Pacers rise to Conference Finals pours more criticism on Warriors trade stance

Indiana Pacers v Golden State Warriors
Indiana Pacers v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Indiana Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, further validating their decision to trade for 2x All-Star Pascal Siakam in January. In contrast, the Golden State Warriors chose to stand pat at the mid-season deadline, resulting in nothing but elimination in the 9-10 Play-In game.

Siakam had been a reported trade target for the Warriors as they spluttered through the first half of the season, though the 30-year-old apparently had little interest in re-signing with the franchise had he become a Golden State player.

The Indiana Pacers rise to the Eastern Conference Finals has poured more criticism on the Golden State Warriors and their lack of trade activity

Siakam had 20 points, four rebounds and four assists in the series-deciding Game 7, providing more angst for Warrior fans who had seen their team bypass Siakam and every other player that may have been available mid-season.

That decision initially looked like a good one as Golden State produced a far more inspired second half of the season, finishing with a 27-12 record over the final 39 games that had them dreaming of the unlikely.

Yet as their offense struggled against the Kings last month, the need for a bonafide second scoring option became apparent. As Siakam helped lift the Pacers to the Conference Finals on Sunday, it was another reminder that Golden State may have missed a huge opportunity to fill that need.

Perhaps adding Siakam was less realistic for the Warriors than many consider -- trading for him only to see him leave this offseason would have been nothing short of a nightmare. However, it does rightly put more heat on the front office's decision to do nothing at all ahead of the trade deadline.

Not only did Siakam help the Pacers to the Conference Finals, but two of the other three remaining teams also made made significant trades in the past 12 months. P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford are starters for the Dallas Mavericks after being acquired mid-season, while the Boston Celtics revamped their roster last offseason by trading for Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday.

Had Golden State made a substantial move in February, there's a high likelihood that it wouldn't have made much of a difference anyway given the hole they'd already found themselves in and the depth of the conference.

But if anything these playoff results should motivate the Warriors to making a meaningful trade this offseason, one that's far more impactful to their on-court fortunes than the Jordan Poole-for-Chris Paul deal was ever going to be.