Indiana Pacers: Way-too-early 2023 NBA Draft lookahead

Victor Wembanyama (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images)
Victor Wembanyama (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers are still in the offseason crusade, but the franchise has clearly pivoted to a much-need rebuild, signifying a fresh start for a team that has flirted with the middle ground for far too long.

While they are not expected to pack a championship-level punch next season, the Pacers have loads to be excited about, especially considering their dynamic core which could get even bigger reinforcements soon. Nevertheless, the group of Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Chris Duarte, Jalen Smith, and Isaiah Jackson should make for a solid youth movement in the near future.

Still, Indiana remains slated for a golden opportunity less than a year from now. The 2023 NBA Draft is widely believed to be among the deepest and most talented yet, setting the stage for the rebuilding Pacers to bolster their future further.

The Indiana Pacers should be a major player in the 2023 NBA Draft

The 2023 NBA Draft has so much clout that some teams have even resorted to drastic measures just to position themselves better for the upcoming rookie class. For example, the San Antonio Spurs, despite their young core showing growth last season, traded All-Star guard Dejounte Murray for a better shot at the top pick.

While they are not expected to bottom out as much as the Spurs, the Indiana Pacers are not on most people’s playoff forecasts. Alongside them at that juncture are the Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, and Detroit Pistons.

Spearheading the 2023 class is global phenom Victor Wembanyama, who is tabbed to be one of the best NBA prospects…ever. With his superb physical gifts combining with his all-around game, he is considered the consensus top pick in the next iteration of the draft.

Not far behind him, however, is G-League Ignite standout Scoot Henderson. Wembanyama has grabbed most headlines, but the crafty guard is widely touted to be among the next backcourt prospects in recent memory, with some even penciling him in as a possible No. 1 pick.

Aside from the undisputed top two, the 2023 class remains stacked with talent. Twins Amen and Ausar Thompson, both Overtime Elite products, are high-upside wings with real star potential in the big league. Other notable names expected to enter the 2023 NBA Draft include Arkansas’ Nick Smith, Villanova’s Cameron Whitmore, and Duke’s Dariq Whitehead.

Looking too far ahead is not the best thing out there, but even if the Indiana Pacers face a challenging campaign next season, they should be in line to get rewarded with a chance to nab some franchise-changing players in the 2023 NBA Draft.

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