The top and middle of the Eastern Conference is packed with intrigue and young talent that could make the postseason a wild free-for-all the next few years. At 37-45 and five games short of the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament, the Indiana Pacers feel tiers away from entering that conversation. A promising roster and an ambitious front office could force their way in faster than you think, though.

General manager Chad Buchanon has been trying to acquire Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby for some time, but Masai Ujiri has not budged. However, another star could be available. Indiana has reportedly contacted Toronto about the availability of forward Pascal Siakam. Such a move would immediately alter both franchise's competitive trajectories and potentially have major implications for the future state of the conference.

That would be the message to Pacers fans, at least. Siakam gives the team another high-level player who nicely balances out a tantalizing frontcourt. Expectations substantially increase if he arrives in Indianapolis. Head coach Rick Carlisle would still have work to do to separate from the several other talented Eastern squads, but Siakam affords him and the organization some added time while they wait for their prized young pieces like Bennedict Mathurin to keep developing.

What will it take to make a deal happen, though? Surrendering too many assets for an expiring contract can absolutely ruin a franchise that relies on youth and the NBA Draft to ascend into prominence. But there is an ideal offer in Buchanon's grasp. Let's do our best to iron it all out.