The Indiana Pacers have made a move to bolster their backcourt depth by trading for Cory Joseph, a 13-year NBA veteran who can play both guard positions. The Pacers sent a second-round draft pick and cash considerations to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Joseph and a top-55 protected 2025 second-round pick from the Charlotte Hornets.
Joseph brings experience and versatility to Pacers
Cory Joseph, 32, is a proven winner who has played in 82 playoff games, including winning a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. He has also played for the Toronto Raptors, the Sacramento Kings, and the Detroit Pistons before joining the Warriors this season.
Joseph is averaging 2.4 points, 1.6 assists, and 0.8 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game this season. He has appeared in 26 games, all off the bench, for the Warriors, who are struggling to stay in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference.
Joseph can provide the Pacers with a reliable backup for Malcolm Brogdon, who is having a career year as the starting point guard. Joseph can also play alongside Brogdon or Caris LeVert, who is expected to return soon from a kidney surgery, as a combo guard who can handle the ball, defend, and shoot from the outside.
Joseph is also familiar with the Pacers organization, as he played for them from 2017 to 2019. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.8 rebounds in 137 games (23 starts) for the Pacers in those two seasons. He helped the Pacers reach the playoffs both years, where they lost in the first round to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics, respectively.
Pacers make multiple moves at the trade deadline
The Joseph trade was not the only move the Pacers made before the 3 p.m. ET deadline on Friday. The Pacers also acquired sharpshooter Doug McDermott from the San Antonio Spurs for a second-round pick and cash considerations. McDermott is averaging 10.8 points and shooting 40.8 percent from three-point range this season.
The Pacers also traded Buddy Hield, who they acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week, to the New Orleans Pelicans for a future first-round pick and a second-round pick. Hield is a prolific scorer who can stretch the floor, but he did not fit well with the Pacers’ system and culture.
The Pacers are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 27-21 record. They are hoping to improve their standing and make some noise in the postseason with their new additions. The Pacers have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2014, when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year.
Warriors open up a roster spot and save money
The Warriors, on the other hand, are looking to the future with their trade of Joseph. The Warriors are 11th in the Western Conference with a 23-25 record, and they are unlikely to make the playoffs without Klay Thompson, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
The Warriors traded Joseph to open up a roster spot and save money. The Warriors are expected to use the roster spot to sign Lester Quinones, a rookie guard who has been playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors, their G League affiliate. Quinones is averaging 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 14 games for Santa Cruz.
The Warriors also saved approximately $11 million by trading Joseph, who is making $3.6 million this season and has a $3.8 million player option for next season. The Warriors are well over the luxury tax threshold and are facing a hefty bill at the end of the season.
The Warriors also received a second-round pick from the Pacers, which will be the worst of the three second-round picks the Pacers had entering the day. The Pacers own the second-round picks of the New Orleans Pelicans, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors will get the lowest of those three picks, which will likely be in the late 50s.
The Warriors are hoping to bounce back next season with a healthy Thompson and a high draft pick. The Warriors have the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick this year, which is top-three protected. If the pick falls outside the top three, the Warriors will get it. If not, the Warriors will get the Timberwolves’ unprotected first-round pick in 2025.
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