Indiana Pacers: What position needs to be addressed in the NBA Draft?

Cade Cunningham - Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Cade Cunningham - Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers
Jalen Suggs – Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Guards the Indiana Pacers could target

A lot of the Pacers’ needs at guard boil down to what T.J. McConnell does in free agency and any other potential roster moves that the team may make in the offseason, including trading or releasing a player.

If McConnell walks, a rotation spot opens up and could be filled by a rookie. Ideally, Aaron Holiday would be ready to fill this role by now, but his ups and downs combined with the team’s inconsistent playing time that they’ve offered him likely mean there are no guarantees about him taking McConnell’s place in that spot.

Short-term, the Pacers could probably use another guard. Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert will have the starting backcourt locked up if they are on the roster but without a guarantee from McConnell, there’s no clear ball-handler on the bench. Jeremy Lamb and Edmond Sumner both provide depth, but neither is best suited as a ball-handling guard and they do better work elsewhere.

Long-term, it’s still unclear if Malcolm Brogdon is the answer as a lead guard, and with the coaching situation in flux little is known about the franchises’ direction, though it was reported they are looking for a proven head coach. If that’s the case, Brogdon and LeVert are both likely to remain important pieces on the team.

However, neither are likely good enough to be considered cornerstone pieces and if the best player available in the draft is a guard, Indiana would be ill-advised to look elsewhere. There’s enough room both in the present and future at guard.

Lottery Guards: Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, Josh Giddey, Moses Moody, James Bouknight, Jaden Springer, Keon Johnson, Jered Butler, Davion Mitchell

Second Round Guards: Miles McBride, Tre Mann, Quentin Grimes, Max Abmas, McKinley Wright IV, Johnny Juzang, Austin Reaves, David Johnson