3 things the Pacers could do if they crash in the NBA Draft Lottery

Tari Eason - Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Tari Eason - Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Indiana Pacers are guaranteed to select a prospect with a single-digit pick in the upcoming NBA Draft for the first time since 1989 when the team nabbed George McCloud with the seventh overall pick. Touting the fifth-best odds at the top prize, the Pacers could be the ones jumping for joy in the Draft lottery two weeks later.

However, the lottery is still an aleatory thing. While Indiana has a 42.1 percent chance to bag a top-four pick, it could fall to as low as ninth after the ping-pong balls dictate the order of the draft. In fact, the Pacers have a 19.6 percent chance to pick sixth, 26.7 percent chance to pick seventh, 8.7 percent chance to pick eighth, and a slim 0.6 percent chance to end up with the ninth pick.

Much of the discussion around here about the NBA Draft has been tackled under the premise of the Pacers bagging a good pick. Should the worst-case scenario happen though, how should the team maneuver in the draft?

1. The Indiana Pacers could look to trade up to get a slightly higher pick

The top five in most mock drafts and big boards have largely remained the same. Thus, it could be assumed that teams which secure a top-five selection would be very content keeping their respective selections.

However, should the Pacers land, say, the eighth or ninth pick, they could look into trading up, at least on the margins, using their own pick and some sweetener, like a dispensable piece, to move up a pick or two and acquire a player who presents a better fit, allowing  them to kill two birds with one stone.

Fortunately, Indiana has some valuable assets that they could attach to entice teams to trade down for them, such as veterans like TJ McConnell, Buddy Hield, and Malcolm Brogdon, though parting with the latter two in a move-up package should only come if the other team offers an immediate contributor as well in return, in addition to the pick.