Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Just picture it Saying "NBA DRAFT 2012" and you get the idea
The 2012-13 Pacers might not be a team looking for an impactful rookie. Which is good because they are picking 26th. A spot that isn't exactly going to land you The Eyebrow.
But the draft is deep, so somebody of value might trickle down to Indiana.
So, I examined just about every mock draft I could find and some player bios on Sports Illustrated to get an idea on who might be the best fit for the Pacers.
Through free agency the biggest holes should be filled. But all great teams, truly great teams, utilize the draft to build not just for the present but for the future. The Pacers have been building that way.
This year will be one of those great moments where you don't have to draft according to a need, but just to take the best basketball player that 25 teams pass on. There are a few guys I like, or think should be strongly considered.
These are in no particular order:
Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt Sr., 6'11", 255 pounds
Ezeli is tremendous at protecting the glass and blocking shots. He has pretty good size for a modern center. He's got a very raw offense game, but it could be beneficial for him to learn behind two All-Stars in Roy Hibbert and David West.
Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt Sr., 6'7", 225 pounds
Don't the Pacers have enough wing players?
Yes, but they're building for the future. Dahntay Jones, Indy's second-best wing defender is not going to be there forever and Taylor is the best wing defender in the draft. His offensive game isn't too shabby either, but this a pick with future defense in mind. By the way, I'm not a fan of Vandy, these are just both quality players.
Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure Sr., 6'9", 225 pounds
While the Bonnies might not play the most competitive schedule, Nicholson absolutely killed in postseason play, averaging double figures in points and rebounds. The guy is tenacious inside. He drew comparisons to David West, which is a type of player the Pacers like very much.
Evan Fournier, SG, France, 6'7", 200 pounds
At the ripe old age of 19, this French guard loves to attack the lane and has a pretty decent offensive game. He's got size and quickness, but is still kind of a project, which isn't the worst thing ever. Indiana doesn't need him to be Reggie Miller this year.
Draymond Green, F, Michigan State Sr., 6-7', 230"
His measurables don't jump of the page. They say he doesn't have enough size to be a power forward or enough speed to be a 3. But Green is just a basketball player. He had over 2,000 career points and rebounds. Not too shabby for a tweener.
I'd be fine with any of these young men or any on else that helps the Pacers contend.
Don't be surprised if Indiana looks to make a trades, and if they do, it will probably work out for both sides.
Projected Pacers Roster
|PG ||George Hill ||Darren Collison ||Lance Stephenson
|SG ||Eric Gordon ||Paul George ||
|C ||Roy Hibbert ||Greg Oden ||Lou Amundson
|SF ||Danny Granger ||Dahntay Jones ||Jeff Taylor (R)
|PF ||David West ||Tyler Hansbrough ||Jeff Pendergraph
That roster might just be good enough to win you a title and make sure you're picking with one of the high numbers again. Which isn't a bad thing at all.