Even though the 2021 NBA Finals are in full swing, the NBA Draft is quickly approaching. The Indiana Pacers have some tough decisions to make this offseason. They narrowly missed out on the playoffs, after losing in the Play-In Game. If they want to continue to be among the leaders in the East, they need to make some important moves this off-season.
The following is a complete look at the Indiana Pacers needs, as we approach the 2021 NBA Draft and Free Agency.
Indiana Pacers Needs Heading Into the Offseason
Indiana Pacers Free Agents
Here is a list of the players who are upcoming Memphis Grizzlies free agents that will either need to be re-signed or replaced.
- Doug McDermott, SF
- T.J. McConnell, PG
- Edmond Summer, SG (Team-Option)
- JaKarr Sampson, SF
- Cassius Stanley, SG (RFA)
Well, let’s start out with the easy part. It’s likely the Pacers pick up Edmond Summer’s option, and he returns to the team. It is also assumed that the Pacers will bring back Cassius Stanley on a two-way deal. So ,that leaves the Pacers with decisions to make about Doug McDermott, T.J. McConnell and Edmond Sampson.
McDermott is probably the Pacers’ top priority. He’s a good shooter and a solid rotation player. He’s also a wing, and the Pacers lack talent in the frontcourt. McConnell has also proved himself to be a valuable piece of this team. Whether sliding into the starting lineup or leading the second unit off the bench, McConnell put up career-highs in many categories this past season.
Indiana Pacers 2021 NBA Draft Picks
- First Round, 13th Overall
- Second Round, 54th Overall
- Second Round, 60th Overall
Indiana Pacers Draft Targets
Corey Kispert is the best pure shooter in this draft, and the Pacers need shooting, bad. Kispert shot 53% from the field last year for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. On top of that, he shot a white hot 44% from deep. The idea of drafting younger players with more upside has become more and more popular lately. Kispert is one of the older players in the draft, but that shouldn’t deter the Pacers. If they want shooting, the safest and best option is Kispert.
It seems like everyone in the NBA is targeting Chris Duarte, if they have a pick outside the lottery. This is for good reason. Duarte is one of the best shooters in the draft, cashing in on 42% of his three-point attempts last year. He has the chance to be a really good 3-and-D player at the next level. The wing from Oregon averaged 17 points per game last year. On top of that, he was a member of the Pac-12’s All-Defense team last year. He’s not quite the shooter that Kispert is, but he’s a much better defender.
Jared Butler had one of the most productive college careers in recent memory. He capped it off by winning the national title last year at Baylor. Butler is a guy who could come into the league and adapt pretty quickly. He shot 47% from the field last year, while also shooting 42% from deep. He’s also a great defender, pitching in two steals per game. Butler is another one of the older prospects, but for the Pacers, he would bring shooting, defense and stability.
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