The 2013 NBA draft is just three days away and the Indiana Pacers hold the 23rd and 53rd overall picks. The Pacers have already worked out over 20 prospects which include Kansas big man Jeff Withey, Louisville guard Peyton Siva and San Diego St. guard Jamaal Franklin. Let’s take a look at potential picks for the Pacers.
Standing in at 7-foot, Kansas center Jeff Withey would be a solid pick for the Pacers late in the first round. Withey possesses amazing shot blocking ability, blocking nearly 4 shots per game, which fits the Pacers mold as the best defensive team in the league. In his final season at Kansas, Withey averaged 13.7 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game. He does need to add some weight to his frame which is a slight 222.
San Diego St. guard Jamaal Franklin is another viable option for the Pacers. Franklin led the Aztecs in points, rebounds, assists and steals in his junior year. At just 6-foot-5, Franklin averaged 9.5 rebounds per game. One problem with Franklin is that he needs to trim down on his turnovers. In his junior year, Franklin had 3.4 turnovers per game.
The Pacers have worked out several local talents including Indiana forward Christian Watford, Butler guard and Rotnei Clarke and center Andrew Smith, also of Butler. All three players would be second round picks and probably stretches to even be picked. Watford is the most likely of the three for the Pacers to choose. A power forward who can shoot from long range, Watford averaged 12.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg at IU. Clarke, another guy who can shoot from well beyond the three point line, ranks third all-time on Butler’s list with 115 threes in a single season. Clarke led the Bulldogs this year with 16.9 ppg. Smith was Butler’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder this season. He stands in at 6-foot-11, but is still quite a stretch even with the 53 pick in the draft.
Tim Hardaway Jr. has built his own name for himself. Son of former NBA player Tim Hardaway, he averaged 14.5 ppg and 4.7 rpg in his junior year at Michigan. Hardaway Jr. led Michigan to the NIT Season Tip-Off championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player. He was also one of the reasons Michigan made it to the championship game.
One player looking to do something that has never been done before is Glen Rice Jr. Rice played three seasons at Georgia Tech before being dismissed from the team. So from Georgia Tech Rice went to the NBDL where he averaged 13 ppg. No player has ever been drafted in the first round of the NBA draft from the D-League and Rice looks like a solid candidate to be the first.
While re-signing David West is the top priority in the Pacers’ offseason, the draft has helped the Pacers rebuild a solid foundation. Three of the five starters in the playoffs for the Pacers were drafted by them and another starter, George Hill, was a result of a draft day trade. While this draft isn’t very deep, the Pacers have done a solid job drafting in the middle to late first round.