Goga Bitadze to Pacers: Indiana's Current Roster After 2019 NBA Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

Goga Bitadze, from the Republic of Georgia, attends the NBA Draft basketball media availability, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in New York. The draft will be held Thursday, June 20. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers selected Georgian center Goga Bitadze with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Here is a look at how the Pacers' roster stacks up after the selection. 

Check out B/R NBA draft expert Jonathan Wasserman’s scouting profile on Bitadze. 

Pacers Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

Aaron Holiday, PG: $2.1M (2022)

Alize Johnson, PF: $1.1M (2020)

Domantas Sabonis, C: $2.8M (2020)

Doug McDermott, SF: $7.3M (2021)

Edmond Sumner, PG: $1M (2020)

Myles Turner, C: $20M (2023)

TJ Leaf, PF: $2.4M (2021)

Victor Oladipo, SG: $21.3M (2021)

TJ Warren, SF: $11.8M (2022)

Goga Bitadze, C: $2.5M (2023)

   

Free Agents

Bojan Bogdanovic, SF: UFA

Cory Joseph, PG: UFA

Darren Collison, PG: UFA

Davon Reed, SG: RFA

Kyle O'Quinn, C: UFA

Thaddeus Young, PF: UFA

Tyreke Evans, SG: UFA (banned from NBA for two years)

Wesley Matthews, SG: UFA

   

Bitadze, 19, is considered one of the best European players in the 2019 class. He is coming off a breakout season that saw him win the 2019 Euroleague Rising Star Award while winning the Serbian Super League MVP and Adriatic League MVP awards. 

That did not seem to enamor media this week, as Bitadze became a meme when he was sitting alone next to a crowded Zion Williamson at NBA draft media day. 

"It just makes me more hungry and humble to see this guy get a lot of focus," Bitadze told reporters. "I know he's a great player, he's probably the top player but that doesn't bother me at all. I had people come and ask me questions, so it doesn't bother me at all. It's all good and I'm really excited for this process."

Bitadze possesses a big, strong frame at 6'11" and 251 pounds, while flashing excellent skills on the offensive end. He has soft touch both around the basket and from three-point range, where he looks like a pick-and-op threat. 

While Bitadze's offensive skill set means he likely has an NBA future, it's fair to question his ceiling. He does not have the best athletic profile from a lateral movement standpoint. We've seen towering centers get played off the floor over the past few postseasons because of their inability to switch on the defensive end.

Bitadze will need to work hard to become a better defender if he wants to work his way into the Pacers' rotation over the long term. His development as a three-point shooter will also be integral to him staying on the floor; he could model himself after Brook Lopez or Marc Gasol in that respect. 

The Pacers could have interest in stashing Bitadze for a year or two overseas. They made a move to acquire TJ Warren from the Phoenix Suns that ate into their cap space for the summer, and the team has plans of being a major player to round out their roster around Victor Oladipo.

Bitadze will probably spend most of his time in the G League if he does come over next season. 

Salary info via Spotrac.

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