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NBA Draft Lottery and dreams of a Wemby World in Indiana
Indy seems like the perfect place for the center of the hoops universe.
While the Lakers vs. Nuggets with LeBron and AD vs. Jockic in the Western Conference Finals seems like the main event on Tuesday night, any Pacers fan knows the real main event will take place before the opening tip when the NBA reveals the results of the NBA Draft Lottery starting at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
One lucky team will get a chance to draft Victor Wembanyama and along with the young fella from France, the opportunity to alter their franchise significantly for the next decade or two. The rest of the teams will get a chance to draft some good players who will hopefully help improve their team over the next couple of years. The gap between one and the rest is massive, even if you expect the rest to make a big impact in their own way.
It just won’t be as big as Wembanyama. Dreaming about the Pacers bucking the 6.8% odds and landing the top pick is impossible to avoid. Everyone ponders how they’d spend a $500 million Powerball jackpot. Pondering Wembanyama in the blue and gold is equally as fun, and the hours to do so are ticking away.
Can you imagine? Of course you can.
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Talk about filling the four hole, wow! A 7’5 power forward with three-point range would be much better than the 6’5 power forwards the Pacers were working with last season. The Pacers would suddenly be going small at center with Myles Turner, but wouldn’t have to worry about opponents cross-matching defenders to frustrate Turner. No. 33 can just keep defending the rim and cleaning up around the glass on offense when he’s not left wide open for threes with the front court defense focused elsewhere.
But the real pleasant day dreams come courtesy of considering Tyrese Haliburton and Wemby teaming up to create quality shots all over the court. It would (WILL, positive vibes only) be as thrilling as it is fun to watch that duo mature in the league together.
I listen to a lot of NBA podcasts and can’t remember a discussion of Wembanyama and his fit among NBA lottery teams that mentioned the Pacers as a great and fun team for Wemby to join. Detroit and Orlando are often mentioned. I mean, how many top lottery picks do these teams need? The Magic have so many quality young players, the new CBA will create a problem in a couple of years if they land Wemby ( a problem they’d love to navigate).
ESPN has been deep in the Wemby coverage with DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony all over the story since Wemby was 15. The recent feature they aired on SportsCenter is a must watch and will only generate more visions of a new world at Gainbridge Fieldhouse if the lottery gods allow.
ESPN recently had a breakdown of the impact and fit for each team in the lottery hoping to land Wemby with Givony and Jeremy Woo providing a brief analysis. Woo had the Pacers and to his credit, laid out the nice fit Indy would offer Wemby.
The idea of a Wembanyama-Tyrese Haliburton pairing is certainly alluring, but the Pacers need quite a bit of help for that to manifest. Indiana has put itself in a good position to be competitive moving forward, and a bit of lottery fortune could help it land another foundational piece. If not, the Pacers can still grab another nice young player, and have a clear need to upgrade the forward spots now that center Myles Turner is on a new contract. A bit of luck could turn Indiana into one of the most promising young teams in the league. -- Woo
Here are the lottery odds for the Pacers draft position from their seventh spot.
The Pacers can’t move up to 5th or 6th, so the odds are better that they stay put or move back.
1.4% - Seems like bad luck just reading this spot. Move along!
Obviously, the Pacers are much more likely to remain in the 7 spot or even more likely to fall back to 8 in the draft, but this is no time to face reality. This is a time to dream and dream big, about a 7’5 hoops alien ready to take over the world. Indy seems like the perfect home base for Wemby to set up shop and create the new center of the hoops universe, no?