The Indiana Pacers currently hold the 23rd and 50th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 21st. To this date, President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard has invited 23 potential draftees in addition to scouting non-collegiate players such as Anfernee Simmons and professionals from overseas. Here is a breakdown of each of the 23 pre-draft invitees.
Jaylen Adams - St. Bonaventure - Senior - PG
This offensive-minded point guard was named the A-10 Player of the Year in his senior season at St. Bonaventure. Adams led the Bonnies to a 26-8 record while leading the team with 19.1 points per game. The 6’1” guard also added 5.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 3.1 turnovers per game. Adams is not known for his defensive skill set, but rather his ability to create offense. He shot 43.6% from three-point range and posted a 6.3 box plus-minus.
Jaylen Adams is not listed in many mock drafts, so he is likely an option at pick #50. However, the Pacers have taken two point guards in the second round in the last three years (Joe Young and Edmond Sumner), so it could be an odd move to try and develop a third. Adams could be added to the Summer League team to compete for a spot on an NBA roster.
Marcus Foster - Creighton - Senior - G
Marcus Foster shares many similarities with Jaylen Adams. Like Adams, Marcus Foster is a senior guard who led his team in scoring with 19.8 points and does not see his name on many mock drafts to date. Foster shared a backcourt with likely first round pick Khyri Thomas, who has not worked out with the Pacers, but remained the Blue Jays’ biggest offensive threat. Foster, too, is not known for his defensive capabilities but was able to spread the floor shooting 41.3% from three and posting an effective FG% of 57.7%.
The 6’3” guard likely will not hear his name called at the NBA Draft, but he could be called to join a Summer League team. Foster actually worked out twice for the Pacers prior to the draft.
Nick King - Middle Tennessee State - Senior - SF
King finished his college career with Middle Tennessee State but spent his first two seasons with Memphis and his third with Alabama. The college journeyman ended his senior season being named the Conference USA Player of the Year while averaging 21.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. King, who stands at 6’7”, proved he could be a 3-and-D threat as he shot 38.9% from three and also posted plus numbers on the defensive end.
King’s name is not listed on many mock drafts, but you can expect to see him on a Summer League team. With the lack of depth at the small forward position, do not be surprised to see him on the Pacers Summer League team.
Yante Maten - Georgia - Senior - PF
Yante Maten is a 6’8” power forward who spent four years at Georgia and was the only player to average double-digit scoring in his last season. Maten averaged 19.3 points and 8.6 rebounds his senior year while posting a whopping 9.4 box plus-minus. Although the power forward did most of his damage inside the paint, Maten expanded his range his last two years and averaged 2.6 three point attempts at 34.1% this past season.
Experts do not predict that Maten will hear his name called on draft night, but you should expect to see Maten in Summer League vying for a roster spot.
Brandon McCoy - UNLV - Freshman - C
Brandon McCoy could see his name called on draft night in the second round. In fact, he probably will. The 7’1” center just turned 20 years old, and he had his best game of the season against Deandre Ayton - the expected #1 overall pick - with an astounding 33 points and 10 rebounds. On the season, McCoy averaged 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game as a freshman.
The UNLV product posted impressive numbers, but he is still a bit of a project by the NBA’s standards. Regardless, McCoy has a good chance of hearing his name called Thursday night. The Pacers are not in need of another center, so it would be a surprise to see the Pacers take McCoy at 50.
Landry Shamet - Wichita State - Junior - G
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN predicted that the Indiana Pacers would select Landry Shamet at #23 overall in his first mock draft special on live television.
Shamet figures to be a late first round pick or early second round pick on Thursday night. The 6’4” Wichita State guard was a very efficient offensive player as he posted 14.9 points per game on 44.2% three-point shooting and 62.2% effective field goal percentage.
If selected by the Pacers, Shamet would be a good scoring option off the bench who can play point guard or shooting guard. The Shockers guard is long, has high basketball IQ, and can be a pesky defender with his near 7’0” wingspan.
Keita Bates-Diop - Ohio State - Senior - F
KBD is a strong option for the Pacers due to his size and position. The Pacers lack depth at the small forward and power forward position, and KBD would be able to play minutes at either position in the NBA. Bates-Diop was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in his senior season at Ohio State while averaging 19.8 and 8.7 rebounds. While his offensive numbers are impressive, his defense makes him an even more intriguing prospect for the Pacers at #23. In college, Bates-Diop switched onto 1-4 and proved his versatility on the defensive end. The Pacers could use a player like KBD.
The Ohio State product will see his name called on draft night. The question is: where? Some mock drafts have him being selected mid-first round, while others have him falling to the second round.
Gary Clark - Cincinnati - Senior - F
The American Athletic Conference Player of the Year can do a little bit of everything. Clark is a tough player who’s game features athleticism, low post scoring, rebounding, and great defense. The 6’7” forward scored only (a very efficient) 12.9 points per game, but his addition of 8.7 rebounds per game and lock-down defense won him the conference player of the year. Clark posted an 81.6 defensive rating and 8.4 defensive box plus-minus. Those are good numbers, folks. In fact, his defensive rating led the NCAA. So did his defensive win shares. Clark’s defensive box plus-minus was good enough for 9th in the NCAA.
Clark is projected as a late second round pick to going undrafted. If the Pacers take a chance on him at #50, they’ll get a player who takes his defense personally and brings toughness night in and night out.
A.J. Davis - Central Florida - Senior - PF
A.J. Davis is the son of former Indiana Pacers forward and NBA All-Star, Antonio Davis. A.J. finished his senior season at UCF averaging 12.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. The 6’9” forward was also a plus defender for the Knights, which should not surprise you.
At 23-years-old, Davis is not projected to be drafted, but he could earn his way onto a Summer League team. Most experts expect to see Davis in the G-League or overseas.
Donte DiVincenzo - Villanova - Junior - G
Many of you - myself included - had probably never heard of Donte DiVincenzo until the NCAA Championship. The National Championship’s Most Outstanding Player came off the bench to score 31 points against Michigan in his final collegiate game and now is looking to become a first round pick. On the season, the 6’5” guard averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 29.3 minutes per game. DiVincenzo further shot up draft boards at the NBA Combine, where he posted a combine-best 34.5 standing vertical jump, 42 inch max vertical jump (tied for 1st), 10.72 seconds in the lane agility drill (5th), 3.11 seconds in the shuttle run (11th), and 3.11 seconds in the three quarter sprint (9th).
DiVincenzo has gone from coming off the bench to a likely first round pick, and he may not even be available for the Pacers at pick 23.
Alize Johnson - Missouri State - Sophomore - PF
The 6’9” forward has spent two years in the Missouri Valley Conference putting up similar numbers in both of those years. He averaged 15.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in his latest season. Johnson, who was just 6’4” in his senior year of high school, has grown 5 inches in college but has maintained his fluidity. He is unusually fluid for a power forward, but probably not skilled enough to play minutes at the small forward position. Johnson is a solid rebounder but needs work on the defensive end.
The Missouri State product could hear his name called in the second round – right around the Pacers second round pick.
Shake Milton - SMU - Junior - G
Shake Milton has the physical tools to make it at the next level. This 6’5” lengthy guard has a 7’0” foot wingspan and could play a few different positions in the NBA. He led the Mustangs with 18.0 points per game and added 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He shot the ball well in each of his three seasons at SMU as he averaged 42.7% from three in his collegiate career. Milton’s defense could use some work, but he has the length to disrupt ball handlers and passing lanes. The 21-year-old will also need to put on muscle to be able to compete at the NBA level.
Some believe Milton will be a late first round pick. Others believe he will be an early second round pick. If the Pacers are looking for a combo guard at pick 23, Milton should be available.
Bruce Brown Jr. - Miami - Sophomore - SG
Bruce Brown Jr. suffered an injury in his sophomore season which causes his draft stock to be unknown to a degree. While some have him as a late first rounder, others have him going anywhere in the second round. Brown averaged 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game in his 19 games this season – showing that he can do a little bit of everything. The 6’5” guard also got it done on the defensive end for the Hurricanes as he posted a 5.1 defensive box plus-minus. While it is unlikely that Brown will ever be a cornerstone of a franchise, he certainly has the ability to be a nice rotational player in the NBA.
Brown is a player who could sneak into the late first round or wait until the late second round to hear his name called on draft night.
Melvin Frazier - Tulane - Junior - SG/SF
Just about every draft prospect is a wild card. To me, Melvin Frazier may be the biggest wild card in the draft. That’s both good and bad. The 6’6” wing has incredible athleticism but lacks NBA-level decision making and fundamentals at this time. As an Indiana University basketball fan, he reminds me of Troy Williams with more upside. I mean, watch this:
Frazier averaged 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.2 steals per game in his junior season at Tulane, and many believe he is one of the best 3-and-D prospects in the draft. I personally believe that Frazier is a second round prospect, but many experts see him sneaking into the first round. Some actually believe he may be gone by #23.
Unfortunately for Indiana, Frazier was injured and could not participate in his workout with the Pacers. However, they obviously have interest in the Tulane product, and he should available when the Pacers are on the clock in the first round.
Devon Hall - Virginia - Senior - SG
Devon Hall is an intriguing second round prospect who wants to show that he can get it done on both ends of the floor. The senior Cavalier shot 43.2% from three on 3.9 attempts per game while playing for Tony Bennett’s suffocating defense. Hall is an average athlete who scored 11.7 points per game, and his age (soon-to-be 23-years-old) only hurts his draft stock.
Hall has potential to be a second round pick. His selection will depend on how much will NBA teams value his two-way play given his limited upside. If undrafted, expect Hall to be on a Summer League team.
Dzanan Musa - Bosnia - SF
Dzanan Musa has an incredible story. He left living with his parents at the young age of 11 to pursue his basketball dream. He is confident, and he is most definitely not afraid of the NBA. The Bosnian small forward stands at 6’9” and can score in a multitude of ways. At just 19-years-old, he has already played professionally for three years and has been heavily scouted since then. While he is deemed athletic in his current league, I believe he is of average athleticism to the NBA’s standards. Offensively, Musa is very talented, but his defense needs a lot of work if he wants to play substantial minutes in the NBA.
Musa’s projections are anywhere from the late first round to the mid second round.
Thomas Welsh - UCLA - Senior - C
A former teammate of T.J. Leaf, Thomas Welsh is a 7’0” center who averaged 12.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in his senior season at UCLA. Due to the Pacers depth at the center position, it is unlikely Welsh will hear his name called at #50 on Thursday, but he could be on the Pacers Summer League team if he goes undrafted. Welsh shot only one three pointer in his first three years at UCLA but expanded his range and took a total of 112 last season. He converted on 45 of those shots, which puts him at 40.2% - an impressive mark for a 7-footer’s first season with high volume three-point shooting.
Welsh is projected to be selected in the late second round or go undrafted according to the mock drafts.
Tyler Wideman - Butler - Senior - PF
Wideman didn’t have to travel far for his Pacers workout. The 6’8” forward is from Schererville, IN and played high school basketball for Lake Central HS. Wideman went on to play college ball for Butler University where he averaged 9.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game in his senior season. Wideman wasn’t asked to do a whole lot for the Bulldogs in his collegiate career, but the big man proved he could do more than just score inside the paint at his Pacers workout.
The Indiana-born prospect is likely to go undrafted on Thursday night.
Jordan Barnett - Missouri - Senior - SF
Jordan Barnett spent his first two years at Texas (one with Myles Turner) where he saw a decrease in playing time in his second season. The 6’6” small forward transferred to Missouri where he averaged 13.7 points and 5.9 rebounds in his senior season. Barnett shot 41.4% on 6.2 three-point attempts per game last season while being a plus defender, which has earned him several pre-draft workouts.
Barnett’s name is not listed on many mock drafts, but he should be on a Summer League team whether drafted or not.
Robert Johnson - Indiana - Senior - G
Hoosiers fans (and most Big Ten fans) are familiar with combo guard Robert Johnson’s game. Johnson was a big threat from behind the arc in his four year career at Indiana, but the senior guard only converted on 37.3% of his attempts last season. While this number is good, it’s not great. His sophomore season, Johnson converted on 44.7% of his attempts. If Johnson can consistently knock down the three, he will still need to improve defensively if he wants a shot at the NBA level.
Most would be surprised to hear Johnson’s name called on Thursday night, but the Indiana product could be featured on a Summer League roster.
Quentin Snider - Louisville - Senior - PG
The 6’2” guard finished his senior season at Louisville averaging 11.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. While his numbers are not eye-popping, this floor general did a nice job of running the offense and spacing the floor with his 41.6% three point percentage. To make it at the NBA level, Snider will need to make large strides in his defensive skillset.
Snider’s name is left off most mock drafts. Like Johnson, he should be featured on a Summer League roster.
Jae’Sean Tate - Ohio State - Senior - F
Jae’Sean Tate played alongside Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop, which may have kept him in the shadows to some degree. Tate is in a tough position due to the combination of his height and playing style. He played forward in college, but his 6’4” height makes him undersized in the NBA. He averaged just 1.0 three-point attempts per game in college on just 31.4% conversion. However, Tate averaged 12.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game showing that he can contribute in multiple facets of the game. He posted an 8.0 box plus-minus in his fourth season which proves his toughness and added value when on the court.
Tate is projected to go undrafted on Thursday night.
Yuta Watanabe - George Washington - Senior - SF
Yuta Watanabe was the first Japanese-born basketball player to earn a Division I scholarship in the United States. He would be just the second Japanese-born player to be drafted in the NBA behind Yuta Tabuse. The 6’9” forward averaged 16.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in his senior season with the George Washington Colonials while adding the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year award to his resume. Despite his height, Watanabe actually played many of his minutes at guard, which shows his versatility on both ends of the floor.
Most mock drafts have Watanabe going undrafted, but he will be an interesting name to watch as basketball fans in both America and Japan will be waiting to hear his name called.
Jalen Brunson - Villanova - Junior - PG
The National Player of the Year earned an individual workout with the Pacers last week – the first of such workouts in Indiana for many years. Have the Pacers made it obvious who they hope to select at #23? Or is that what they want you and the other 29 front offices to think? Regardless, many believe Brunson will be available when the Pacers are on the clock, and he certainly would not be a bad choice given his collegiate success. The 6’2” point guard just won his second national championship while averaging 18.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game on the season. He shot 40.8% from three and posted an effective FG% of 60.4%.
Brunson is projected as a late first round pick or early second round pick by most experts. At the very least, Brunson would bring crafty scoring and a winning attitude to Indiana.
This story will be updated as the Pacers continue to host pre-draft workouts.