The Indiana Pacers are currently setting the pace at rebuilding in the NBA after trading Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics. The Pacers finished with a 25-57 record last season while also ending the season on a ten game losing streak. Fortunately, Indiana had three picks in this year's NBA Draft. Here is a look at who the Pacers selected.
Round 1, Pick 6: Bennedict Mathurin - G - Arizona. 6'6", 210 lbs (17.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 36.9% 3-PT FG%).
Mathurin has the athleticism and the tenacity to potentially become a franchise player. He was one of the most improved players in college basketball last season as he led an Arizona team that was one of the surprise teams after winning the Pac-12 regular season title when they were picked to be in the middle of the pack before the season started. He should start right away at shooting guard. However, he will need to maintain his effectiveness even when defenses primarily key on him.
Round 2, Pick 1: Andrew Nembhard - G - Gonzaga. 6'4", 193 lbs (11.8 ppg, 5.8 apg, 38.3 3-PT FG%).
Nembhard has been a solid starter throughout his college career. Over the past two years, he possessed a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio. This type of dependability ensures that Nembhard should see some playing time as the back-up point guard.
Round 2, Pick 18: Kendall Brown - F - Baylor. 6'8", 205 lbs (9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 spg).
Brown was projected to be a lottery pick before the start of the season. However, he did not adapt well to the physicality of college basketball. If he improves his strength over the next couple of years, then the Pacers will end up with a second-round steal.
Drafting three players that realistically look like that they could contribute over the next few years means that the Pacers drafted well this year. Grade: B+.