Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 4

Welcome to the Pacers draft preview! This is the fourth and final 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, you can search on Youtube for videos from Draft Express that detail strengths and weaknesses for each player along with highlight examples for what they’re talking about.

If you missed any of the previous parts:

Part 1: Tyler Ulis, Brice Johnson, Domantas Sabonis, Wade Baldwin IV, and Demetrius Jackson

Part 2: Taurean Prince, Malachi Richardson, Diamond Stone, Damian Jones, and Juan Hernangomez

Part 3: Malik Beasley, Denzel Valentine, Thon Maker, Cheick Diallo, and Timothe Luwawu

Part 4: Caris Lavert, Ben Bentil, Furkan Korkmaz, Dejounte Murray, and Stephen Zimmerman Jr. 

Caris Lavert
Position: Shooting Guard
School: Michigan
Statistics: 16.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1 spg
Mock Draft Range: 20 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 2nd Round

Why the Pacers might pick him at 20

  • LeVert is a long, smooth shooting 2-guard at 6’7″ with a 6’10” wingspan. He has a very fluid shooting stroke and hit 45% of his threes in his junior season. He’s an excellent catch and shoot player.
  • LeVert also has great passing ability for a 2-guard, averaging 5 assists in one season. His size and passing ability gives him the versatility (Pacers buzz word!) of potential playing anywhere from point guard to small forward. He’s thin, so it’s more likely he’s a combo guard type.

Why the Pacers might pass on him

  • Pacers would probably be reaching if they took Levert this high. He would be a better candidate in the late first round or even in the second round if they trade their pick away.
  • The main reason that he’d be a reach is he’s had three surgeries in 22 months on the same foot. The injury made him miss nearly all of his final season at Michigan, but if he can stay healthy he could be a very good player.

Ben Bentil
Position: Power Forward
School: Providence
Statistics: 21.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1 bpg
Mock Draft Range: 20 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 2nd Round

Why the Pacers might pick him at 20

  • Bentil has all the parts of a good offensive stretch four. He has range with his jump shot, he can role to the rim and finish fairly well, and he does have some post game that he could use against smaller defenders too. He’s a scorer. He could be a great weapon to use as a screener that can either roll to the basket or pop out for a jumper.

Why the Pacers might pass on him

  • Another player that seems like a reach at 20. One mock draft even had Bentil sliding all the way down to the Pacers second round pick at 50. Another option for trading down.
  • Bentil does have major issues on the court that are concerning. He often seems disinterested in playing defense and hasn’t show tremendous ability on that end of the court. He doesn’t rebound as well as scouts expect or hope. On the offensive end, while he’s a great scoring option, he’s not a willing passer and can become a black hole when he gets the ball. He seems to have a one-track mind with the ball in his hands: score.

Furkan Korkmaz
Position: Forward
Country: Turkey
Statistics: 2.7 ppg, 0.9 rebounds
Mock Draft Range: 10 – 26
Mock Draft Average: 15

Why the Pacers might pick him at 20

  • The Turkish Korkmaz is a 19-year-old shooting machine. One of the best shooters in this draft class and has a natural scoring instinct.
  • While he only played spot minutes professionally, he’s been an incredible threat in FIBA competitions with his age group, averaging over 25 points per game. The hope for Korkmaz is that as he gets stronger, he’ll be able to take on bigger and bigger roles with the team that drafts him.

Why the Pacers might pass on him

  • Unlike the other prospects on this list, Korkmaz is unlikely to be available when the Pacers pick. He’s likely to go in the late lottery.
  • If he is still available, the Pacers may pass because he still needs work defensively, lack of strength can cause him to be bullied in the post, and sometimes disappears for long stretches in games. It will take time for Korkmaz to be more than a role player.

Dejounte Murray
Position: Point Guard
School: Washington
Statistics: 16.1 ppg, 6 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.8 spg
Mock Draft Range: 14 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 26

Why the Pacers might pick him at 20

  • Murray has the size and versatility to potentially play either guard spot in the NBA. Like many young prospects, he needs to add strength but his frame should allow him to bulk up. If the Pacers are comfortable waiting a couple years for him to develop, they may snag him.
  • Murray is good at pushing the pace and playing in transition. In the half court, his game is limited, but he has perhaps the best floater in college basketball last year or at least was the player that took the most of those shots. He doesn’t shy away from contact and is very aggressive with the basketball. He does show flashes of creating offense for others though he’s mainly focused on scoring himself.

Why the Pacers might pass on him

  • His jump shot is broken. It should be something he can continue to improve on but at this stage Murray struggles shooting jumpers.  Defenses would sag off of him and dare him to shoot the ball.
  • He has plenty of work to do on the defensive end other than he does a good job of getting his hands into passing lanes. If the Pacers want an immediate contributor, Murray probably isn’t their guy.

Stephen Zimmerman Jr.
Position: Center
School: UNLV
Statistics: 10.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2 bpg
Mock Draft Range: 20 – 2nd Round
Mock Draft Average: 2nd Round

Why the Pacers might pick him at 20

  • Zimmerman has potential to have a very modern NBA big game on offense. He shows nice touch on his jump shots (even with an awkward form) and could be a decent pick and pop option. He also can finish with explosiveness when he’s got some momentum going toward the rim. This would make a potential option as a pick and dive straight the to the rim option as well. He’s also a very good passing big man.

Why the Pacers might pass on him

  • The third player in this group that never got picked in any mock draft before the Pacers pick. It would be a reach to take him this early. The second player to also get picked at 50 by the Pacers in one mock. It’s going to take him some time to be ready to play in the league.
  • Zimmerman shows flashes of a post-game, but still has a long way to go on the block. He’ll need to add strength to avoid being pushed off his spots on offense and man-handled on defense. He struggled with post defense as well in his freshman season.

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