A look at how the Indiana Pacers succeeded in the 2023 Draft

Jarace Walker and Ben Sheppard both showed great potential this season for the Pacers and will look to grow more as players in the future.
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The 2023 draftees by the Pacers were both brought into the lineup slowly. As seen in the late stages of the regular season, Sheppard would be getting quality rotation minutes and ended up starting a game in the regular season and Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sheppard was a four-year player at Belmont and was drafted 26th overall. He was perhaps one of the big name steals as a rookie, who missed out on all-rookie team because of him being out of the rotation early in the year and his stats do not jump out of the page. He is a solid defender who at moments looked to be a top-three defender on the team, and also a very good three-point shooter. He will continue to increase his averages of 4.4 points and 1.6 rebounds a game.

Walker did not get as many minutes but the Pacers know they have a potential star. He would play in 33 games with 3.6 points per game being his average but his main thing is how good of a ball handler he is and how he can facilitate the game as a ball-dominant big man. He and Sheppard are 20 and 22 respectively and are going to look to improve in every way possible.

The Pacers also took Isaiah Wong out of Miami 55th overall but he only saw one game of playing time all season. He is on a two-way deal with the Mad Ants but is someone who could find a role with another team. The Pacers, of course, are not against trying him out for an advanced role next season but as a late second-round pick, he will need to work harder than imaginable.

Undrafted free agent Oscar Tshiebwe out of Kentucky was an absolute baller for the Mad Ants where he won G-League rookie of the year, led the G-League in rebounds, and was an All-NBA G-League First team member. The former NCAA National Player of the Year played eight games with the Pacers and averaged 3.3 points and two rebounds a game. He is a player to look out for, and like Wong, Tshiebwe could be a useful role player in the future.


The 2023 Draft already looks promising after one season for the Pacers, and it can only get better as these players mature and gain more NBA experience.