The late flourish of W’s by the Indiana Pacers has mucked up the one soothing bit of joy any fan can take away from a bad season. Dreaming about a top draft pick isn’t possible because, although it still feels like the Pacers’ season was worthy of a top 5 pick, the late, airy wins pushed them back to 10th in the draft order.
With the draft lottery still a few weeks away, the reality of the Pacers’ odds to jump up the draft board aren’t much to cling to either. It would sure be nice if the effort put forth by the Pacers to continue winning at their own peril were somehow rewarded by the basketball gods in the form of a little lottery luck, but it seems like the basketball gods lost the address to the Fieldhouse.
So 10th it is for the moment which is where the Pacers are slotted in mock drafts around the NBA interwebs. Time to get a little baseline speculation to see which players are currently projected to interest the Pacers. We’ll see how this list changes from now until draft night, but I have to tell you, at this point I think some of these draft experts are just trying to mess with us.
From the latest mocks, here are the pick prognostications for the Pacers:
- Jan Vesely (DraftExpress, mynbadraft.com, College Hoops Update)
- Xavier Henry (NBADraft.net, Court Visionaries)
- Hassan Whiteside (NBA-Draft.com, The Sports Bank)
- Ed Davis (The Hoops Report)
- Patrick Patterson (RealGM)
Can you feel the excitement? I'm assuming the announcement of Jan Vesely would raise the stakes in the CIB negotiations because they may need a couple more million for repairs at the Fieldhouse. Brady Bunch jokes would be en vogue, which is a good thing for me, but firing up the fan base will be a struggle.
The video below of Vesely is pretty fun to watch, though (Dunking Ninja?). He seems to play like Josh McRoberts with a nice stroke from outside. I'm assuming Vesely would stay another year or two in Europe though, which would be really good for the Pacers' financial situation. They could bring him over once the all of the cap cloggers are off the roster after next season. It wouldn't be good for shaking up the roster and drawing fans back to games which seems more important this offseason.
But a shakeup requires a willing partner, so if none emerge then any major changes are a wash this summer. Of course, that also means a comparable season to the one we just endured which will have me here a year from now looking to mocks for a ray of hope. Ugh.
Fortunately, there's plenty of time left before the draft and prospect workouts will have players shuffling up and down the mock boards for the next couple of months. Plus, Larry Bird doesn't exactly go by the book when it comes to the draft. So I'll set my mock outrage to a simmer for now until it's time to turn up the heat.
Here's a video of Vesely highlights which is better viewed without sound if foul lyrics offend: