Indiana Pacers’ owner Herb Simon returned to Indianapolis this week, and will likely be here throughout the June 23rd NBA draft. The coming weeks will be the beginning of a turning point for this franchise.
The question surrounding the team this year, is what position will they address in the first round? The second-round picks hardly every pan out, so naturally the main focus is the player they grab in the first round, where they have the 15th overall selection. Almost everyone is expecting them to go in the direction of shooting guard, as they have a serious need for another wing player that can score. There was no evidence more clear than their playoff series with the Bulls this past season.
Larry Bird will not say who he is looking at in the draft, which is one week from today. He did say, however, that he has narrowed his list of players down to just three. He says he is confident that two of them will be available when the Pacers are on the clock with the 15th pick.
Many mock drafts have Indiana going for a shooting guard like Marshon Brooks or Klay Thompson. It would be interesting if they decided to go another route though, in hopes of solving another hole in their lineup.
Kenneth Faried is a monster from Morehead State, who would undoubtedly give them something to work with. Even though he didn’t play in a major conference in college, the big guy did average 17.3 points per game last year, along with 14.5 rebounds.
The interesting thing to note is that he is not even really a scorer. Even though his average was above 17 points per contest, he relies more on his rebounding and defense, which is something that would fit quite nicely in Indiana. Being able to excel in those categories is much easier than a shooting guard that is trying to be a big-time scorer in the league.
Faried will likely workout for the Pacers between now and next week.