A lot of attention has been paid to the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft, as it always is. Most of this focus is put on the first round since that is where teams find their immediate contributors or stars in waiting.
The second round often goes overlooked, which is a shame because the second round usually provides players who are hungry for a shot; sometimes, they make the most out of that shot.
The summer of 2011 is a big summer for the Indiana Pacers. They have a lot of cap space, the 15th pick in the first round of the draft and the 42nd pick overall. I want to take a look at some possible players who will be available at that 42nd pick that the Pacers may show some interest in.
I have picked the following 10 players who are being projected to go around the 42nd pick, according to several mock drafts.
The Butler Bulldog could be attractive to the Pacers should he fall to the 42nd pick.
Mack not only brings potential to be a solid back-up point guard in the league for many years, he also brings with him the success of the Bulldogs the last two years. Mack averaged 16 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last year and again showed he can compete on the biggest stage.
Indianapolis has had Butler fever for two straight years. Fans seem to be coming back to the Pacers' side after their playoff appearance this spring, and Mack could potentially bring more basketball fans in the state of Indiana back to Conseco Fieldhouse.
David Lighty is finally gone from Ohio State.
It seems like he has been a Buckeye for 10 years.
Last season, Lighty averaged 12.1 points, 4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. These numbers are more impressive than they may seem when you consider the other stars (Sullinger, Diebler and Buford) with whom he had to share the ball.
Lighty has shown a high basketball IQ and leadership abilities. He showed an ability to score in bunches both inside and outside and could be a good addition to a young Pacers team. The problem with Lighty though is if the Pacers keep Granger, Rush and George, he may find playing time hard to come by.
The 6'7" freshman from Illinois has a ton of potential. However, Richmond does lack experience and was on a team that was considered by many to have underachieved.
Richmond only averaged 7.6 points and 5 boards for the Illini last season, but he is only 19 years old. He has a lot to learn, but has the athletic ability to emerge as a star. His inexperience may be a turnoff to some teams, but young teams like the Pacers may see him as another building block to their already-young team.
McCamey may be the wild card of the draft.
Many comparisons have been made to Deron Williams (the Illinois connection obviously playing a role in this). McCamey has the ability to be a starting point guard in the NBA, but he also could possibly be playing overseas in a couple years.
McCamey averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game last year for the Illini. He was often criticized in the press for no-showing in games Illinois lost. McCamey seemed to play when he wanted to, but quit when he didn’t.
Is it fair to say he quit at times? It is hard to say. If he figures out how to use his considerable abilities in the NBA while playing hard every night, he will be a point guard in the league for a long time.
Singler is an interesting player. He could be Mike Dunleavy Jr. 2.0, or he could be Adam Morrison 2.0.
The Pacers have shown a penchant for drafting players who come from successful programs and were proven winners in college.
There aren't many more proven than Singler.
He put up 16.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils last season as the leader of the team that was without Kyrie Irving for most of the year. Singler needs to work on quickness and upper-body strength to be a player at the next level, but perhaps he could move into the Pacers' rotation in place of the likely-departing Dunleavy.
The junior from Boston College has had a big-time college career that has been highly under the radar.
Jackson averaged 18.2 points, 4.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds last year for BC. The Eagles were down a bit last year, but he still compiled those numbers against ACC competition.
Jackson’s defensive ability is also a factor, as his long wingspan makes him a very good on-ball defender. He is a player who has shown an ability to adapt to the flow of the game and make the necessary adjustments, as he would need to, to compete in the NBA.
The freshman point guard from Texas reminds me a lot of another Longhorn, Avery Bradley, who came out last season.
Joseph averaged 10.4 points, 3.6 boards and 3 assists per game for a good Texas team, but Texas' track record doesn’t help Joseph.
Many highly-touted point guards have came from Texas and underachieved in the NBA; the Pacers have seen this firsthand with T.J. Ford. Every player is different, regardless of college, but many franchises look at things like the track record of a school.
That may not bode well for Indiana's prospects of taking Joseph.
If VCU did not make their Final Four run, would Skeen be looked at as a second-round pick?
He should be, regardless.
Skeen put up good numbers (15.7 PPG and 7.3 RPG) for the Rams last season. He is also experienced, having played four years of college ball (two at Wake Forest and two at VCU).
Skeen’s abilities will undoubtedly be questioned because of playing at VCU, but the NCAA tournament alone may have gotten him a shot at the league.
The senior point guard from Cleveland State has a lot of potential.
The upside of Cole is that he put up 21.7 points, 5.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game for Cleveland State last year.
The downside is he is only 6'1" and 174 pounds.
Cole could be a very good point guard in the NBA; he can definitely score with the best point guards in the nation. His leadership abilities were shown last year for the Vikings, who were a top team in the Horizon League.
If Cole can overcome his size disadvantage, he could be a steal with the 42nd pick.
The freshman from Fresno State is an interesting prospect at 6'10", 250 pounds and still developing.
The Pacers showed last year they are not afraid to take a chance on a pure athlete when they took Paul George, also from Fresno State. Smith could be the power forward prospect the Pacers need and could be a nice back-up for Tyler Hansbrough; Hansbrough is a crafty player, while Smith is a very athletic player who can be developed into a solid post player.
Who would you like to see the Pacers select in the second round? How about the first round also?