The Indiana Pacers made the most out of the 2022 NBA Draft, having left the eventful night with three new prospects to add to their youth movement.
With Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, and Kendall Brown now in the fold, the Pacers managed to address some of their pressing needs while not failing to gun for upside in a talent-rich and deep draft class.
Now, as things currently stand, what does the roster look like heading to free agency?
Updated Indiana Pacers depth chart after the 2022 NBA Draft
- Tyrese Haliburton
- TJ McConnell
- Andrew Nembhard
- Duane Washington Jr.
After selecting Nembhard, the Pacers are becoming more likely to aggressively pursue a trade for veteran point guard McConnell, who missed the most of the 2021-22 season due to injury. To boot, even Washington Jr. warrants some playing time of his own, especially after an underrated rookie campaign which saw his two-way deal converted to a standard NBA contract.
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Chris Duarte
- Buddy Hield
Any of these players could start, but if we’re betting, I’d place my bet on Duarte eventually getting the nod. Brogdon is a near-lock to leave the Circle City this offseason with considerable demand for him in a free agency class lacking multiple quality floor generals. Also, regardless of what happens to Hield, he is best suited for a gunner role off the bench.
- Bennedict Mathurin
- Oshae Brissett
- Kendall Brown
Shooting guard is probably the best position for the new rookie, but Ben Mathurin is the most viable and highest-upside option that the Pacers have to man the starting small forward spot as the roster stands. Brissett is still a big contender for the job, while Brown could see action in spurts with his length and skill set tailor-made for transition offense.
- Isaiah Jackson
- Terry Taylor
Jackson is a near-lock to secure a starting job next season, as the Pacers brass has made it clear that they envision him as a franchise cornerstone. However, Indiana is quite thin at this position, with only the undersized (but effective) Taylor as his backup in the present.
- Myles Turner
- Goga Bitadze
The fate of Myles Turner in another offseason littered with Myles Turner rumors could be a less predictable tale this summer. Anyhow, the Pacers badly need more boost at the center spot, as even if they retain Turner, he is injury-prone. As regards Bitadze, he is an early candidate for the trade or even the waiver wire barring a prove-it episode in the following months.
- TJ Warren
- Lance Stephenson
- Jalen Smith
- Ricky Rubio
- Nate Hinton
- Gabe York
Among all these free agents, Stephenson is actually the one most likely to remain with the team considering his off-court value presence and situational on-court value. Keeping Warren is becoming more unlikely by the day and could be a popular choice in sign-and-trade talks. Smith will be beyond their financial restraints and Rubio is not needed. The Indiana Pacers’ late-season additions, Hinton an York, could remain in the G-League or play in the Summer League.