ESPN predicts that one new Pacers player could win NBA Award

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers fail to get as much national attention as many other franchises in the NBA. However, with the rise of Tyrese Haliburton, who seems to be everywhere these days (including Team USA), visibility of the Pacers on the national scene seems on the rise.

This summer they made a handful of moves that brought praise from around the league, showing that the Pacers might just be must-watch television this year in the NBA (even though they only have one national game). But one of the moves that brought the highest praise was the addition of Obi Toppin, for essentially nothing.

Now Obi is a perfect fit for the Indiana Pacers, and it appears that the media agrees. ESPN recently came out with their predictions for various NBA awards and Obi Toppin showed up rather high on the list of potential 6th man of the year candidates. However, this will highly depend on who the Pacers decide to start at power forward for the bulk of the season, with Jarace Walker being the other candidate coming into camp.

Our prediction is that Obi will actually start over Walker this season, and thus will be out of the running for the sixth man award.

The prediction probably means that ESPN believes Walker will start, but given Rick Carlisle’s history with starting rookies, it’s probably much more likely that Walker will be with the bench unit, putting Obi in the starting lineup (assuming no other shakeups this offseason for the Pacers).

However, this is still great news that the Pacers are getting recognized and is further proof that the franchise as a whole is on the up-and-up. Hopefully ESPN will start putting Myles Turner on their potential DPOY lists here soon like he rightfully deserves.