Did the Pacers surpass Knicks in the East with Pascal Siakam trade?

Pascal Siakam is officially a Pacer.

New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Pascal Siakam
New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Pascal Siakam / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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After missing out on a trade for OG Anunoby thanks to the New York Knicks, the Pacers landed Pascal Siakam on Wednesday. Toronto received Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, Kira Lewis (from New Orleans), and three first-round picks.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the trade, and the NBA insider added that Siakam is "excited" about the deal and is expected to sign a contract with Indiana this summer. The 29-year-old All-Star forward will be an unrestricted free agent.

The Pacers now have a star duo in Siakam and Tyrese Haliburton. The latter is expected to be an All-Star starter this season (in Indianapolis, how fitting?!), the first time in his career he'll receive the honor. He's catapulted Indiana to a playoff-caliber team, as the Pacers sit No. 6 in the East with a 23-17 record. How will that change with the Siakam addition?

How does Pacers-Pascal Siakam trade affect the Knicks' playoff chances?

By no means should New York panic. That hasn't been a theme of Leon Rose's front office. There's no question that the Pacers are better with Siakam, an All-NBA player and 2019 NBA Champion, but the Knicks aren't done yet, either.

On Tuesday, The Athletic's Fred Katz reiterated that New York believes the earliest a star will be made available is in the offseason (subscription required), so don't expect the Knicks' big move to come before the deadline. Even then, New York can make a couple of smaller moves to improve the roster, like adding another ballhandler after losing Immanuel Quickley.

The Knicks are still a playoff-caliber team with or without a superstar. Looking at how the East stacks up currently, the Pacers could secure the No. 4 spot. New York, Cleveland, Miami, and Orlando will likely finish in the No. 5-8 spots. Hopefully, the Knicks won't end the season in Play-In Tournament range, although that wouldn't be the worst outcome.

From now until April, every game on New York's schedule certainly isn't a must-win, although the Knicks did themselves no favors by dropping an embarrassing game at home against the Magic on Monday.

Believe it or not, New York will be just fine!

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