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:
Dexter Pittman - C - 6'10" 290 lbs. - University of Texas
- Pittman has the height, bulk and length to play center in the NBA.
- He is an extremely efficient post scorer, sporting an outrageous 65.0 eFG%. To put that number in context, both Dwight Howard and Greg Oden had an eFG% of 61.0 this season. He doesn't have a wide variety of moves, but the ones he uses are very effective. He takes advantage of his strength to establish deep post position.
- His physical attributes make him an above average rebounder at both ends of the floor.
- He still has a long way to go, but he has lost a lot of weight over the past three years and has dramatically improved his physique and conditioning.
- Pittman does a good job of using his size, strength and length to challenge shots in the paint. He also is very effective defending the post one on one.
- Some highlights:
- Although he has lost a lot of weight, he still needs to work on his physique and conditioning to maximize his skills and potential.
- His lack of quickness and conditioning make it difficult for him to switch out onto the perimeter. This may also hamper his ability to stay on the floor during faster paced games in the NBA. He was only able to average 19.1 minutes per game last season.
- His post scoring is terrific, but his ability to score drops off dramatically as he moves away from the basket.
- He draws a ton of fouls, but is a very inconsistent foul shooter.
- He can be foul prone on defense, especially when guarding quicker players.
- Pittman has improved his passing, but still looks uncomfortable against double teams.
How he can help the Pacers -
- The Pacers have a lot of frontcourt players on the roster, but only two true centers, Roy Hibbert and Jeff Foster. Because of physical limitations and foul trouble, Hibbert's ceiling may be around 30 - 34 minutes a game. Foster has had injury problems and is only under contract for this season. As much as they would like to be looking for their future starter at power forward, the Pacers need to acknowledge that they may have a big hole at backup center as well.
- Pittman should be able to come in, provide scoring pop, and bang in the post right away. The problem is that his physical limitations may hold him to only 8 - 10 minutes a game to start with. Their will certainly be a transition for him as he adjusts to the increased quickness and athleticism of the NBA. If the Pacers select Pittman they will be hoping that a year or two with a professional training staff can help transform his body and consequently his game.
More Information -