Could a raw project from Oregon make a difference with the Indiana Pacers?

Kel'el Ware, Oregon Ducks (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Kel'el Ware, Oregon Ducks (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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As is common with every celebration of New Year’s, people are always setting new resolutions for themselves,. Some people aim to get a gym membership so they can lose some holiday weight, others work on starting new hobbies they have been too lazy to try.

For the Indiana Pacers, a good new years resolution would be to work on rebounding as a team, as the Pacers currently rank #23 in the NBA with 50.3 RPG( for reference, #1 ranked Memphis averages 59.1 RPG).  Considering how small of a starting 5 the Pacers run, this is not too surprising, but is definitely an area that should be improved upon in this year’s upcoming draft.

Enter 7’0 draft prospect Kel’el Ware.

In this space, we will go over the background of the Oregon standout and what he could bring to the Pacers if selected in the 2023 NBA Draft.

High School/ College Background

Born April 20th, 2004 in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Ware attended North Little Rock High School from  2018-2022, where his senior year he posted averages of 20.3 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and an astounding 5.7 BPG.  This elite level of play led to Ware getting recognition as a 5 star recruit coming out of high school, and garnered him invites to events such the Jordan Brand Classic, Nike Hoop Summit, and the 2022 McDonalds All-American game.

After fielding several offers including ones from Texas Tech, Kansas, his own home state of Arkansas, and even a 2 year, $900,00 contract from Overtime Elite, Ware decided to join the Oregon Ducks for the 2022-2023 season.  Before his college career started, Ware was named to the Unites Stated U18 team for national play, and earned himself a spot on the All-Tournament team after helping USA win gold averaging 15.7 PPG during the tournament.

Ware has so far played the backup center role for the Ducks this season behind starter N’Faly Dante. In 22.5 MPG this season, Ware has put up respectable averages of 8.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. Ware’s best game so far has been his 18 point, 9 rebound showing against UConn in late November this year.  Even though he has not put up the most insane numbers in college, he is just a rookie, and a lot of NBA teams would be happy to bank on the raw ability of Ware if they were to select him in the draft.