ESPN’s TrueHoop Network is conducting a mock draft using the member bloggers. Here’s a recap of the activity leading up to my projection of the Pacers’ pick at #10:
With the 10th pick in the first annual TrueHoop Network Mock Draft, the Indiana Pacers select…
Paul George of Fresno State University
Rationale: The bigs that the Pacers were really interested in — Monroe, Aminu and Udoh — are all off the board. I don’t think that they would draft Ed Davis to keep him, as he’s maybe three or four years away from being a contributor and doesn’t look to have huge upside. And the only other big to really consider here, Cole Aldrich, is too redundant to Roy Hibbert.
Other rumbles have the Pacers targeting Avery Bradley here, who makes sense as a perimeter defender, but is a bit of a stretch at pick #10. Also, he’s more of a 2 than a 1. In fact, I told Jared that’s who I was going to draft but then went back and re-read some notes and scouting reports and changed my mind. It’s possible that they go that direction, but I think they’ll end up liking Paul George as a more versatile, more NBA-ready player. He could potentially take Rush’s job at the 2. Or, if Murphy is traded away, he could even end up playing some “stretch” 4 in the system. Overall, he looks like a very strong defender for the 3, a good defender at 4 and a passable-to-solid defender at the 2.
More than anything, however, the choices left in this mock draft underscore how much the Pacers really are — and probably should be — looking to trade down or out of this draft. Indiana, most of all, needs guard help and there isn’t a lot they can get at pick #10 that’s better than what they can get even after the lottery. Thus, I would be very surprised if the Pacers have this pick come draft night.
The New Orleans Hornets are now on the clock…
Here’s how the rest of ESPN’s True Hoop Network is projecting the draft (click on link to see each team’s write up).
29. Orlando – Quincy Pondexter (Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball)
30. Washington – Craig Brackins (Kyle Weidie of Truth About It.net)