The Pacers selected Andrew Nembhard with the No. 31 pick in Thursday’s draft, adding to a young core that also includes Tyrese Haliburton, No. 6 pick Bennedict Mathurin and others. As Gabby Hajduk of the Indianapolis Star explores, Nembhard is older than most draft picks at 22, so he’s expected to bring intelligence and maturity to the club.
“The word that stands out for me is feel,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “(Nembhard) has just got an amazing feel for the game. I love point guards. I’ve had the real privilege of working with some great, great point guards.
“I mean, Jason Kidd, we won a championship with Jason Kidd, we had J.J. Barea on that team. Jason Terry was a point guard that converted to a scoring guard. I see some of all those qualities in Andrew. Love his size, love playmakers that can control the game, not only with their skill but with their mind.”
Nembhard receiving strong praise from his new championship coach is justified. He averaged 11.8 points, 5.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season, shooting an efficient 45% from the field and 38% from behind the arc.
There’s more out of Indiana tonight:
- As the Pacers continues to push toward a full rebuild, Mathurin should be viewed as a quality piece to the puzzle, Evan Sidery of BasketballNews.com opines. Mathurin, 20, is a 6’7″ guard who held per-game averages of 17.7 points and 5.6 rebounds at Arizona last season. His confidence certainly isn’t lacking, as apparent by his recent comments regarding Lakers superstar LeBron James (hat tip to Yahoo Sports). “A lot of people say he’s great,” Mathurin said of James. “I want to see how great he is. I don’t think anybody is better than me. He’s going to have to show me he’s better than me.”
- Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files examines the team’s summer league roster, which still isn’t fully completed. In addition to Mathurin and Nembhard, the Pacers are expected to have Chris Duarte, Terry Taylor and others when the team plays in Las Vegas next month.
- While Mathurin may be a good draft pick, the Pacers struck out on making major draft-day trades last week, Bob Kravitz of The Athletic writes. Indiana still has Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner under contract. Both players are known to be available on the trade market.