In my previous article where I talked about the 3 scenarios for the Pacers’ offseason, I labeled Cam Whitmore as the most interesting guy among the players the Pacers could take with the potential 8th pick. Well, the Pacers have the 7th pick, and I still feel more or less the same about Whitmore, who, standing at 6’7″ and weighing a burly 235 lb, would be another great candidate to slide next to Myles Turner at the 4 spot, just like Hendricks. The thing that separates Whitmore from a lot of prospects at this range to me, is his incredible explosiveness. After all, The Ringer didn’t give him the comparison of “A semi truck with a Ferrari’s accelerator” for no reason, as Whitmore’s off-the-dribble explosiveness and ability to finish with either hand have been heralded as some of the best in the draft. Not only is he fantastic while operating downhill with a head of steam, but he also has a very nice 1st step which gives him an advantage when matched up with bigger frontcourt players in college, and his burly 235-pound frame gives him the ability to shield defenders and get to the rim easily against smaller wings, which leads to plenty of above the rim finishes and a whopping 58% FG inside the arc. As well as being an amazing slasher, Whitmore is also a very active cutter who is always looking for opportunities to sneak past defenders, and can even be a lob threat in certain offenses (he’s going to be catching lobs from Tyrese Haliburton in this case, come on now). In addition to his athletic ability, Whitmore has also shown potential as a shooter with his feet set, shooting 34% from 3 in his lone season of college on 4.2 attempts per game, and has also shown potential as a defender and rebounder, given his insane 2-footed leaping ability, whether on his first or second jump. However, what intrigues me the most about Whitmore is his age. He was born in July 2004 which would make him still 18 years old on draft day and actually younger than me. If you have this much raw athleticism and surprising finesse in an 18-year-old’s body, you’re probably going to get good results more often than not, and that’s what excites me the most about Cam Whitmore.
However, like any prospect this year outside the top 2, Cam Whitmore is not without his flaws. For one, he’s not the best passer, as the Athletic has noted that his assist rate will be along the lowest in lottery history for a wing player, as he averaged less than 1 assist per game in his freshman season and often was too deliberate with the ball, which led to him being a ball-stopper quite frequently which stagnated his team’s offense more than it should’ve. In addition to the playmaking holes, Whitmore is also a bit rough around the edges as a slasher, despite the immense upside he has shown in that area. Occasionally, he has found himself slashing into the lane with no plan or purpose, which has led to either a bad shot or even a turnover. Whitmore also relies pretty heavily on his physical and athletic gifts to contribute, and it is a question mark as to how he can fit in the game when his strengths are perhaps neutralized by the bigger, more athletic players in the NBA as compared to college ball. With this being said, this is why I bring up Whitmore’s age yet again. With him still being 18 years old by the time draft day rolls around and only about 19 years and 3 months old once the season starts, he has plenty of time to polish his skills as a playmaker and defender before it’s too late, and with the Pacers not expected to set the world on fire in 2024, Cam will be able to develop comfortably alongside Myles Turner, who he can see as somewhat of a mentor on the defensive end.