Within hours of acquiring draft picks in trades earlier Thursday, the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards swapped them as the Pacers moved up from the top pick of the second round to the No. 22 selection, giving up guard Aaron Holiday to make up the difference.
How does Holiday fit with the Wizards? And did Indiana get reasonable value moving up to select Kentucky big man Isaiah Jackson?
Wizards get: Aaron Holiday, 2021 first-round pick (No. 31: Isaiah Todd)
Pacers get: 2021 first-round pick (No. 22: Isaiah Jackson)
Indiana Pacers: B
The Pacers packaged a pair of late second-rounders (No. 54 and No. 60) and a pair of future second-round picks to acquire the top pick of the second round (No. 31) from the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday. Indiana then went up another nine spots with this deal, adding Jackson to a crowded frontcourt rotation that also includes Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and 2019 first-rounder Goga Bitadze.
Based on my guide to draft pick value, going from No. 31 to No. 23 is worth another pick at the top of the second round (between No. 32 and No. 33). That sounds reasonable for Holiday going into the final year of his rookie contract.
After taking a nice step forward in his second NBA season, Holiday played nearly seven fewer minutes per game last season, serving as the Pacers’ fourth guard much of the year. Shedding his $4 million salary in favor of the $2.5 million Jackson will make has the benefit of giving Indiana more ability to re-sign free agents T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott without going into the luxury tax.
Currently, the Pacers could afford to spend about $13 million in first-year salary to re-sign McConnell and McDermott. They could open up a bit more room under the tax by waiving forward Kelan Martin, whose salary is non-guaranteed through Aug. 7, or declining a team option on guard Edmond Sumner.