The Cleveland Cavaliers will remain the favorites in the Eastern Conference but another rival could be on their way to becoming an elite team in the conference with some great moves in the 2016 offseason.
The Indiana Pacers have been very active this summer and have rebuilt their team to being one of the top contenders in the East. NBA rumors mainly surrounded Kevin Durant and other top free agents but the Pacers were able to nab some key free agents, as noted by Moke Hamilton of the Basketball Insiders.
“With newly installed head coach Nate McMillan calling the shots for the Pacers, there are a bevy of unknowns in Indianapolis,” Hamilton wrote. “But even still, it’s difficult to imagine them not reemerging as a power in the Eastern Conference.”
The Pacers were able to acquire a few veterans that can help the Pacers campaign next season. They acquired big man Thaddeus Young from the Brooklyn Nets giving up just the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Indiana also upgraded their starting point guard by acquiring Jeff Teague in a three-way deal that involved the Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz. The Pacers also signed Al Jefferson to a three-year deal worth $30 million.
Along with franchise player Paul George, Teague, Young and Jefferson will be among the key players for the Pacers next season plus holdovers like Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey and Myles Turner.
The Indiana Pacers were not involved in many big NBA rumors this offseason but they still got starters that can play a big factor for them in trying to become of the East’s elite teams next sesason.
The Cavaliers remain the top of the East even in the offseason. Other teams like the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons have improved their rosters and teams like the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks are expected to be playoff contenders.
One team, the Indiana Pacers, who have been active in the 2016 offseason and are expected to challenge those East teams, especially the kings of the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers led by superstar LeBron James.