With a couple of off days, no shame in looking ahead to the draft prospects the Indiana Pacers may be targeting late in the June NBA draft.
ESPN's Chad Ford recently released version 1.0 of his mock draft which has the Pacers taking a flyer on French big man Rudy Gobert. Well, big man may be a stretch for Gobert who will turn 21 around the time of the draft. Tall man would better describe Gobert since he checks in at 7'1 and 220-235 pounds (depending on source) with that weight mostly dedicated to his long limbs. Here's what Ford had to say about the pick.
Analysis: The Pacers have plenty of young players and no real pressing needs right now. If there was a long-term replacement for David West here, they'd obviously take him. But without one, look for them to swing for the fences and take a player with huge upside in Gobert. He has a 7-foot-9 wingspan and is a good athlete. He's not ready for the NBA, but the Pacers will have the luxury of developing him over in France for the next couple of years.
I take issue with the idea that the Pacers having "no real pressing needs" once the offseason rolls around. They will need a backup point guard and a backup power forward option at a minimum depending on how things work out with David West and Tyler Hansbrough.
But those issues won't necessarily be resolved in the draft, especially so late in the first round, so taking a player that could very likely remain overseas and continue developing (on someone else's dime) could be a smart, long-term move, if Gobert is available. As you can see from the following clips (via DraftExpress), Gobert has plenty of room to develop both his body and skill. But the 7'9 wingspan won't go anywhere.