Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 2

Welcome to the Pacers draft preview! This is the second part of a 4-part series, detailing 20 options for the 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. To get my 20 options, I reviewed 31 different mock drafts and found 17 different players that were picked for the Pacers at the 20th spot; I also added three more potential options to make it an even 20 that were often mentioned around the Pacers range.

I’ve noted each players “Mock Draft Range,” which is the highest and lowest the player was picked and “Mock Draft Average,” which is the average spot each player was selected in the mocks. Anytime a player wasn’t selected in a mock draft, I assigned their selection at 35 (Some mock drafts included second rounds, while others did not). If the average pick was over 30, then I put their mock average at 2nd-round.

I’ve included some short analysis on each player with two reasons to draft them and two reasons to pass. For more detailed analysis, I’ve posted videos from Draft Express that detail their strengths and weaknesses along with highlights.

In the second part, we’ll look at the following players: Damian Jones, Diamond Stone, Juan Hernangomez, Malachi Richardson, and Taurean Prince. If you missed part one (Tyler Ulis, Brice Johnson, Wade Baldwin IV, Demetrius Jackson, and Domantas Sabonis), it can be found here


Taurean Prince
Position: Forward
School: Baylor
Statistics: 15.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg
Mock Draft Range: 13 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 22

Why the Pacers might pick him:

  • Prince is the prototype 3-and-D prospect. Prince’s strengths are spot-up shooting  and defensive versatility. He can guard multiple positions, has great defensive instincts, and gets his hands in passing lanes often.
  • Prince has ideal physical attributes and size for a wing at 6’8″ with a nearly 7-foot wingspan and can play some small-ball power forward.

Why the Pacers might pass if he’s available at 20:

  • Prince, at least at the moment, looks limited offensively. He’s valuable for spacing the floor, but he’s not a great creator of offense and decision making is an issue at times.
  • Sometimes, he forces the action offensively and settles for contested jump shots early in the shot clock. This may not be a huge problem when he has a defined small role and isn’t expected to create his own shot or offense for others.

Juan Hernangomez
Position: Power Forward
School: Spain
Statistics: 9.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg
Mock Draft Range: 16 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 28

Why the Pacers might pick him:

  • Hernangomez has all the offensive skills to be the perfect modern NBA big. He can stretch the floor with his jump shot with flashes of NBA range, has great mobility, finishes well at the rim and has excellent touch on his passes.
  • Even though he has plenty to work on defensively, he does a good job on the defensive glass and challenges shots at the rim (though he doesn’t get a ton of blocks).

Why the Pacers might pass if he’s available at 20:

  • Currently, he struggles on the defensive end and his basketball IQ on that end leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Post-up game is essentially non-existent at the moment and will need to add a lot of strength for the NBA.

Malachi Richardson
Position: Shooting Guard
School: Syracuse
Statistics: 13.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg
Mock Draft Range: 15 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 26

Why the Pacers might pick him:

  • Richardson has the ideal height and size for an NBA wing: 6’6″ with a 7’0″ wingspan. With a nice shooting stroke from 3-point territory (35%), he could be a solid 3-and-D prospect.
  • He’s often praised for his ability to create his own shot and shots for others off the dribble, though he was wildly inefficient in converting shots.

Why the Pacers might pass if he’s available at 20:

  • Richardson shot an anemic 36% from the field. His 2-point shot percentage of 39% ranks him dead last in the category this year’s draft class. He was very inconsistent and struggled with decision making and shot selection.
  • He has athleticism that causes some of his struggles to finish at the rim. He’s not exceptionally quick and doesn’t play above the rim.

Damian Jones
Position: Center
School: Vanderbilt
Statistics: 13.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.6 bpg
Mock Draft Range: 16 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 26

Why the Pacers might pick him:

  • Great size, NBA body with a frame that has room to grow. Jones is by all accounts a high character kid and is a solid athlete. He has a high IQ on and off the court as he majored in engineering at Vandy.
  • Jones scored well on post ups (1.01 PPP on such plays) and finished at the rim at a very high rate (68%). The hope is that he develops like Festus Ezeli, who also came out of Vanderbilt.

Why the Pacers might pass if he’s available at 20:

  • Jones looks like a slow developing prospect like many bigs. He didn’t improve a ton from his sophomore to his junior year at Vanderbilt. He disappeared for frustratingly long stretches and was very inconsistent.
  • He doesn’t rebound as well as one would expect for a player of his size, and Jones has no jump shot as he made only 26% of midrange shots that he took last year. 

Diamond Stone
Position: Center
School: Maryland
Statistics: 12.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Mock Draft Range: 20 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 2nd Round

Why the Pacers might pick him:

  • Stone is a strong, nimble 19-year-old center. More in the mold of a classic back-to-the-basket big, used to playing from the post (It could be seen as a negative if that’s not what Pacers are looking for).
  • He has a lot of offensive skill for a big: great hands, 80% free-throw shooter that shows potential for a midrange game, solid footwork in the post, and runs the floor well.

Why the Pacers might pass if he’s available at 20:

  • He has a tendency to become a black hole in the post. Stone didn’t show much willingness to find open teammates from the post when double teamed. This could also be a lack of feel for the game.
  • A big that loses focus on the defensive end and isn’t as engaged when he’s not involved in the offense. 



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