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:
A.J. Slaughter - PG/SG - 6'3" 180 lbs. - University of Western Kentucky
- Slaughter has good physical tools, including size and quickness, for an NBA point guard.
- Slaughter is a very consistent shooter, whether spotting up, off the dribble, or coming off of screens.
- He is a decent facilitator, and especially excels running the pick and roll.
- Slaughter is a good finisher at the basket, and does a decent job getting to the free throw line.
- He has good defensive awareness and intensity. His physical tools give him the potential to be a great defender, although he needs to work on his fundamentals.
- As evidenced by his very low Pure Point Rating, Slaughter has some point guard skills but is really more of a combo guard.
- He can become turnover prone on offense and force some poor shots.
- Slaughter needs to develop his defensive fundamentals.
How he can help the Pacers -
- Slaughter has the capability to be a terrific back-up point guard in the NBA. The Pacers have reportedly already worked him out, so they must have some interest. The Pacers appear to have a back-up point guard they like in A.J. Price, so a pick of A.J. Slaughter would seem to indicate the Pacers believe one of them could become a starter down the road.
- In the short-term, Slaughter can provide a talent and energy upgrade at the end of the Pacers bench. He should be a better defender than A.J. Price or T.J. Ford, and could play some minutes alongside Price in a small lineup off the bench.
- If his name sounds familiar, Slaughter was Courtney Lee's back-court mate during Western Kentucky's NCAA Tournament run two years ago.
More Information -
- A.J. Slaughter Draftexpress Profile
- A.J. Slaughter ESPN Draft Card
- A.J. Slaughter NBADraft.net Player Card