Q. The Pacers at 23 obviously are a team without pressing needs, at least in the starting lineup. They could use a scorer off the bench. Two parts: Number one, do you think there’s going to be anything at 23 draft wise that necessarily fits with them? And given that there may not be, how active do you expect them to be on the trade market and as part of that Danny Granger’s potential involvement in any of those discussions?
FORD: They’re being active. They’ve looked at 23, and I think their general feeling is unless someone slips in the Draft that was an unexpected slider, the guys that they’re looking at are unlikely to even be rotation players for a team that’s going to contend for an NBA championship next year in the Pacers.
When you look at 23, could this guy get on the floor in the Eastern Conference Finals? You have to start to ask some questions like that. And the answer is no, which means they’re going to have to go and address their bench with trades and free agency. They’re not going to really be able to address that with a draft, which means if they can trade it, I think they could trade it.
If they can’t trade it, I wouldn’t be surprised at all for them to take one of these upside guys, whether it’s an international player that they can stash overseas or maybe a guy like an Archie Goodwin or a Ricky Ledo or someone that you can just say, look, we don’t expect anything out of this guy; we’ll work with him in the D League; we’ll try to get them better as a player, and we’ll come back and revisit this in a couple years.
I don’t think they’ll make the mistake they made last year when they drafted Miles Plumlee, thinking, man, he’s 23, 24; he has an NBA body; he can come in and do something for us right away. And then the realization starts to come in that he’s not good enough; can’t put him on the floor right away.
I typically think it’s a mistake that teams tend to make later in the first round because they know they don’t need a star; I just want to fit in a niche guy, but the niche guy isn’t good enough at the niche to really make it at the next level.
I just think they’ll go a different direction this year in the draft because of that.
DON'T FORGET TO EMAIL INDYCORNROWS@GMAIL.COM OR TWEET @ESIDERY WITH YOUR DRAFT MAILBAG QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!