We've heard the offseason moves. Monta Ellis in. Roy Hibbert out. But why is it that the 2015 Rookie Class is catching my attention the most? After a solid Summer League performance, the rookies Myles Turner and Joseph Young are my players to keep an eye on heading into the new season. We know Paul George, George Hill and Ellis are proven players but are going to need some help from the young guns to make a run in the next couple years.
Myles Turner (C, 6'11)
Turner was the Pacers first round pick this season, in a sense kissing the Roy Hibbert era goodbye. He is slated to be the big man of the future for the Pacers. What makes me so excited for his arrival is his style of play. Hibbert was not one for the run and gun offense, but Turner has proven to thrive in such an offense. Despite only averaging just over 22 minutes a game at Texas, he averaged 10.1 points per game as well as 6.5 boards per game. Turner has the quickness and explosiveness (for a big man) to keep up with the new look high flying offense for the Pacers. He can hold his own on defense (2.6 blocks per game) and is a fairly good shot at the free throw line (83.9 percent). The Pacers knew he would be a work in progress when they drafted him at 11th overall. For crying out loud, I am older than him and I'm only a sophomore in college. The raw talent at the age of 19 is impressive and why Larry Bird pulled the trigger on the big guy. That being said, he got the spotlight for the team during the NBA Summer League. Turner put up an impressive 18.7 points per game as well as eight rebounds per game. More impressively, a 60.5 percent from the floor and 4.3 blocks per game complemented an already impressive stat line. It remains to be seen how he will be used this upcoming season but one thing is for sure: the future looks bright for the frontcourt of the Indiana Pacers.
Joseph Young (G, 6'2)
Young was the Pacers second round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and to be quite honest, I didn't pay him much attention. I won't make that mistake again. Young was a formidable guard in the Pac-12 last year at Oregon. He averaged over twenty points per game, but was also a streaky player. A pretty good shooter (35 percent from downtown), Young made a name for himself in his conference. He made his way onto the Summer League roster alongside fellow draftmate Turner. He would not disappoint. He led the entire NBA Summer League with a 22.5 game point average, while shooting a blistering 45 percent from threeland. Young is a few years older than Turner at 23 years old, but will help bolster an otherwise thin guard crew for the Pacers. It is a complete coin toss as to how much he is used this season. The guards the Pacers sport are much like him, good hybrid guards but might struggle to run the point with distribution. Young did average over three assists in the Summer League. In an interstate jam of hybrid guards, including Hill, Ellis and Rodney Stuckey, Young may struggle to find himself playing time this season. Still, we should not be sleeping on the youngster as he has plenty of upside.
What do you think the roles of the rookie draft picks will be this season?