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Pacers Roundup: First pre-draft workout scheduled, Duarte and Nored head to Mexico, NBA award named after two local legends and more
The first of many six-man workouts starts Friday ahead of the draft combine. Plus, notes on several individuals with ties to the franchise, including Larry Bird.
The Pacers have been evaluating players who are part of the upcoming draft for several years, but the formal part of the process begins on Friday with the first pre-draft workout of the season.
These workouts are incredibly valuable for teams to see players up close, how they handle themselves off the court and to allow for the training staff to evaluate them.
There were no formal pre-draft workouts in 2020 — the draft class of current Pacers Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith — and they hosted 45 players over nine workouts last year.
Before heading to Chicago next week for player evaluations and testing at the draft combine, the Pacers will host the following six players on Friday.
Fardaws Aimaq, Utah Valley, C
Moussa Diabate, Michigan, C
Boogie Ellis, USC, G
Jordan Hall, Saint Joseph’s, G
Hyunjung Lee, Davidson, F
Josh Minott, Memphis, F
Wondering what goes on during a typical workout? I covered the basic format here— medical evaluation, IQ test, conditioning, shooting and 3-on-3.
This will be the second year for Rick Carlisle and his coaching staff.
Two Pacers Head to Mexico Next Week
Pacers guard Chris Duarte will head to San Luis Potosí, Mexico to serve as a coach for the NBA's Basketball Without Borders camp May 16-19. This camp will put the top 64 high school boys and girls from 17 countries and territories in front of NBA personnel and give them an opportunity to compete for a week.
Assistant coach Ronald Nored will also be joining, along with former Pacer Leandro Barbosa and others.
What’s also notable: It’s the first Basketball Without Borders camp since Feb. 2020, right before the pandemic.
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Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson Have NBA Awards Named After Them
The NBA updated its trophies — and added a few awards as well. All six trophies are named after NBA legends who helped shape the league.
You already know the Larry O’Brien Trophy (for winning the NBA championship) and the Bill Russell Trophy (for Finals MVP), but they also added MVP trophies for the Eastern and Western Conference.
The Eastern Conference Finals MVP is named after French Lick, Ind. native Larry Bird, who remains an advisor for the Pacers. The Magic Johnson Trophy will be given out to the MVP of the Western Conference Finals.
“I am very honored to have my name associated with the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals MVP Trophy,” Bird said in a statement. “I know how tough it is to get to this great milestone of the Eastern Conference Finals and to be named the Most Valuable Player makes it even more special.”
Additionally, the trophies given to each conference champions now have names. Oscar Robertson, known as "The Big O," is the namesake for the Western Conference champion trophy. He played at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, then went on to become the 1964 NBA MVP and a 12-time All-Star.
The Bob Cousy Trophy will be given out to the Western Conference champion.
Executive of the Year Results
Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Kleiman voted NBA Executive of the Year. At 33, he’s the youngest to receive this award. Eighteen executives received at least one vote, including former Pacers draft pick James Jones (of the Suns) and Zionsville native Brad Stevens (of the Celtics).
The full results:
Lastly, here’s the latest from the team on social media capturing player offseason workouts. Good to see several players, especially the young guys, still in town.