The Indiana Pacers (35-47) just missed out on a NBA Play-in game by finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference. However, the Pacers are now going at a breakneck pace to reach the NBA Playoffs this upcoming season.
Indiana signed Bruce Brown to a big deal after winning an NBA Championship with the Denver Nuggets and traded for Obi Toppin during the offseason. Plus, the Pacers ended up with four picks in this year's NBA Draft.
Round 1, Pick 8: Jarace Walker - F - Houston. 6'8", 240 lbs (11.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 34.7$ 3-PT FG%).
Walker is the type of interior presence that the Pacers need in order to improve. Plus, he can shoot from the perimeter. He more than likely should start right away at power forward or at center.
Round 1, Pick 26: Ben Sheppard - G - Belmont. 6'6", 185 lbs (18.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 41.5% 3-PT FG%).
Sheppard should see some time off of the bench in a loaded backcourt because of his 3-point shooting.
Round 2, Pick 17: Mojave King - G - G League Ignite. 6'5", 195 lbs (9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg).
King is a scorer who was not able to fully adapt from the NBL (18.1 ppg in 2022) to the G League. He is not assigned to a team at this moment, but he may go back to playing in the NBL this season.
Round 2, Pick 25: Isaiah Wong - G - Miami (FL). 6'3", 180 lbs (16.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 38.4% 3-PT FG%).
Wong helped lead the Hurricanes to the Final Four last season because of his play and his leadership. He signed a two-way deal with the Pacers, so he will start in the G League. If he continues to play like he did at Miami, then he should be on the main roster towards the end of the season. NBA scouts messed up again because he went way too low in this draft.
Overview: If you are looking for a sleeper team this season, then the Pacers are your team. Walker and Sheppard will help out right away and Wong is a steal for Indiana. Grade: B+.