Updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed, Sep 22, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers Send Rakeem Christmas to Indiana Pacers For 2019 Selection

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In a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, the Indiana Pacers acquired forward Rakeem Christmas for the Pacers' 2019 second-round draft pick, which the team got when Roy Hibbert was traded.

According to NBA.com, the Pacers really wanted to have Christmas be part of the team.

"We really liked Rakeem when he came in for pre-draft workouts. He is a solid player who was a contributor all four years at Syracuse and we look forward to having him on our team," said Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird.

ESPN noted that getting Christmas will give Cleveland "roster flexibility and an asset they can use to move [Brendan] Haywood and create a large trade exception in the next week."

The same report also mentioned that Christmas and his new team inked a four-year deal with two first seasons guaranteed.

During last June's draft, Christmas was a second-round pick as he was selected 36th overall by Minnesota then traded the same night to the Cavaliers.

Prior to entering the NBA, Christmas was part of Syrcause, where he had an average of 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

IndyStar reported that Christmas played for four games for the Cavs during the summer league tournament in Las Vegas and had an average of 8 points and 4.5 rebounds.

"After the team's final game in Vegas, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin hinted at the possibility of Christmas spending some time with the team's D-League affiliate in Canton," added IndyStar.

He will surely be helpful to the Pacers as he joins other players like Lavoy Allen, Jordan Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Shayne Whittington and Myles Turner.

Bleacher Report added that the Pacers would also need Christmas' skills after they lost Hibbert and David West.

"Christmas' acquisition could be a step in the right direction if the Pacers sign him," it said.

Aside from these points, it could not also be denied that Christmas is a talented and skilled player especially with his great defines strategy.

"Christmas showed flashes of good defense and shot blocking, plus a little offense, at Summer League. However, he shot 33.3 percent and didn't exactly blow any doors off. He's a guy who spent four years at Syracuse and still needs to develop his game," explained NBC Sports.

At 6'10", he also has a a 7'5" wingspan enabling him to be an effective shot blocker. This was proven when he was still playing for Syrcause.

His only concern, according to NBC Sports, is his struggle to play against smaller and more athletic players.

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