There have been a lot of mock drafts put out there so far this spring, many of which have the Pacers making some really questionable decisions (see here and here). However, the newest mock draft from USA today has the Pacers taking a really promising young prospect that has a high ceiling.
The top 6 in the draft go something like this in the newest projection:
- Houston Rockets: Victor Wembanyama
- Detroit Pistons: Scoot Henderson
- San Antonio Spurs: Amen Thompson
- Charlotte Hornets: Brandon Miller
- Orlando Magic: Cam Whitmore
- Indiana Pacers: Ausar Thompson
Would it be better if a player like Cam Whitmore were to fall another spot for the Pacers to get a true power forward in the draft? Of course, but unfortunately the Pacers won’t be able to control who gets taken ahead of them.
Ausar Thompson is an amazing talent and would absolutely be the right pick in this scenario.
Ausar Thompson is an amazing player who averaged the following in Overtime Elite this season:
16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks
That right there is a stacked stat line that shows ability on both sides of the court, with the biggest draw of a player like Ausar is the extreme athleticism and skill play he has demonstrated.
The biggest issue with Ausar is that he is more of a small forward or shooting guard rather than the biggest position of need the Pacers have at power forward. But if you look at this draft and who would be taken behind the Pacers pick:
- Anthony Black
- Nick Smith Jr
- Jarace Walker
You could make an argument that Walker could play a power forward position, but given how this mock draft fell, Ausar Thompson was definitely the right choice for the Pacers.
If this were to happen the Pacers would have to seriously think about their shooting guard rotation and if they could move off of some of the talent they have there in order to get a power forward they could move forward with.