NBA Draft: Don’t sleep on Bennedict Mathurin as a Pacers target

Bennedict Mathurin - Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Bennedict Mathurin - Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers, holders of the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, are exactly just a month away from making their highest draft selection in decades. While they may be out of the running for the undisputed top-three in the current rookie pool, they are definitely still in the mix for other high-upside prospects.

However, as in previous draft forecasts, some hopefuls have the potential to shock many come draft night and rise above their projected standing. One of those players this year is Bennedict Mathurin, whom Pacers fans should not sleep on as a potential target for the Blue and Gold.

Bennedict Mathurin could be an under-the-radar target for the Indiana Pacers in the 2022 NBA Draft with his modern skillset

A former Arizona Wildcat, Bennedict Mathurin has been projected to fall within the 8-10 range in the 2022 NBA Draft. However, some fans and pundits alike have expressed their approval of him as someone whom the Indiana Pacers could zero in at no. 6, and looking at his game, it’s not difficult to see why.

Playing in the wing positions, Mathurin doesn’t address a massive need for the Pacers. Also, the presence of Chris Duarte, who possesses a similar skillset, could make him quite the kickstart for a pending roster overlap. However, with their highest pick yet, Indiana can afford to go by sheer upside and rely on other avenues to seek help in positions with more pressing concerns.

Mathurin’s offensive profile is one of the most NBA-ready among his peers. An above-average three-point shooter in Arizona, he does not shy away from pulling the trigger, averaging 12 (!!!) attempts from downtown per 100 possessions, canning them at a 38.3 percent rate in the last two seasons.

However, the Arizona standout is not just a shooter. While he was primarily utilized as a secondary creator in spot-up opportunities and cutter actions, Mathurin has shown flashes of being a capable primary option. He is not afraid to take the ball to the rack and hunt for fouls, touting an impressive 38 percent free throw rate over the last two years. His assist numbers have been relatively low, but he has been reliable operating as a pick-and-roll ball handler.

Overall, while Mathurin can be too trigger-happy, he does so with relative efficiency. His 59 percent true shooting percentage is a great figure for someone averaging 22.2 field goal attempts per 100 possessions.

The only true knack on his game is defense. He has the size and length to become an efficient, switchable defender, but he has been rather inconsistent on that end for the Wildcats, often getting out of position and barely racking up deflections. His rebounding also needs a lot of work, though his 5.6 boards per game this season is a positive sign.

Overall, there are few red flags in Bennedict Mathurin’s profile. So while the Indiana Pacers may not have him atop their priority list at no. 6, he certainly deserves a hard look, one that could culminate into an eventual landing at the Circle City if his draft stock continues to rise before the big day.

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