Pacers VP of of player personnel Ryan Carr said the team has its eyes on several prospects with the No. 6 pick, but the executive seemed particularly high on Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, who is ranked No. 4 on ESPN’s big board.
“His speed, I think, is what sets him apart,” Carr said, per James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. “There’s just not many players with that kind of speed, the ability to put the pressure on the rim and score. And then he’s really improved over the past couple years his shooting and has shown the ability to hit 3s. … Somebody that fast, if he can hit a jumper and go by you, I don’t know how you guard him.”
Ivey seems unlikely to be available at No. 6 because most of the latest mock drafts have him going No. 4 to Sacramento, so the Pacers would likely have to trade up to draft the Indiana native.
Carr also said drafting so high in the lottery for the first time in more than 30 years will have a major impact on the team’s rebuild, as Boyd relays.
“It’s been a long time, and obviously you want every player you pick, no matter what number, to succeed,” Carr said. “But the sixth pick, this guy, we want him to be a foundational piece for us, and (we’re) looking forward to adding that piece.”
The Pacers control the Nos. 31 and 60 picks in the 2022 NBA draft in addition to No. 6, as shown by updated full draft order.
Here’s more from the Central Division:
- Sources tell Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated that the Bucks are contemplating moving up or down with the No. 24 pick. Woo projects Arizona guard/forward Dalen Terry to Milwaukee at 24 within his latest mock draft, assuming the team keeps the pick.
- After acquiring a second-round pick from the Kings, the Cavaliers now control the Nos. 14, 39, 49 and 56 picks, giving them the flexibility to possibly trade for a late first-rounder with their three second-round selections if a prospect they like slides, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The Cavs continue to field calls about the No. 14 pick and have also discussed the possibility of moving up in the lottery, Fedor reports.
- Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago details how the pending trade of Jerami Grant to Portland impacts the Bulls. Schaefer notes that the Trail Blazers owe Chicago a first-round pick that’s lottery-protected until 2028, meaning if the Blazers make the playoffs in 2022/23, the Bulls will acquire Portland’s 2023 first-rounder.