Hello everyone and welcome to the first ever Indy Cornrows NBA Draft Mailbag. Below, I will answer all the questions I received through email and Twitter over the past week. There was a lot of great responses and good questions asked toward me. Hopefully this is a yearly series now and even more people send emails and tweets our way. Now, on to the first question!
Obviously the Jimmer Fredette rumor has caught tons of fire over the past 24 hours. From what I was told through texts and emails from asking around, this rumor actually is legit and has some legs. Indiana and Sacramento have discussed swapping Gerald Green and the 23rd pick for Fredette and the 36th pick. I say at this point, there is a 30-35% chance this deal happens on draft night, if Dennis Schroeder, Shane Larkin, Isaiah Canaan, or Giannis Adetokunbo are off the board. Indiana loves all four of those prospects at 23.
From what I can remember, maybe it was Shawne Williams back in 2006? Off the top of my head, it is cloudy, but I believe it was Williams. If I am wrong, let me know in the comments section below. From Indiana's draft history, almost 95% of the time Indiana works out the player they select in the draft. This will be a key storyline to watch on Thursday night.Who are the top 5 players on the Pacers board? Evan's Board? Tom's Board? Natahn's board?
Any trades we should look out for?
Do you think a point guard is a lock at 23?
Are you confident in this KP/Walsh front office making the right choice?
If you could take anybody in the draft, who would it be?
Think we could buy another early second rounder this year?
Who is your pick at 23?
Who do you hate at 23?
Well Josh, great questions there. My big board will come out later this afternoon, so you can find out there. Meanwhile, Tom and Nathan did not make big boards this year. From what I have been told, Indiana really likes the following players: Dennis Schroeder, Shane Larkin, Giannis Adetokunbo, Kelly Olynyk, and Isaiah Canaan. The first three have little chance of being there, while Olynyk and Canaan have a legit shot.
Obviously the Jimmer Fredette trade one is something to watch. Indiana has been in contact with Sacramento over the past few days about it. Indiana would also love to find a trade partner for Gerald Green and the 23rd pick, but Sacramento seems like the only team that could bite, at this moment.
I think there is a very good chance we come out with a point guard on draft night. Whether it be trading up somehow for Schroeder or Larkin, selecting Canaan at 23, or trading for Fredette it seems likely. The Pacers seem focused on adding D.J. Augustin's replacement as soon as possible.
I am confident in Kevin Pritchard and Donnie Walsh this year. Pritchard came out and said yesterday that they will not be taking prospects with bad character, so scratch off Ricky Ledo, Glen Rice Jr., and Tony Mitchell off your wish list. Expect Indiana to be taking the best player available on draft night, with these two running the show.
If I could take anybody in this year's draft class, it would be Victor Oladipo. His work ethic and pure explosiveness really showed up to me on tape. That is why I have him on the top of my big board, which will be released later today. Oladipo is the best player and has the highest ceiling in this class, so I would take my chances with him.
I think it is possible that we buy another second rounder, but more unlikely then last year. If we were to buy another second rounder, it would mean we absolutely hate the bottom part of this draft class, which I have heard is not the case. Indiana has their eye on Peyton Siva of Louisville and Solomon Hill of Arizona with the 53rd pick.
My pick, if I was the general manager, would be Dennis Schroeder in a trade-up. If you could package Danny Granger and #23 to move into the top 15-20 for Schroeder, then I am a happy man. Schroeder gives you a eventual starter at point guard over George Hill, which has him move back to shooting guard down the road. I love Schroeder's fit with Indiana and the Pacers feel the same, the way they are enamored with him.
The one pick I would hate at 23 would be either Jeff Withey or Mike Muscala. It would be pointless to take another unathletic big man who has a low ceiling in this league. We already have that in Miles Plumlee and the executives are not giving up on him just yet.
@ESidery do you think Franklin slides to #23 or will we have to trade up— Antonio Saunders (@AntAnt317) June 23, 2013
I would take my chances on seeing if Franklin slides to 23 tomorrow night. His range right now, from what I am told, is anywhere from 17-24. Franklin is high on Indiana's board, but not as high as even Isaiah Canaan. Isaiah reportedly 'wowed' at his two private, solo workouts with Indiana this much. On Franklin being there at 23, I say take your chances and do not move up for him. I say there is a 45% chance he is on the board when Indiana picks tomorrow night.
@ESidery what are the pacers thoughts on Ray Mccallum jr? I saw he tweeted about a private workout a while back too.— Daniel Beyer (@TheDanielBeyer) June 23, 2013
You are correct, McCallum Jr. did come in for a private workout this month. He was the only second rounder of the group they brought in to earn a private workout. From what I have heard, Indiana is very high on McCallum. Not to the point of taking him at 23, but high enough to trade up for him in the second round. It all depends on if Indiana gets a point guard in the draft, or Jimmer Fredette instead though. If all of the plans fall through, I think we see Indiana trade up for McCallum Jr. in the early part of the second round. Indiana loves his scoring ability and explosiveness for a point guard.
How likely is it that the Pacers take someone in the first round that they didn't work out?
If both are available would you take Olynyk or Dieng?
Can Dieng play PF in the NBA?
As I answered earlier, very unlikely. Rarely do we ever see Indiana take a prospect they do not work out, unless we trade up for a top prospect. If I were to bet on us taking a prospect this year we did not work out, I say 5%.
If both Olynyk and Dieng are available at 23, I am taking Olynyk. As I reported in my final mock draft (Mock 3.0), Indiana has five prospects they hope can fall to them tonight. Those five are Olynyk, Schroeder, Larkin, Adetokunbo, and Canaan. Olynyk is more intriguing to me, due to his ability to stretch the floor on offense. Also, Kevin Pritchard is a big analytics guy, which plays in Olynyk's favor (top PER rating of 2013 class).
Yes, I believe Dieng can play power forward at times. He would not play the position full time, but could play alongside a bigger player like Roy Hibbert. If Dieng were to play power forward more then usual, Indiana could be the best location for him to do that. NBA Scouts think Dieng is a full-time center who could play some spot minutes at power forward.
I say there is a 70% chance Canaan is on the board tonight. The only team I could see taking Canaan in front of the Pacers is Utah, who also like him a ton. As I broke the story last week, Canaan is the only prospect in this draft class we have had in for two private, solo workouts in front of the executives. Indiana would take Canaan over Dieng, but not over Olynyk. They have Canaan ranked higher then Dieng on their big board, but not Olynyk, from what I have been told.
Will the Pacers try and make a move to land CJ McCollum?
Unless Kevin Prichard pulls off a mega-trade like he did during his Portland years, then slim to none. I have heard nothing about Indiana trying to move up for any prospects tonight. They are taking their chances in hoping a top 15-20 prospect falls to them. If none they like do, then they will re-open trade discussions with Sacramento about Jimmer, while on the clock. I think it is a ton more likely Indiana comes out with Fredette then McCollum. I say Fredette is 35%, while McCollum is .001% of happening.
That was the last question I received for the mailbag, hope you guys enjoyed all the insight-info and draft nuggets about specific prospects tied to the Pacers tonight.
This weekend, I will be running a special edition Indy Cornrows NBA Draft recap podcast with ESPN's Kevin Pelton (stats/analytical guru) and Amin Elhassan (NBA writer for ESPN, former scout for the Phoenix Suns). We will talk about the Pacers picks/moves they did, best/worst picks, trades, and much more! It will be posted on the site later this afternoon in a linked post.
Also, we will be running an open thread starting this afternoon as well until the end of tonight's draft. Today is the best time of the year for draft guys, like me. It is finally here, draft day! Stay on Indy Cornrows all day for any breaking draft news.