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INDIANAPOLIS – Even though the NBA Finals is still going on, the 2018 NBA Draft is just 2 weeks away.
The Pacers lost several coin flips determining draft position, so they will select in the No. 23 position when the draft gets here on Thursday, June 21. The Pacers also will have the No. 50 selection in the second round.
With the Pacers returning to the playoffs this summer and having virtually their entire rotation under contract for 2018-19, they could go several different directions in Round 1.
Here’s our compilation of NBA Mock Drafts:
NBADraft.net: 6-7 G-Troy Brown (Oregon)
Tajh Jenkins’ Analysis: “Brown, who will still be 18 years old by draft night, has all the tools to be a very good NBA player. There are some questions about what his role could be in the NBA, but he figures to be a solid prospective two-way athlete. Brown is smart and skilled with an abundance of all-round skills that should translate. His jumper and adding strength are two areas that he really needs to develop moving forward. But his NBA-ready frame, rebounding and defensive potential will give him opportunities to see the floor as he works on other parts of his game.”
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony: 6-7 F-Chandler Hutchinson (Boise State)
Givony’s Analysis: “Indiana’s wing rotation could certainly use more depth, and Hutchinson’s size, athleticism and ability to create his own shot are intriguing in a league that is starved for players at his position. Hutchinson has made significant strides with his game as a senior. He looks primed to take advantage of the lack of wings in the draft—and the NBA in general—this June. He has outstanding physical tools and is a much-improved ball handler and perimeter shooter. Hutchinson is reported to have a promise after he skipped the combine and canceled all his workouts and some teams think Indiana could be the team that guranateed him.”
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor: 6-8 F-Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State)
O’Connor’s Analysis: A combo forward who can space the floor and defend multiple positions.
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman: 6-1 PG-Aaron Holiday (UCLA)
Wasserman’s Analysis: Darren Collison will be entering the final season of his contract and turns 31 years old in August. A scoring ball-handler, consistent shooter and fierce competitor, Holiday could work as a backup and eventually take over as Indiana’s full-time starting point guard.
CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander: 6-7 G-Troy Brown (Oregon)
Norlander’s Analysis: An unknown for most NBA and college fans, as Oregon took a big step back last season and wasn’t in the NCAA Tournament. Brown’s a classic case of a five-star guy coming out of high school, testing well in the evaluation period for scouts and taking full advantage of his potential. Indiana could use him in spot duty and take a flier on him.
The Athletic’s Michael Scotto: 6-4 G-Kyhri Thomas (Creighton)
Scotto’s Analysis: Indiana has Bojan Bogdanovic ($10.5 million) and Darren Collison ($10 million) on non-guaranteed deals for next season. If Collison is not brought back, Thomas can replace his shooting and add his own gritty defensive style. He’s a very good defender,” an Eastern Conference executive told The Athletic. “He’s only 6-foot-3, and he’s not a point guard, but his wingspan is nearly seven feet (6-foot-10). He can score a little bit. He’s not really a one or two, more of a combo.” Thomas’ shooting ability has remained consistent during his three seasons as a Bluejay, never shooting lower than 39 percent or higher than 42 percent from 3-point range.
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo: 6-4 G-Jerome Robinson (Boston College)
Woo’s Analysis: This may be a little higher than he eventually lands, but Robinson has a lot of fans around the league and would be a nice fit in Indiana, where Darren Collison and Cory Joseph each have one year left on their deals. He provides size and combo skills, and led all ACC guards in scoring over the course of his breakout year. Robinson creates his own shot well off the dribble, changes speeds well and can put the ball in the basket from all three levels. He needs to improve defensively, but his intangibles will be attractive to teams and he appears to be a good bet to figure out a role and stick in it. He could become a stabilizing offensive factor in someone’s rotation.
G-Troy Brown (Oregon): 2
PG-Aaron Holiday (UCLA): 1
G-Kyhri Thomas (Creighton): 1
F-Chandler Hutchinson (Boise State): 1
F-Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State): 1
G-Jerome Robinson (Boston College): 1
Bowen’s Analysis: Well, unless you were watching plenty of west coast basketball this past season, these names are probably somewhat foreign to you. Brown was a freshman at Oregon this past year, but doesn’t really serve the strong shooting prowess that the Pacers are seeking this offseason. Holiday is the younger brother of Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. Yes, the Pacers would like the shooting of Holiday, but they already have Cory Joseph and Daren Collison returning next season. With Hutchinson, the Pacers get an intriguing wing who significantly improved his three-point shot over 4 years at Boise State. Indiana could use a versatile wing to pair alongside Bojan Bogdanovic, as Glenn Robinson III is a free agent this summer. A similar statement could be said for Bates-Diop, who dominated in the Big Ten this past year and could stretch the floor while guarding multiple positions. Robinson can fill it up and could be a future option at point guard down the road.
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