Grading the Indiana Pacers' 2013 Draft Decisions
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Or did they?
Indiana had a golden opportunity to take a step forward via the draft on Thursday night, which did not turn out the way many fans had hoped.
Needs Prior to the 2013 NBA Draft
While George Hill did a very credible job as the starter, he did look a little bit shaky at times. This was especially true when he brought the ball down court during the postseason and faced occasional double-teams.
D.J. Augustin, who was erratic for the most part of the year, is an unrestricted free agent and does not expect to re-sign with the Pacers, per NBA.com (via Rotoworld). There's no indication Ben Hansbrough will be the answer as the backup at the 1 spot, either.
Indiana could also use some depth at the center position to back up Roy Hibbert. Ian Mahinmi had his moments, but was just so-so. Jeff Pendergraph was a regular-season revelation but was a bust during the playoffs.
Prior to June 27, the Pacers had to draft someone who could not only contribute defensively, but offensively as well. A good passer would also be a tremendous asset.
Analyzing Solomon Hill
The Indiana Pacers drafted Solomon Hill with the 23rd pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
Hill is a 6'7", 226-pound senior small forward who averaged 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks per game in his final year with the Arizona Wildcats.
NBA.com describes Hill as "one of the Pac-12's most versatile players" with "great court vision and passing ability...[Hill] led the Wildcats in rebounding, field-goal percentage and assists."
His player profile also says he is consistent and has "the ability to beat defenders off the dribble."
NBA.com reports that "Hill says he can defend multiple positions, hit the boards hard and handle the ball some."
The Pacers' official website says "his best attributes are his three-point shooting and basketball intelligence...Hill took 146 threes and shot an impressive 39 percent clip from long range."
Indiana GM Kevin Pritchard says the team felt Hill's toughness makes him a great fit:
There are two traits that we really identified with our team and that's toughness and unselfishness. As we went through the process, we felt he was as tough as anybody.
Could be a sign of good things to come for Indiana Pacers fans.
Pacers Draft Colton Iverson, Trade Him to the Boston Celtics For Cash
However, the trade has yet to be officially announced.
He then went on to average 14.2 points (on an impressive .596 shooting clip), 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the Rams in his senior year. Iverson was listed as the No. 20 rebounder in the nation and led his team in blocked shots with 25.
He had a stellar senior year in terms of his achievements, as he was named a 2013 first-team All-Mountain West selection, USBWA and NABC All-District honoree and an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.
The Final Word on the Indiana Pacers' 2013 NBA Draft
Solomon Hill is an NBA prospect whose athleticism is not yet on Paul George's level. However, his versatility, attitude and toughness could help the Pacers right away, especially in terms of bench scoring—one of their most glaring weaknesses.
Mark Montieth of Pacers.com says "He's less than 6'6" in his bare feet, making him undersized for the small forward position." This means Hill's all-around game will be tested at the shooting guard position in a rotation that features Lance Stephenson and Orlando Johnson.
The pick makes sense because Hill's attributes fit the mold the Pacers are looking for. Plus, if he contributes sooner than expected, he can help ease the burden of Stephenson, who sometimes plays out of control.
Johnson showed some promise last season so he and Hill should form a nice rotation at shooting guard, which still lacks maturity and seasoning.
Because of his ability to pass the ball and create off the dribble, Hill should also be projected to add some depth at the point guard spot, a need that needed to be addressed.
The other need at center was apparently addressed by Iverson. If his showing during his senior year was any indication, he would have thrived under Roy Hibbert's wing. For now, his status with the Pacers remains very uncertain because of the reported trade with Boston.
Overall Grade: C+
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