The Indiana Pacers want to get back to the playoffs in 2024 after three straight misses. They have not won a postseason series since reaching the conference finals in 2014, but they are hoping to build an annual contender around Tyrese Haliburton. The 23-year-old made his first All-Star appearance in 2023, but the Pacers need more talent around him to get back into the mix.
Indiana has work to do this offseason, and that starts with three first-round picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. The Pacers select seventh overall, and they have to nail that pick to keep building their roster. They have brought in a ton of players for workouts, but who will they target?
Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, and Brandon Miller will be the top three picks in some order on June 22. The Pacers won’t have a shot at any of those players unless they trade up, but who could help them turn things around at seven? Here is a look at their options.
4 Best 2023 NBA Draft prospects for Indiana Pacers to finally turn things around
4. Ausar Thompson
Both Thompson twins are getting buzz of being selected in the top five as they are elite athletes with immense potential. The 6’6 wings dominated the Overtime Elite circuit this year with Ausar being billed as more of a secondary creator and defensive-minded wing. He has a seven-foot wingspan and the versatility and athletic ability to guard nearly every player on the floor.
The Pacers finished 26th in defensive rating last season, so grabbing a lockdown defender is not out of the question, but Thompson’s biggest question mark would be a massive issue in Indiana. The Pacers took the seventh-most 3-pointers last season, and head coach Rick Carlisle’s teams are always near the top of the league in that category. Thompson’s jumper is a massive question mark as his 3-point and free-throw percentages are both below average.
Ausar Thompson is not the ideal fit in Indiana unless Carlisle and his staff are convinced they can fix his jumper. The 20-year-old has altered his mechanics, but the results have not improved enough to make him a fit with the Indiana Pacers.