With the NBA Draft fast approaching, and the Early Entry List set, it's time to examine more in depth some of the players who could be available for each of the Pacers three picks. (I am operating under the assumption Dallas will be sending us their 2nd round pick this year, not next, to complete the Shawne Williams deal. June 1st is the final deadline for Dallas to decide.)
Obviously, the Pacers 1st Round pick is the most exciting and has the most potential for value. As we need a lot of improvement in all areas, I will be looking at players who should be available for all three picks. My plan is to post two profiles a day, for 2nd rounders, until the Draft Lottery on May 18th. After the team's first round position is finalized, I'll begin profiling 1st Rounders.
These profiles cover players I believe have some value to offer the Pacers next season and in the future. These profiles are not intended to advocate for one player over another, just examine their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss in some detail what they have to offer. For each profile I provided Ten Important Statistics to guide the discussion. When discussing how each player can help the Pacers I will try to specifically reference the team needs I identified in Setting the Table for the Pacers Summer. Here is who we will be looking at today:
Jarvis Varnado - PF/C - 6'9" 230 lbs. - Mississippi State University
- Varnado's strengths are very straightforward. He is an exceptional shot blocker, the NCAA's all time leader in blocked shots.
- Throughout his time in college he has become a strong rebounder, on the defensive glass in particular. His rebounding numbers are mostly by virtue of his length and leaping ability, as opposed to strength, awareness or fundamentals.
- He scoring efficiency numbers look very good. This is mostly because he took very few shots, and they were almost all dunks and layups.
- Some highlights:
- Varnado has put on muscle during his college experience, but still lacks upper and lower body strength. This causes him to get pushed around in the post on both ends of the floor.
- He has a center's game and, at 6'9" 230lbs., a power forward's body.
- He is EXTREMELY limited on the offensive end. Varnado displayed a limited post game in college, but likely won't be able to translate that to the NBA. He rarely scores except right at the basket, is a poor free throw shooter, and turns the ball over frequently when double teamed.
- Despite his incredible shot-blocking ability, Varnado struggles in one on one defensive situations. His lack of strength causes him to get muscled around in the post, and his lack of footspeed leaves him vulnerable when defending the perimeter.
How he can help the Pacers -
- Varnado is somewhat of a one-trick pony. But what he does, rebounding and shot blocking, he does very well. These are two areas the Pacers should be looking to improve on and he could certainly help. The concern is that his offensive and individual defensive limitations would off-set the benefits of his presence in the paint. If the Pacers took him, they would need to be patient with him, give him a chance to learn and develop so he can maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses.
More Information -