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Pacers Draft Possibilities: Keith Benson

With the Draft Lottery complete, the Early Entry List set, the NBA Draft fast approaching, it's time to examine more in depth some of the players who could be available for the Pacers. Over the next few weeks I'll be trying to put together as many profiles as possible. Instead of identifying players as specific targets for either Pacers' pick, I'm just going to cover a pool of players I think are possibilities. You'll find some players who the Pacers would likely have to trade up or down for. I've also expressed my opinion that the Pacers need to be focused on talent as much as fit, so players at all five positions will be included.

These profiles are not intended to advocate for one player over another, just examine their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss in some detail what they have to offer. For each profile I provided Ten Important Statistics to guide the discussion. Today we'll be looking at:

Keith Benson - C - 6'11"  217 lbs. - Oakland University

Ten Important Stats - Keith Benson





















Current DraftExpress Projection: Round 2, Pick #12


  • Has legit height and length for an NBA center, fairly mobile
  • Terrific touch around the basket, solid footwork in the post
  • Good rebounder, although he relies on physical tools rather than fundamentals
  • Strong shot-blocker


  • Needs to add a lot of weight and strength, gets pushed around easily offensively and defensively
  • Doesn't always play with intensity
  • Will have to put in some work on his mid-range game
  • Doesn't have the footspeed to defend quicker big men on the perimeter


The biggest challenges the Detroit Country Day product faces in legitimizing his NBA stock and maximizing his potential value is his lack of grit and physical strength. He has exceptional size, great fluidity, good mobility, and a terrific wingspan for a potential NBA big, but lacks the type of lower body strength that would give him the ability to prevent stronger NBA big men from backing him down in the post and the polish to get by on his skill-level alone.
- Matt Kamalsky,

Hickory High Comparables:

How he can help the Pacers:

  • Even if Jeff Foster returns to the Pacers, it's doubtful it will be on a long-term deal. At some point in the near future the Pacers will be looking to for someone to team with Roy Hibbert, in holding down the center position. Benson has every physical tool to be an NBA center except about 20 additional pounds. He could be an effective contributor off the bench the next two seasons, providing some weak-side shot blocking and finishing plays around the basket. His future is not as an All-Star but he has some NBA ready skills could grow into a solid role-player.



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