The Indiana Pacers weren’t among the many trades that took place on Draft Night, standing pat until the 54th pick. Indiana’s original first round pick, 24th overall, was sent to Milwaukee last summer when the Pacers signed Malcolm Brogdon and the pick itself was more active than the Pacers organization, moving twice more before landing in Denver.
For the 54th pick, the Pacers did come away with a selection, drafting Duke freshman Cassius Stanley. Stanley, a 6’6” shooting guard, averaged 12.6 points per game on 47% shooting in his one-and-done season with the Blue Devils. Stanley has tremendous hops, first dunking in fifth grade, and even besting Zion Williamson’s Duke record for best vertical.
According to Casey Feeney at Yahoo! Sports, Stanley does struggle on offense, lacking a real go-to skill beyond jumping out of the gym. He does have interesting defensive potential, however, and will be entering the league with a solid season from beyond the arc, shooting 36% from three. Overall, Stanley may be a bit raw as a player, but there’s clear motivation to improve his game, describing himself as a gym-rat and spending much of the lead-up to the Orlando Bubble working out extensively with Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles.
While his playing time may be limited in his first year, the highlights won’t be.