Domantas Sabonis trade rumors: What Pacers star brings, potential trade destinations

He’s been pretty quiet at the Domantas Sabonis front lately.

On December 7, Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz of Athletic reported that the Pacers were “receptive to business dialogue with rival teams regarding multiple veteran players” on their roster, including Sabonis. A few days later, Charania additional that the two-time All-Star is “expected to generate a lot of interest” in the league and will be “among the attractive players who may be available in a trade.”

However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst saying on the podcast “The Hoop Collective” in mid-December he hadn’t heard much of the Sabonis name in the commercial market. Not yet, anyway.

We are still a month away from this season’s trade deadline. Even if there isn’t much talk about Sabonis right now, he might be one of the best players available. (The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor and The Action Network’s Matt Moore also reported that they’ve heard that he wants to get out of Indiana, which would add another layer to all of this, though Pacers reporter Scott Agness said that’s false.)

With that in mind, here is what Sabonis brings to the table, plus some potential business destinations for him.

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What would a team be achieving in Domantas Sabonis

Sabonis has suffered quite a dramatic transformation since I entered the league. While Oklahoma City used him as a span four in his rookie season, he has since become a center who eats double-doubles for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Over the past two and a half seasons, Sabonis has been good for 19.4 points and 12.1 rebounds a night. You have logged a total of 126 doubles-doubles during that span, placing him behind only three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert (129) and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic (132) with the most in the league.

Sabonis builds his offense in the way you’d expect a traditional center to do. Not only is he a skilled scorer with his back to the basket …

… but he’s one of the best pick-and-roll greats in the league.

What he lacks in the athletic department he makes up for in his footwork, touch, and general knowledge: when to set a hard screen, when to slip, where to position to open pass lanes.

He also consistently ranks among the league leaders in cuts and knockdowns scoring.

Not a great shooter, but Sabonis offers Some hope of spacing.

After eliminating 3s from his game in his first three seasons with the Pacers, he attempted 2.6 3s per game last season and hit them at a 32.1 percent rate. Not much has changed so far this season: He is scoring 2.5 3-pointers per game and doing it at a nearly identical rate (32.3 percent).

Sabonis will also shoot from mid-range from time to time, although the results have been quite high and low up to this point in his career. In his first four seasons, he combined to pitch a respectable 194 of 485 (40.0 percent) from midrange. Since then, he has been 34 of 122 correct (27.6 percent) from that distance.

Sabonis is not just a scorer, of course. In addition to those 19.4 points and 12.1 rebounds, he has averaged 5.5 assists per game over the past two and a half seasons, placing him in seventh place. between forwards and centers.

He’s a genuinely good passer, particularly off the post and elbow.

The biggest concern with Sabonis comes from the other side of the court. Not that he’s a lost cause, but he’s never been a great rim protector due to his physical limitations and he’s not shaping up to be someone who would thrive in a heavy gear scheme. As such, Sabonis would benefit greatly from playing alongside versatile defenders.

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Potential business destinations for Domantas Sabonis

– Center is a position of necessity for the Hornets. It can be argued that they would be better off with Myles Turner because he gives them more than they lack: a defensive anchor that can protect the rim to a high level, but Sabonis would give them even more firepower offensively. .

– The Raptors have reportedly shown interest in Sabonis in the past. The Raptors could surround Sabonis with several versatile defenders and give them a low post presence they haven’t had since Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. At just 25 years old, Sabonis fits decently into the Toronto timeline.

– The Mavericks would benefit from having another creator on their roster. While Sabonis isn’t a traditional playmaker, it could take some of the playmaking burden off Luka Doncic’s shoulders. Sabonis and Kristaps Porzingis would make an interesting duo up front, assuming, of course, that Dallas could get Sabonis without giving up Porzingis.

– Sabonis would be a fascinating addition to the Warriors, who have the wherewithal to make a big move if they want to. Defensively, Draymond Green could cover many of his weaknesses. Offensively, Sabonis would have a field day playing Steve Kerr’s motion-based system as a passer and cutter alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

– The Kings are one of two teams The Charania of the Falsas del Athletic mentioned as having “shown interest” in Sabonis in recent years. Sabonis, a two-time All-Star, would bring some star power to a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2005-06.

What is the salary of Domantas Sabonis?

Sabonis is on the books for $ 18.5 million this season. It will earn $ 18.5 million in 2022-23 and $ 19.4 million in 2023-24.

Sabonis will be an unrestricted free agent in the 2024 offseason.

2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25
Domantas Sabonis $ 18,500,000 $ 18,500,000 $ 19,400,000 $ 0

It wouldn’t be difficult for teams to match Sabonis’s salary, but the Pacers are said to have a “extremely high value“on it. It’s safe to assume that it will take a long time to get there.