Indiana Pacers Rumors: 2 Players Not Expected Back Next Season

The Indiana Pacers made some strides this season back toward respectability. They won 10 more games than last year, but more importantly, have established an exciting young core of Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard and the re-signed Myles Turner. 

So that's who will definitely be around in 2022-23. But who won't be back? As the Pacers take the next steps to solidifying their team of the future, it's apparent that at least two players have fallen out of coach Rick Carlisle's favor, and will likely find themselves in a new location next season.

Chris Duarte

After a tremendous rookie season last year, with the influx of all the young talent at last year's trade deadline and the draft, Duarte has pretty much been squeezed out of the Pacers' future plans. 

The former 13th pick in the 2021 Draft saw his numbers fall from 28 minutes per game to just 19.5, his scoring from 13.1 to 7.9, and his three-point shooting fell from 37% to just 31.6%. 

His name was mentioned by some at the trade deadline this year, and it's likely that the Pacers will try to find a team that still has the memory of that promising rookie year on its radar, and move off of the Canadian wing.

James Johnson

The veteran power forward spent far more time pinned to the end of the bench this season than on the court. He got into just 18 games, and only nine minutes per contest when he did play. 

At 35, his days of true rotation play in the league may be at an end, but Johnson can still provide some muscle off the bench in the right situation. He's a free agent this summer, and the odds are he'll be looking for his 11th NBA home when the offseason rolls around. 

Others whose futures in Indiana are in limbo include Oshae Brissett and George Hill, both of whom are also free agents. 

“Those are guys we’ll be looking at, but with all these draft picks and cap space, they’re not July 1 deals, they’re July 10,” said Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard. “I’m not trying to cop out on the question. I just don’t think we get to that decision tree until later on. I don’t want to hurt or help them or give them false hope or tell them no.”

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