The NBA Draft has come and gone, with each team coming away hopeful that they players they selected during the 2-rounds will provide the foundation of success down the road.
For the Indiana Pacers, they walk away with 2 first round selections, Jarace Walker and Ben Sheppard, as well as Mojave King and Isaiah Wong in the 2nd. All four players will have the chance to compete and earn their place on a young, seemingly up-and-coming team. Walker and Sheppard especially seem like they’re ready to plug-in and play right away.
Normally, the Pacers aren’t that active in NBA Free Agency. Could that change this year, with the presence of All-Star Tyrese Haliburton being a key factor in attracting free agents to Ind?
The NBA Draft also may have provided a clue that the Pacers may be more aggressive than in years past. Chad Buchanan, the Pacers GM, admitted on the morning show Kevin & Query last week that the Pacers had tried to trade up to as high as 10th overall to select Cam Whitmore. That move obviously didn’t pan out, but it could be an indicator that it isn’t business as usual for the blue-and-gold.
One of the first questions that might be answered is what the Pacers will do with George Hill. The 37-year-old just finished a 2-year deal he initially signed with the Milwaukee Bucks and has expressed a desire to remain here in Indy.
“I would love the opportunity.” Hill said of returning to Indy. “Like I said, I want to be like a Udonis but play.”
Hill is entering the twilight of his career, and his ability to contribute on the court may be diminishing. He is, however, a beloved locker room presence, and a fan-favorite in Indianapolis. The Pacers may decide there is value in bringing him back.
The Pacers do have pieces on their roster that could be used as trade leverage. Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, and others have been floated as potential players that could be on the move. Buddy Hield has even been suggested, even if that one seems far less likely. Even if the team doesn’t decide to swing for a big-name free agent or try and snag a notable name in a trade, the Pacers’ young core should excite fans around Indiana. Whether they will add to that core in the coming days remains to be seen.
During Monday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to Tony East of Locked On Pacers. Tony and John discuss the Pacers draft, if they tried to make more moves during the draft, and what they might do when free agency begins. Listen to that conversation and more below, and tune into The Ride With JMV from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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