Even though the Pacers are still waist-deep in the playoffs against Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals, the NBA Draft is just over a month away. At pick 23, Indiana will have a lot of good players still on the board at key positions they could address through the draft (backup point guard and power forward). Below is the roundup of all the latest mock drafts after the lottery.
- Chad Ford's Mock Draft 3.0 (ESPN): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
- Chris Mannix's Mock Draft 1.0 (Sports Illustrated): Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia
- Jonathan Wasserman Post-Lottery Mock (Bleacher Report/NBADraft.net): Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia
- Jonathan Givony's 2013 NBA Mock Draft (Draft Express): Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
- Jonathan Tjarks's 2013 NBA Mock Draft (SB Nation): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
Any of these four players would come in and play a key role on the Pacers second unit. The most mentioned, Olynyk, would supplant Miles Plumlee as the third center on the depth chart. The two international prospects, Karasev, and Saric, would also come in and play at either the 3 or 4. Kevin Pritchard is known for his ability to scout international prospects, so it would not surpsise me a bit to see him take one on draft night. Then if D.J. Augustin leaves in free agency (looking more and more likely), then Shane Larkin could be taken to replace him. Larkin is much more explosive and has better ball-handling ability then Augustin.
All of these players all fit what the Pacers need off the bench, a reliable scoring threat off the bench. With a lot of the players in the second unit with expiring contracts, we could be in for another retooling of it this Summer as well. It will be interesting to watch how Ryan Carr (director of scouting) and Pritchard shorten down their prospect list as we inch closer and closer to June 27.
Once the playoffs conclude, be prepared for a lot of draft content on Indy Cornrows until Indiana is on the clock.