NBA Draft: Is AJ Griffin a possible option for the Indiana Pacers at No. 6?

AJ Griffin (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
AJ Griffin (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

While the Indiana Pacers failed to garner their best possible selection in the 2022 NBA Draft following the lottery, the franchise remains in great position to add a high-ceiling prospect to the roster, a luxury they haven’t had for more than three decades.

The most common prospects mocked to the Pacers by various outlets recently have been Jaden Ivey, Shaedon Sharpe, Keegan Murray, and Bennedict Mathurin, but could Duke standout AJ Griffin crack the field and be a good option for the Blue and Gold at no. 6?

The Indiana Pacers could consider Duke alum AJ Griffin at No. 6

AJ Griffin hasn’t been talked much by either fans or pundits, but he could easily rise from his projected standing in different mocks come draft night. And given his two-way upside, there’s arguably little harm for the Indiana Pacers to have him high on their radar despite the abundance of talent which should be available to them when they make their selection.

A soon-to-be second-generation NBA player, Griffin’s game is among the most mature and league-ready among his peers.

The bulk of Griffin’s robust draft stock currently is attributable to his special defensive ability. Touting a rangy 6’6, 210-lb frame, he can play both wing positions, but he has the legitimate capability of guarding all five positions effectively. He is pesky in on-ball situations, and has a penchant for ball denials and deflections. As a team cog, he is almost always aware of the moving pieces on the floor, serving as a do-it-all help defender. His tenacity on D is infectious.

Offensively, while he is not a fiery scorer by nature, Griffin boasts the necessary tools to be a quality offensive weapon. He is great at using his body to score in traffic, and lengthy defenders barely have an advantage against him even in one-on-one situations. He thrives in dribble-drive attacks, as he’s got a quick first step and above average handles.

His greatest attribute on offense, however, is his very solid three-point shooting, which should translate well in the NBA, especially with the Indiana Pacers and their new up-tempo schemes. He nailed a staggering 44.7 percent of his three-point tries in college on great volume, and he should continue to get even better.

Overall, the Indiana Pacers may want to avoid overlooking AJ Griffin in the 2022 NBA Draft. While they shouldn’t be moving heaven and earth to obtain him, he is a very safe pick who should fit well in the team and fill a position of need, as the team currently only has one true small forward in Oshae Brissett heading to the offseason.

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