- We’ll update our Team Capsules with more specific info once the lottery is complete.
2008-09 Record: 36-46
Marquis Daniels (Team Option)
Travis Diener (Player Option)
Draft Picks: 13 (projected)
How they got here:
The Pacers got a much needed facelift in the off-season, bringing in seven new players and ridding themselves of the “thug” image that plagued the franchise since the Artest melee. The new-look Pacers won back some of its disheartened fan base, but missed the playoffs for the third straight season. Offensively, Indiana was potent, finishing in the top 5 in the NBA in PPG. Danny Granger established himself as an up-and-coming elite player and rookie Brandon Rush showed flashes of stardom. But where Indiana failed was on defense. Only the Knicks (107.8) gave up more points per game than the Pacers (106.2) in the Eastern Conference.
What they need:
GM Larry Bird and head coach Jim O’Brien need an additional post presence. Troy Murphy had a career year, finishing second in the league in rebounds and averaging just over 14 points. But next to Murphy was rook Roy Hibbert, who was as foul prone as Greg Oden. Meanwhile, the bigs on the bench included an aging Jeff Foster and little-used Josh McRoberts.
Who they’ll take:
In terms of the Pacers’ post needs, this draft class is as weak as it gets. If the Pacers remain at #13, the best available post player will likely be DeJuan Blair. There’s a shot James Johnson or Earl Clark will be available, which, in that case, the Pacers will be happy to draft either player. I also wouldn’t be shocked if the Pacers shop either Jarrett Jack or TJ Ford and pick up a point guard. A guy like Eric Maynor would fit well into O’Brien’s system. My early prediction: Earl Clark.
Indiana Pacer Draft History
2008: Jerryd Bayless (11), Nathan Jawai (41)
2006: Shawne Williams (17), Alexander Johnson (45)
2005: Danny Granger (17), Erazem Lorbek (46)
2004: David Harrison (29), Rashad Wright (59)
2003: James Jones (49)
2002: Fred Jones (14)
2001: Jamison Brewer (40)
2000: Primoz Brezec (27), Jaquay Walls (56)
Stephen Curry - PG/SG - Davidson
Tyreke Evans - PG/SG - Memphis
Blake Griffin - PF - Oklahoma
James Harden - SG - Arizona State
Jordan Hill - PF - Arizona
Ty Lawson - PG - UNC
BJ Mullens - C - Ohio State
Ricky Rubio - PG - DKV Joventut
Brandon Jennings - PG - Arizona
Hasheem Thabeet - C - UCONN