Pacers' Ryan Carr on the 2022 NBA Draft and seeking a 'foundational piece' at No. 6
Ryan Carr is in charge of the team's player evaluations. "We feel good that we're gonna get somebody that is gonna be a great Pacer," he said.
The Pacers will be on the clock at No. 6, and for the first and last picks of the second round (31 and 58) at the 2022 NBA Draft, which will go down Thursday night inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Ryan Carr, the Pacers’ vice president of player personnel, will lead the team’s war room inside the practice facility. Inside a conference room on the third floor of the St. Vincent Center, they will decide on how this roster takes shape.
Leading up to then, Carr leads a group of about a dozen scouts throughout the process. He’s the central hub for each draft. It’s a process that spans several years. Carr works with player agents, sets up workouts and does everything he can do to help inform team president Kevin Pritchard and the rest of the front office about players and their background.
And that background — adversity overcome, self-motivation, desire to get better and goals — means as much as raw talent.
After pre-draft workouts are complete each year, Carr shares his impressions of the draft and the players involved.
Read what Carr had to say below.
Just before we talk about the draft, I want to express my condolences on Caleb Swanigan’s passing. He was a gentle kid. One of my favorite stories of going through the draft process was (when) he came in. He was testing the waters after his freshman year and came in for a workout. In those kinds of workouts, they come here for really good feedback. They’re trying to make a decision on whether to go back to school.
I sat across the table from him and was going over his game and what he could continue to work on. I said, ‘Caleb, I really think that you should go back to school. I think if you improve on this stuff, you could be a first-round draft pick the next year.’ Man, the look he gave me when I said that to him — I was a little bit scared, to be honest with you. He was a gentle soul. Obviously here we’re very close to the in-state programs. (Purdue head coach) Matt (Painter) is a really close friend of mine. Just the whole Purdue family and Caleb’s family, Roosevelt Barnes, his mentor. Just a really sad day. I just wanted to make sure I expressed that and was able to convey our condolences. Really sad.
What did Keegan Murray’s visit include?
Keegan came in. He did a workout, we interviewed him and took him to lunch — what we normally do with everybody that comes in.
You guys have the highest pick you’ve had in over 30 years. Does that change the way you prepare or approach the draft?
The process really is largely the same every year. Eery year we review it, we add stuff to it, we try to get better at it. I think the caliber of players a higher talent, but I don't think it affects the process in terms of evaluation and all the different things that go into making a decision on a player. You're still doing a lot of work on them as people, analytics still does their thing. The evaluation — we’re watching everybody, whether they're gonna get picked first or go undrafted. So I don't know that the process changes a lot, but I think obviously the potential of the players is a higher potential.
I know you guys evaluate your internal processes a lot. After a successful draft last year with Chris and Isaiah, is there anything you did last year for the first time that you took away and said ‘Yeah, we gotta do that again this year?’
There's always things that we go back and we add, we take out, we change. Obviously, I'm not going to disclose exactly what we do or why we do it. But if you're not trying to improve, just like anything … you do what you do and you try to get better at it. We want every pick to be successful. I've been fortunate enough to be here a lot of years that, over the years, we've learned a lot in what we do and how we do it and trying to refine it.