Pacers Interview D’Angelo Russell, Frank Kaminsky, Myles Turner, Stanley Johnson at Draft Combine

Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky before the 2015 NCAA Men
Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky before the 2015 NCAA Men /

Larry Bird is representing the Indiana Pacers at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this week to look at some of the prospects from the college ranks and overseas. While it is overwhelmingly likely that the Pacers will get the 11th overall pick, they are talking to both players who may be around that late and some who will almost certainly be off the board much, much earlier.

According to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star, this includes D’Angelo Russell, the Ohio State point guard expected to be selected in the top three.

Unless their 2.9% Willy Wonka Golden Ticket hits, I’m not sure Indiana has any way of moving into the top five of this draft. That would likely require trading Paul George and, yeah, nobody is doing that.

But, as Buckner noted, the team also talked to big man Myles Turner of Texas University, and he is one player that Draft Express has linked to the team, presuming the 11th pick, in its current mock draft.

One thing the Pacers have hyped, to Turner and others, says Buckner, is the forthcoming change in style of play. Bird said in his first post-season press conference that the team wants to play faster next season, and he is relaying this message to all the prospects who likely see Indiana as a traditional, defensive, boring, post-up team.

Turner can shoot from outside already and, in this interview filmed by Basketball Insiders, he said he considers himself a versatile who can play at the four or the five sport in the NBA. He also “measured extraordinarily well” in the chattel contest that accompanies all these type of pre-draft prospect gatherings, according to Draft Express.

"Texas freshman Myles Turner is in largely the same boat as Cauley-Stein in that he measured extraordinarily well, but not quite as well as Upshaw. Standing 6’11.25 with a 7’4 wingspan and a 238.6-pound frame, he has terrific size for a NBA big man. His 9’4 standing reach ranks second among all players in attendance. Considering his tremendous physical attributes, combined with his ability to shoot the ball with range and block shots, teams in the mid to late lottery will have to think long and hard before passing on Turner."

National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky is another guy who has some inside/outside ability, and the Pacers have also interviewed him, according to Buckner. And as with Turner, they told him about their plans to play more uptempo next season.

In this interview from Basketball Insiders, Kaminsky noted his “versatile skill sets” that allow him to play in various systems. He says that he can play inside/outside due the skills he developed as a guard “before I was tall.”

How far he has come — literally — from those days. Kaminsky was the tallest guy in Chicago though he does have short arms compared to most of his peers.

Stanley Johnson also met with Indiana.

He said today that he thinks he is the best player in the draft. Well … the “best” and friends with Solomon Hill. That sounds too good to pass up.