Indiana Pacers 2010 draft options
Indiana Pacers Roy Hibbert
Indiana Pacers 2010 draft options
The Indiana Pacers will have the 10th and 40th overall picks in the 2010 NBA draft. The question is what will the Pacers do with those draft choices.
In his season ending press conference, Larry Bird made 3 statements that stood out to me. First he said that he wanted to solidify the point guard position. Second he said that he wanted to get an athletic big man. Third, and this was most interesting to me, he said that in order for the Pacers to get into the NBA finals, they would need 1 or 2 more players as good as or better than Danny Granger.
The Pacers are most likely going to make a trade or two this summer and, in my opinion, they will not keep the 10th and 40th picks. Since I do not know if they will be moving up or down with those picks, I will have to base this article on them staying at 10 and 40.
With the recent injury of A. J. Price, many fans are panicking and wanting the Pacers to select a point guard, however, there are not any point guard in this year's draft (that the Pacers can get) that will solidify the point guard position. The Pacers are going to have to trade for a veteran point guard. A point guard selection in the second round would probably be a good choice.
While I expect Hibbert and McRoberts to improve and possibly Rush, none of those players are going to be as good as or better than Granger...even at their peak. That means the Pacers are either going to have to trade for a player or draft a player as good as or better than Granger. Personally, I don't see them being able to trade for a player of Granger's caliber. That leaves the draft.
While there will be no one available as good as or better than Granger when they draft, there may be a player that can develop into a very good player. The problem, in my opinion, is the players that could develop into another Granger are shooting guards.
If the Pacers select a shooting guard with their first round pick, they will not be able to get an athletic big man. If they select an athletic big man, they will not be finding someone that will become as good as or better than Granger.
So who do they select with their first round pick? In my opinion, if they are going for an athletic big man, their selection should be (in order) Ed Davis, Larry Sanders or Epke Udoh. Some or all of those players should be available at number 10. From the scouting reports that I have read, Ed Davis seems to be a slightly smaller version (about 6'10" 220) of Dale Davis. If Ed fills out and improves his offense some, he could be very valuable to the Pacers. Larry Sanders is a long 6'11" shot blocking big man that also needs to fill out some. Udoh at 6'10" and about 240 pounds is probably about a big as he is going to get.
If the Pacers go with a shooting guard that tells me one of two things. Either they have traded (or are going to trade) Brandon Rush or they have given up on him being a starting shooting guard. In my opinion the Pacers best bets at shooting guard (in order) would be James Anderson, Domique Jones or Xavier Henry. Based on the scouting reports, Anderson sounds a lot like Reggie Miller to me only he is built better. Jones reminds me of Dwayne Wade and Henry reminds me of Brandon Rush. Of course Anderson and Jones probably won't be as good as Miller or Wade, but I think they will be quality shooting guards.
In the second round the Pacers should select a point guard. In my opinion their best bets at point guard (in order) would be Mikhail Torrance, Eric Bledsoe and Greivis Vasquez. Bledsoe should stay in college for 1 more year but he still most likely will be selected at pick number 40 or a little sooner. One of the questions about Vasquez is whether he can handle the physical play of the NBA. In my opinion, Torrance is the better choice of the three.
It will be interesting to see if the Pacers make any trades before the draft and also who they will be selecting. Hopefully I have given a little insight as to what the Pacers may be looking for in this year's draft.