2023 NBA Draft — Pacers' options, notes and what I'm hearing
They have four picks (for now) and have been active on trade calls.
Happy Draft Day, friends.
It’s the third consecutive draft the Pacers have a lottery pick. And after taking Bennedict Mathurin last year at No. 6, their highest selection since 1988, they’re right there again selecting at 7.
By now, the draft board is set and conversations are ongoing internally and with teams. The biggest thing teams attempt to do in the hours leading up to the draft is gather intel to better understand the picks around them. In particular, who the teams above them will be taking.
“We talk about all different scenarios, different combinations of guys being there,” Ryan Carr, who runs the Pacers’ pre-draft process, said on Monday.
“There’s still little bits of information trickling in. This process is definitely alive until you call the pick in. Lots of work still to done, lots of discussion.”
We know it’ll be Victor Wembanyama at No. 1 for San Antonio, then we’ll see.
Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller make up the second tier and the Hornets are legitimately torn. There’s not an obvious choice to them. They hosted both players to Charlotte a second time this week and put them in front of owner Michael Jordan for the first time.
And from there, that’s when things get interesting.
This draft for the Pacers should be about adding at least one more piece to the core of Tyrese Haliburton and Mathurin. Because after this draft, the Pacers should not be lottery participants with their own pick for the rest of the decade. After two years of a rebuild, now the team pushes forward and expectations return.
“We’ve won a lot of fans back,” head coach Rick Carlisle said after the season. “We know we’ve got a long way to go to get exactly where we want to go, but it’s been a very productive year. We must get better defensively.”
The Pacers front office has already been active, as promised. They agreed to exchange picks with Nuggets on Wednesday and then the Lakers on draft day — the latest deal moving back from 40 to 47 for cash.
And I don’t think they’re done yet. They remain focused on acquiring a veteran wing via trade, per league sources.