The team blogs at SB Nation teamed up for a relatively rapid fire re-draft of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 NBA drafts earlier this week. Since the Pacers dealt their way out of the first round of the ‘14 and ‘16 drafts, I was able to focus on the 2015 draft when in real time, the Pacers selected Myles Turner with the 11th overall pick.
My first thought was, would I pick Turner, again? Yes.
Second thought, will I get a chance to pick Turner? Hell, no.
A quick look at the ten players selected ahead of Turner reveals he was a strong value pick at 11, so many players of the original 10 taken ahead of him would be taken this time around.
Kart-Anthony Towns? Yes. D’Angelo Russell? Eh, possibly. Jahlil Okafor? No. Kristaps Poringis? Most likely. Mario Hezonja, Willie Cauley-Stein, Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson, Frank Kaminsky, Justise Winslow? No across the board.
As it turned out, only two of the original ten were re-drafted ahead of Turner. Karl-Anthony Towns went first, again and Kristaps Porzingis jumped up to third overall. The second pick saw Devin Booker jump from 13th to the Lakers at 2nd.
Turner was taken fourth overall by the Knicks, jumping up seven spots while leap-frogging eight of the players taken over him. D’Angelo Russell was a pretty obvious fifth pick after Turner.
But from there, the meh level of the draft is already exposed which made preparing for the 11th pick a challenge. Considering the context that this was the year after Roy Hibbert and David West departed, my preference was for a power forward who preferably could shoot and if not, would be active defensively and on the glass.
However, if there were other positions with quality contributors I would go with them, as well, using Basketball Reference advanced VORP and WS numbers for an overall snapshot of who has produced the best since.
After Kelly Oubre was selected sixth, I had a pool of Montrezl Harrell, Josh Richardson and Terry Rozier as my primary targets, in that order of preference. Then Richardson went 7th, Harrell 8th and Rozier 9th. Fun while it lasted.
The Heat re-drafted Justise Winslow with the 10th pick, hoping for a healthy version, so I moved back to a player who could play power forward and hopefully spread the floor: Larry Nance, Jr.
Nance has been up and down from behind the arc, but has shown improvement the last two seasons. He ranked 4th overall in both WS and VORP (Turner ranks 3rd) thanks in part to plenty of minutes. Plus, after a month or two under Dan Burke, Nance would be utilizing that 7’1 wingspan to become a defensive menace.
The process we used was pretty quick but proved to be a fun exercise because it ruled out overthinking the details and imperfections each player has shown.
So there is only one question left to answer: Who would you have taken?