It is no secret that the Indiana Pacers are looking to add another scorer. After failing to close out the Bulls in four of their five playoff games, their glaring need for an offensive weapon will be key in this year’s NBA draft.
Indiana will have the 15th pick in this year’s draft, the first pick after the “lottery” picks are done. There are two interesting candidates who might still be there for them to select. One of them is a lethal perimeter shooter who works off of screen as good as anyone. The other is an athletic slasher who can attack the basket at will.
Washington State's Klay Thompson and Providence's Marshon Brooks are two candidates that Indiana is excited about. While there is no guarantee that either of them will be available when they pick in the first round, it is likely that the Pacers would take one of them if they are. The two prospects had their workout earlier this week (Tuesday) at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Brooks spoke to the media following the workout: "Me and Klay saw each other in New York and we'll be seeing each other a lot more because we're in that range together. We're totally different players. He's more comfortable shooting. I can shoot, but I'm more of a driver."
The Pacers have several holes to fill. They need to add another player on the wing because Mike Dunleavy is a free agent and they are expected to try to trade Brandon Rush, who has been wildly inconsistent during his NBA career.
Thompson averaged nearly 22 points per game last season at Washington State. He made nearly 40 percent of his three-pointers, improving on his long-range jumper. He also showed some impressive passing skills, something he worked on last season.
"Going against him, you have to come with your 'A' game or he'll shoot the lights out," Brooks said of Thompson. "He kind of did that to me in New York."
Thompson knows that people view him as a shooter, but he wants to be known for more than that. Thompson spoke to the media after the workout: "I've been a shooter throughout my whole career. I have to prove I'm more versatile than that. I can pass and create off the dribble, I can rebound and defend."
Brooks has been turning heads around the league, even weeks before the scheduled draft. Last year, he averaged 25 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the floor. Last season, he had games of 52, 43 and 33 points against Notre Dame, Georgetown and Alabama.
There was some Indiana flavor mixed in with Brooks and Thompson on Tuesday. Butler's Matt Howard, Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and Andrew Warren (Brebeuf Jesuit) also participated in the work out. Howard and Moore will likely be second-round picks if they are drafted.
If either Brooks or Thompson are still available for Indiana to select at No. 15, I would expect them to be wearing blue and gold next year.