With just over 48 hours to go from the 2023 NBA Draft the months and months of prep, workouts, and analysis are nearly complete. For the Indiana Pacers that means five picks to be made, (7,26,29,32,55), though the likelihood of them making all of those selections is thought to be low.
Let’s look at what we know to this point. For starters, international sensation Victor Wembanyama is heading to the Spurs via the #1 pick. Then, barring surprises, some combination of Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller are expected to go 2nd or 3rd (currently held by Charlotte and Portland respectively).
After that…it’s truly a guessing game to this point as to who will go (and who will be available) from the 4th pick to where the Pacers stand with the 7th selection.
Potential options at #7 include:
Villanova’s Cam Whitmore
NBA draft week 🗣
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) June 20, 2023
Overtime Elite’s Amen Thompson
The first dunk in this video is crazy. A spin into the lane straight into a poster. Amen Thompson is the best athlete in the draft. pic.twitter.com/KQDjZNmHHf
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 20, 2023
His brother Ausar Thompson also of Overtime Elite.
Ausar Thompson is a high floor prospect because of his versatile defense and connective playmaking. But there’s risk in the sense becoming a reliable shooter is the key to unlocking stardom.
Orlando and Indiana are good fits but I’d love Ausar most on Detroit with Cade and Ivey. pic.twitter.com/DnHqFPfA5h
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 19, 2023
Houston’s Jarace Walker
Jarace Walker is one of the most versatile prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft
Walker — a potential Top 5 pick — offers potential two-way impactas a strong switchable defender that can protect the rim, make plays for others, hit tough midrange shots, w/potential to space the floor pic.twitter.com/eROvz5vUtx
— No Ceilings (@NoCeilingsNBA) June 20, 2023
Anthony Black out of Arkansas
Anthony Black is the best perimeter defender in the 2023 NBA draft and has huge upside as a 6’7 point with an elite feel for the game. pic.twitter.com/zIOVHkASNC
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 19, 2023
and UCF’s Taylor Hendricks to name a few.
Taylor Hendricks can switch on-ball and protect the rim, defensive skills that NBA playoff teams desire. He’s a good 3-point shooter and a willing screener too.
With these traits he’s “safe” but he needs to improve his handle to raise his ceiling.
Draft Range: 5-11 pic.twitter.com/4tpF1boSDq
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 17, 2023
Of course, the Pacers could always end up trading out of the 7th pick to acquire a starting level wing or better as has been rumored over the last week.
“Indiana has been talking to people about the No. 7 pick. I’ve been told they’ve been trying to get wing players. They’ve been trying to move out of… pic.twitter.com/sF9HeG7re3
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 16, 2023
Regardless of which path the Pacers choose the fact remains that, just like last year’s draft, the team must knock it out of the park if they want to be out of this situation in 2024.
A perfect world would find them as a playoff team in 2023-24. You read that right, a playoff team. Not a 7-10 seed play-in team, but a legitimate playoff team.
Whether or not that is possible won’t be decided on Thursday night, but the Pacers can at the very least get a step closer to that goal, provided they have anything close to the draft success they enjoyed in 2022.
Tuesday on The Fan Midday Show Jeremiah Johnson of Bally Sports Indiana and Dustin Dopirak of the IndyStar shared their final thoughts ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Over the course of our chats JJ and Dustin spoke on:
- the likelihood the Pacers trade away the 7th pick
- which prospects would mesh well if they stay put at #7
- who on the roster has the most trade value
- if we could see multiple trades by the Pacers on draft night
- if a player like OG Anunoby is obtainable via trade
Check out the full conversations with Dustin Dopirak and Jeremiah Johnson below and keep listening to The Fan Midday Show, weekdays 12-3pm Eastern, on The Fan.
Top 20 College Athletes With The Highest NIL Valuations
Funniest College Football Player Names Of 2023
20 Last Place Punishments For Your 2023 Fantasy Football League
Week 14 AFC Playoff Look: Colts Strengthen Playoff Position
5 Things Learned: Colts Finally Close Out Home Win
5 Things Learned: Colts Win Wild Overtime Game
Report: Jonathan Taylor Could Miss Time Due To Thumb Injury
Colts Notebook: Grover Stewart Returning At Key Time