Indiana Pacers: 5-step plan for a perfect offseason

Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
3 of 6
Goga Bitadze, Indiana Pacers
Goga Bitadze, Indiana Pacers – Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Step 2: The Indiana Pacers should gun for the best prospect left in the draft

As a franchise that never tanks, the Indiana Pacers haven’t had a top draft pick since selecting Rik Smits with the second pick in the 1988 NBA Draft. And that streak continues in 2021, where the Blue and Gold is projected to pick 13th.

No one captures overnight success with such a low draft pick, except for some historical outliers, but the lottery is still packed with valuable pieces, especially in this deep draft. Thus, the Pacers should maximize their options by selecting the next best prospect left in their cards.

Since Indiana is not likely to rebuild anytime soon, a waiting-game selection or an experimental pick should be avoided. With the 2021 Draft Class’ embarrassment of riches, the Pacers will not be devoid of a talented piece despite being in the late lottery. They simply cannot afford to pick a “two years from being two years away” player or a relatively unknown commodity anymore.

The lone benefit of being a low lottery team is the tendency of picking according to talent, instead of fit, which has proven to be the reason why some highly-touted prospects fall to lower draft spots than anticipated. Indy is in this exact position, and they must seize this advantage to select the best player available and avoid their recent string of draft misses.