[From the FanPosts, Seth takes a nice pre-pre-draft camp, pre-workouts look at the Pacers' draft options with the 10th pick. -TL]
To nobody's surprise here the Pacers are again - outside the playoffs and without a good lotto pick. Weak.
There's no sense to wallow in our misery anymore (though I will - I'm highly illogical), so why not discuss who each of us initially want the Pacers to pick? This draft is pretty decent talent wise for the middling picks, so there are lots of options.
I suppose we should start out with who we aren't getting. Barring a Granger like multi-organizational brain shortage these guys aren't going to be available, so just don't talk about them:
Al-Farouq Aminu (Though he certainly doesn't compare to the talents listed above.)
With that said, here are the 6 players I hope the Pacers have their eye on (in no particular order).
Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas - Henry is frustrating because he showed flashes of greatness in his first year at Kansas, but also disappeared at time. He's a swingman SG who has the shooting touch, size (6'7"), and strength to develop into a legit player. The question is if he can put it all together - play smarter and play every night.
Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor - I really, really like Udoh's game. Not only does he crash the boards and block shots, he has a midrange shot that's rare for a big. He's still developing as a player and needs to up his basketball IQ, but he seems to be the unusual safe pick with upside.
Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall - Whiteside is a weird player. He was a freshman last year at Marshall, but is also 21. While he is a project on the offensive end of the floor, his defense makes up for it. The guy uses his length and explosive athleticism to block shots like a beast, grab boards, and run the floor in ways that few big guys can. He'd be the big gamble pick with a good bust chance. However, if he hits it's gonna be great.
Eric Bledsoe, PG, Kentucky - Bledsoe is an athletic freak and a stellar defender. The questions with him arise mainly due to reps. Since John Wall was in the backcourt with him last year at Kentucky, it's unclear exactly how he'll fare at PG. He sometimes was turnover prone and needs to improve his shot, but he has the physical gifts to be a star.
Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania - At 7'0," Montiejunas is the next Dirk wannabe. These guys have a mixed track record (see: Bargnani, Andrea & Milicic, Darko) and none have yet come close to touching the original. However, Donatas has been high on scouts radar all year, dropping a bit not so much due to his own play, but due to him moving up in European competition level and losing minutes as a result. He needs to add strength and weight to succeed in the NBA, but he's smart, highly skilled, and athletic. That package doesn't often come around in 7 footers.
Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler - I know many of you would cry foul, but the kid is clearly one of the more talented players in the draft. The Pacers are in no position to overlook talent regardless of what position it's at. The other guys would be better fits, but if Hayward excels in pre-Draft workouts he has to be considered.
I should also mention the one player I DO NOT WANT:
Ed Davis - If he wasn't a dominating or game changing force in college why is he suddenly going to be once he's facing much better talent? He was "The Man" on UNC last year, surrounded by All-American talent, and the team was putrid. He seems like the stereotypical guy who gets drafted on "upside" over game tape.
So...who do you want?