After a tiebreaker process, The Indiana Pacers will select 23rd in the NBA draft.
Let’s play a game of good news/bad news. But let’s do it Pacers style. Do you want the good news first or the bad news?
The bad news? Well, the bad news is more significant, so let’s knock it out of the way first. The Indiana Pacers will select 23rd in the 2018 NBA draft. That on its own isn’t the bad part.
Picking 23rd isn’t awful. The Pacers drafted Solomon Hill with that pick in 2013, and current Pacer Trevor Booker was selected in that slot in 2010. The Pacers also drafted Travis Best at this slot in 1994. Some noteworthy names have come from pick 23, including Nikola Mirotic, Tayshaun Prince, and A.C. Green. Again, picking 23rd doesn’t stink.
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But what does stink is the opportunity cost. Indiana went into Friday with the chance of picking anywhere from 20-23 thanks to their record. 48 wins tied them with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Utah Jazz, and the New Orleans Pelicans. The NBA decided a tiebreaker in private to determine the draft order between these four teams.
Indiana lost. How the tiebreaker was physically decided is unknown, but the order shook out as follows:
20) Oklahoma City (although the pick goes to the Timberwolves)
22) New Orleans (this pick goes to Chicago)
So, that is a bummer. The Pacers could have moved up in the draft, but unfortunately, they did not.
But wait! The good news that I promised! I did not forget. The good news comes in the second round. Because the Pacers pick last amongst this grouping of four teams in the first round, they will pick first among those teams in the second round!
Truly, that isn’t all that great. They will pick 50th (the 20th spot in the second round) and the difference between picks 50 and 53 isn’t nearly as large as the difference between selections 20 and 23.
Unfortunately, the Pacers got the short end of the stick here. Kevin Pritchard has made many savvy moves as the President of Basketball Operations, so maybe he can make another one here and snag a quality player with this selection. Who knows. We will find out in June.