For every Paul George, there’s a Miles Plumlee. For every Roy Hibbert, there’s a Miles Plumlee. For every Lance Stephenson, there’s a you guessed it, Miles Plumlee. As you can see, I wasn’t fond of last year’s first round pick in Miles Plumlee. It just didn’t seem to make any sense for this Pacers team, and he never even found playing time unless it was garbage time. Even in those moments, Plumlee looked very out of place. Some guys are jus NBA ready, and some guys aren’t. Plumlee to me fits in that latter category. I still don’t know what to expect out of this guy, and he’s someone that I don’t think will find much playing time this season. He was never a big college player, so drafting him in the first round seemed like a reach for the Indiana Pacers, who usually excelled in picking. Look at those first three names that I’ve mentioned, and you can see three of the starters for the team now.
But the Pacers did make up for it in that second round in trading for Orlando Johnson. This guy looks to be a good scoring option once he gets his legs underneath him. I can still recall a couple of moments in Johnson’s playing time that I felt like he was ready to go. One is the vivid memory of him taking a shot in the face of Dwayne Wade. Now that to me is huge for a rookie of Johnson’s caliber to do. He got to double figures a few times in the month of April, and scored 15 points in a win against Atlanta. If Johnson can get close to double figures consistently, you’ll see plenty more of him this season. I already believe that the Pacers will use Johnson so much more off the bench, and we’ll see what kind of pick he was.
This year’s draft is definitely wide open as I’ve seen three different mock drafts for the team, and three different picks. This year isn’t that strong of a draft class, so I do believe whoever the Pacers pick up will probably fall into the Plumlee category of playing time unless they really impress. But all players on a team server a purpose, so I am sure in practices, those draft picks will be useful. But hopefully, the Pacers make better use of their first round pick than they did last year. This is the team to really fill a need for a team that has contention aspirations. A team that could find that spark in the draft, and steal away a title from the Miami Heat this upcoming season. That’s where the Pacers need to look to draft.