CHICAGO – The Indiana Pacers will own the 6th overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft. Is it a little deflating that the Pacers finished with the fifth worst record, but are selecting sixth? Yes. Could it have been worse? Absolutely.
Pacers President Kevin Pritchard met with the media following the announcement and provided a reminder to all Pacer fans something they could be forgetting.
“Where you start in the draft today, is sometimes where you end, sometimes it’s not.” Pritchard says.
Pritchard would go on to call this draft “critical” for his team, that this draft offers a lot of room to be aggressive, and that he likes to look at the past when looking at draft selections.
Here are the last five players that have been selected sixth overall:
- Josh Giddey – 2021 by the Oklahoma City Thunder
- Onyeka Okongwu – 2020 by the Atlanta Hawks
- Jarrett Culver – 2019 by the Phoenix Suns
- Mo Bamba – 2018 by the Orlando Magic
- Jonathan Isaac – 2017 by the Orlando Magic
A very polarizing list based off of production thus far for those five players in their NBA careers. The best player that has been selected sixth overall was Larry Bird by the Boston Celtics in 1978. A player that was ironically at the NBA Draft Lottery in Chicago was Portland’s Damian Lillard, who was selected sixth in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The mock drafts are aplenty just hours following the lottery. If the Pacers decide to stay put, they will more than likely miss out of Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero. Then that is when the draft will really start. You have Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Shaedon Sharpe, AJ Griffin, and Jalen Duren among that next tier of players to be selected.
A term that Pritchard used frequently in his media availability was “aggressive” and hinted several times that the team could move around. The former Trail Blazer assistant GM revisited the trades he made in the 2006 draft that led to the team acquiring LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.
For the next 37 days, Pritchard and company will be very busy watching film and getting to know the prospects they covet. The NBA Draft is on Thursday, June 23rd.