How the Indiana Pacers should utilize Jarace Walker next season

Rookie and lottery pick, Jarace Walker was completely out of the rotation for most of the season but his development could help him fill a backup role next season.
Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers
Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The eighth pick for the Indiana Pacers in the 2023 Draft, Jarace Walker, only saw the court for 33 games averaging 3.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in around 10 minutes per game. A lot of his minutes came in blowouts and during the early stretch of Tyrese Haliburton's hamstring injury. He is a developmental piece who will surely get his fair share of playing time next season.

A 6'7" power forward who can play small forward and even run the point, he is a versatile player who brings a lot to the team. A skilled playmaker and passer for his size, as well as an underrated defender, Walker is sure to take a leap into next season.

He can step in as a backup power forward if Obi Toppin heads off in free agency, and he will also jump over Jalen Smith in the rotation if Smith stays in Indy. Walker has unreal potential and year two should be his first legit opportunity to show what kind of player he truly is.

As we head into free agency once the finals are concluded, there are still many questions to be answered and one of them will indeed be what the Pacers will do with Walker next year, and how will he contribute to this team that just reached the ECF.

Walker has all of the physical tools to be a really good player. The problem is that he was inconsistent with his shot and his confidence on offense suffered because of that. The Pacers are looking for him to be better as a second-year player. Additional playing time should help.


How Walker develops could end up giving the Pacers a big-time boost in the next few years. Defensively, he's exactly what they are looking for at the forward position.