NBA Draft 2013: Best Potential Picks for Indiana Pacers

Bryan ShafferFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2013

Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams would fit nicely with the Pacers.
Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams would fit nicely with the Pacers.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In recent years, the Indiana Pacers have enjoyed high levels of success in the NBA draft.

Five players on the current Pacers roster were drafted by the team. Among those are current stars like Paul George and Danny Granger. They have also acquired good role players in the draft, such as Tyler Hansbrough and Lance Stevenson.

They have also made draft day trades for some of their best players, like Roy Hibbert and George Hill.

The downside of having a successful season is the unfortunate position of picking toward the end of the draft. Players picked outside of the lottery are usually not as successful.

That's alright, though. With the second-best record in the East, an already-clinched playoff berth and a young nucleus, the Pacers organization is in great shape.

Even so, there are a number of players 2012 NBA Executive of the Year Larry Bird and the Pacers front office should target. Whether they make a trade to move into the lottery or stand pat, the Pacers should be able to find a complementary piece that can help fill their holes and take them to the next level.


Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

It is doubtful that Michael Carter-Williams will be around when the Pacers draft after the lottery. He is currently projected to go in the later stages of the lottery.

But Indiana would be smart to trade up or make some kind of a deal to get him. He is a dynamic young point guard and is the kind of player who can be the primary point guard of an NBA offense.

He would be a wonderful facilitator for the Indiana offense. His 7.6 assists per game for a Syracuse team that averaged over 70 points this season shows his ability to run the point.

George Hill has been the makeshift point guard for the Pacers and has done a pretty good job with it. He's averaging a career-best 14.4 points per game on 45 percent shooting, making him a very effective tool for the Pacers. He is a capable ball distributor, but with only 4.7 assists per game, he is far from elite. If Carter-Williams were to take over the role as the primary point guard for the Pacers, Hill will be more effective.

At 6'6", Carter-Williams has good size for a point guard. The Pacers highly value size in players (for evidence, glance over the height column of their roster). With Carter-William's 4.8 rebounds per game, he will not be much of a hurt to the Pacers.

The Pacers might have to give up something to get Carter-Williams, but the opportunity to have a player with his skill set should be given strong consideration.


C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh

One of the Pacers' greatest shortcomings this season has been their three-point shooting.

From the outside, the Pacers have shot just 35.6 percent, which ranks 20th in the league. Only Orlando Johnson is shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc, and he averages barely over one attempt per game.

McCollum would provide the Pacers someone who can shoot the ball. During his senior season at Lehigh, the 6'3" shooting guard averaged 23.9 points per game on 49.5 percent shooting. Most impressively, he shot an astounding 51.6 percent from three-point land and shot over five deep balls per game.

As a senior, McCollum is more polished than a lot of the younger players entering the draft. This would benefit the Pacers, who are already contenders and could use someone who can make an impact early in his NBA career.

Those who doubt McCollum for posting those numbers in a bad conference should look at his performances in the NCAA tournament. Against Kansas in 2009, he dropped 26 points, and in Lehigh's shocking 2012 upset of Duke, he scored 30. He is more than capable of scoring against solid competition.


Rasheed Sulaimon, SG, Duke

Though Sulaimon is just a freshman, and still raw, he would be a nice fit for the Pacers.

In 2012 with the Blue Devils, Sulaimon was able to average 11.4 points per game and score in a multitude of ways. He has good range on his shots and can also drive to the hoop and can score on drives in the paint.

He has been a streaky player all season long, but that should not deter the Pacers from looking in his direction. After a four-game slump in the middle of Duke's season, in which he shot just 7-of-23 from the field, teammate Quinn Cook stated how impressed he was with Suliamon's intangibles.

He has a good attitude and he hasn’t hung his head. He’s been very cooperative with the upperclassmen and the coaching staff. Sometimes you’re going to go through some slumps, but he bounced out of it.

Sulaimon matches the intensity on the defensive end of the floor that the Pacers covet so much. He is expected to be a good stopper on defense, especially if he can add some bulk to his 185-pound body.