprising move of the offseason?" one panelist voted for the trade that took place between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers — a deal that sent Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics and Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis, and draft compensation to the Pacers.

Brogdon was a near lock to be traded away by the rebuilding Pacers this offseason, but the common thought entering the transaction period of the summer was that he would be dealt for a 2022 draft selection. Reporting that suggested Indiana was considering such a deal was common in the June news cycle.

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Instead, Brogdon was sent to Boston in early July, and the Pacers received a 2023 first-round pick along with Nesmith and Theis. That deal was surprising to one person surveyed by Bontemps, which makes sense given the context of the Brogdon deal.

Recently, Brogdon revealed that the Pacers allowed him to choose his destination among a few trade options, and he chose Boston. That may have played a role in many being unable to predict such a trade happening. Additionally, Theis has shared that he wasn't expecting to be traded to Indiana.

Part of what drew Brogdon to Indiana in the first place was the opportunity to start and be a leader at the point guard position. That may not happen for him in Boston, though the 2022 Eastern Conference champions may be a force this year with the six-year pro in the mix.

For Indiana, it is unclear if Theis will have any role. But Nesmith, a former 2020 lottery pick, as well as a 2023 draft pick will have a chance to be future pieces for the blue and gold. That is what ultimately motivated the team in the Circle City to make the trade that was deemed one of the most surprising of the offseason.


  • The Indiana Pacers signed veteran guard Langston Galloway to a contract. CLICK HERE.
  • Indiana Pacers general manager says that center Myles Turner will be on the opening night roster. CLICK HERE.
  • 48th overall pick Kendall Brown has signed a two-way contract with the Pacers. CLICK HERE.
  • Many Indiana Pacers players suited up in international action during the offseason. Here's how they did. CLICK HERE.
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