The Rules of Pacers Digest

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Rule #1

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The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

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Tbird Analysis, 2022 NBA draft profiles #12: My official Pacers-Centric 2022 NBA Big Board

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  • Tbird Analysis, 2022 NBA draft profiles #12: My official Pacers-Centric 2022 NBA Big Board

    Hello all! We have reached the end of the pre-draft articles I’ll write for Pacers digest this year. There may possibly be some post draft analysis and other stuff that I find time to write about this summer, we shall see. I know I have certainly enjoyed coming back to PD as a writer/poster for these past few weeks, and I have liked the intelligent discussions that some of those articles have facilitated.

    When I have been doing these draft breakdowns for PD through the years, I usually try and post my actual, personal, Pacers-Centric, big board. I urge you to understand that unlike other big boards you read all over the web, this one is focused just like the teams themselves do it I believe, in terms of trying to make their rankings specific to their own franchise, not a generic big board for the entire league. I only care about the Pacers, so this big board reflects how I would rank the players, based on what I would do if I were in charge of the Pacers. If I were running another team, my order would no doubt vary slightly.

    In addition, I have broken it up into tiers this year, just to further specify how I see some of the guys I didn’t do a full write up on. I feel strongly on my opinions of the 8 players I profiled and studied, my other thoughts on guys who didn’t get the full scrutiny and treatment, I’d be less confident about, so factor that in when you read all of this.

    These are my levels, and how I would describe them:







    With that in mind, here are my official rankings for the 2022 NBA Draft for our Pacers:


    Tier 1: None

    Tier 2:
    1. Paulo Banchero (first overall)
    2. Jabari Smith
    3. Jaden Ivey

    Notes: Smith and Banchero are very very very close to me. I ultimately went with Banchero for us, as we need an alpha big time bucket getter, someone who can get his own and create for others. Smith is better defensively and an easier fit for most teams in my view, but for us I’d go with Banchero. Ivey is 3rd because he is electrifying, amazing, and a perfect fit here I think with Haliburton to play off of.

    Tier 3:
    1. Chet Holmgren (4th overall)
    2. Jeremy Sochan
    3. Dyson Daniels
    4. Keegan Murray
    5. Johnny Davis
    6. *Shaedon Sharpe
    7. Benedict Mathurin
    8. Ousmane Dieng

    Notes: I rate Chet a bit behind the top 3, which makes me an outlier among just about everyone I guess, but that is how I see it. I don’t like his fit with our current personnel at all, and I have major questions on his frame and body type, particularly his legs. Still I rank him 4 and at the top of this group. Ivey and just about everyone else in this group has been written about by me already, so you can refer to my breakdowns of their talents in their individual postings. Obviously I like Sochan more than most people do in the scouting world, and I doubt Indiana actually has him as high as I do. I also like Daniels a little more than average probably, but really everybody in this group is going to be a good player I think and I’ll be happy with any of them. Ideally, I’d like to get Ivey and one of these guys in tier 3, or failing that, 2 of the players listed above.

    In regards to Shaedon Sharpe, I have no real idea where to put him due to lack of quality tape to watch. Based on what I have seen, based totally on upside and projection and having to make a guess, I’d put him just ahead of Mathurin. But it is really a stab in the dark, and I could be way off on him either way.

    Tier 4:
    1. Jalen Duren (12th overall)
    2. Mark Williams
    3. Jalen Williams
    4. A.J. Griffin
    5. Blake Wesley
    6. Tarik Eason
    7. Maliki Branham
    8. Oshai Ogbaji
    9. *Nikola Jovic

    Notes: My confidence in these guys falls as we go down the list in terms of how much studying I have done on them. I like Jalen Duren and Mark Williams, but I think in modern NBA basketball the center position has been de-valued UNLESS you are sure they can stay on the floor no matter the opponent. Duren I believe can eventually but I’m not positive. Williams is better now but don’t know if he won’t get played off the floor against certain opponents. Still, if we do move Turner, these 2 guys are good replacements. Jalen Williams from Santa Clara is one of the most fun guys to watch, with an effervescent personality. I wish he defended better, but maybe he will at this level with less responsibility and better coaching. He is definitely a freak length wise! I love watching him play. Griffin we’ve covered, I worry about him but he has one awesome elite NBA skill and we could definitely use that. Wesley I believe would be a top 10 pick next year if he had waited. Eason is hilarious to watch, with great energy, very specific skills and some definite alarming weaknesses. Branham and Ogjabi are role guys but can shoot and know who they are, with Branham being younger. Jovic is more or less a guess, but what little bit of study I have done on him puts him here.

    Tier 5:
    1. E.J. Liddell (21st overall)
    2. Ryan Rollins
    3. MarJon Beauchamp
    4. Max Christie
    5. Dalen Terry
    6. Jake LaRavia
    7. Ron Harper Jr
    8. Jaden Hardy
    9. Kendall Brown

    Notes: Again, my confidence gets lower the deeper I go down in this draft in terms of me being sure of myself. But, Liddell is a guy at a premium position who others have ranked higher probably. Rollins I love, as I laid out in my article on pick #31 targets. Beauchamp has some elite traits and I just kind of irrationally like him. Christie has the look of a good NBA player and some shooting upside off movement, plus I just like him. Terry looks like he can be a solid guy in the league if things break right. LaRavia has Indiana ties and a real chance to help a team in the right situation. He likely will go in the 20’s. Harper I really like, somewhat irrationally but I like his swagger and cajones. Hardy looks like an instant offense guy off the bench, Brown is a project but at this point this is about the right place to have him I think.

    Tier 6:
    1. Justin Lewis (30th overall)
    2. Peyton Watson
    3. Ismael Kamagate
    4. Christian Braun
    5. Caleb Houston
    6. Jaylin Williams

    Notes: For tier 6, you are just looking for guys who can make the team. Lewis has scoring upside and an NBA body, even if I don’t love his game. Watson completely sucked on tape honestly, but he just looks like he should be better. Send him the G League, give him 2 years, and maybe you get lucky because he does have an NBA body and movement skills. Kamagate is super duper raw, but he is so light on his feet and twitchy that, in this part of the draft, the ability to maybe get a cheap back up center with at least some potential to be better than that is hard to pass up, and if he hits the payoff could be big. Braun is limited but can shoot a bit, and he plays hard in a premium position. Could he be Grayson Allen? You never know. Houston looks and is unathletic, but he knows how to play and likely will stick in the league a while. Williams probably can’t play, but he would be good for your culture.

    The following players will be drafted, in some cases fairly high, but I would not consider them for Indiana:

    Kenny Chandler, Patrick Baldwin, TyTy Washington, Walker Kessler, John Butler, Trevor Keels, Wendell Moore, David Roddy.

    I probably am missing some guys, as I focused more this year on players in what I considered to be the top 40, and especially on top 10 guys.

    But for this year, 43 draftable players, with 35 of them I feel strongly enough to take for various reasons, in the order I selected them, all in tiers. Their tiers are important, and if you wanted to argue about the order of guys within a specific tier, I wouldn’t fight you too much. But in general I think I got the tiers themselves mostly right.

    Obviously there are 58 picks tomorrow night, and Indiana currently has pick #58, so almost surely Indiana may end up with someone not on this list. But hopefully this can at least give you all a different perspective tomorrow night as names go off the board, through my eyes.

    So, now that you have seen my big board, post your own, or critique my rankings however you wish. As I write these last few sentences the night before the draft, Indiana has likely already made a decision, or group of decisions, that will have major repercussions for our franchise going forward.

    As always, the above opinions are mine and mine alone.


  • #2
    KP channeling his former Portland days to find a way to wheel and deal tomorrow evening to select Ivey and one of the tier 3 guys (take your pick) AND potentially one of the tier 4/5 guys with another late 1st without giving up any notable future assets could potentially be a God-tier draft, especially for this franchise.

    Also, tbird, a very sincere THANK YOU for taking the time to write all of these posts over the past few weeks. It has been so much fun to have you back on PD doing what you do best.
    Last edited by 712Jefferson; 06-23-2022, 12:06 AM.


    • #3
      I'm gonna update mine and post it here before the draft for posterity. Mine isn't Pacers centric though.


      • #4
        1. Chet
        2. Chet
        3. Chet

        best fit for us and will be the best player from the draft. His love for the game and toughness by far best long term prospect also great fit for us to help our defense and shooting long term.


        • #5
          There is nothing irrational about liking Beauchamp. I'd contend he's a favorite of many who have scouted this draft. A lot to be said about players who continually make their mark in a game without needing the ball in their hands. And then seeing his progression with the ball, his elite spacing/cutting, and being potentially the best finisher around the rim in the draft, there's a ton to like. If his shot (great form), handle, and playmaking develop, you are looking at one of the better players in this class.


          • #6
            Originally posted by pacer4ever View Post
            1. Chet
            2. Chet
            3. Chet

            best fit for us and will be the best player from the draft. His love for the game and toughness by far best long term prospect also great fit for us to help our defense and shooting long term.
            well, the two "industry guys" on the board have strongly opposed views on Chet...this will be a fun one to check back on in 3 years


            • #7
              Originally posted by pacer4ever View Post
              1. Chet
              2. Chet
              3. Chet

              best fit for us and will be the best player from the draft. His love for the game and toughness by far best long term prospect also great fit for us to help our defense and shooting long term.
              Pacers fan since April 9th 2004 - New Jersey 80 Indiana 90.
              Been to 42 Pacers games since November 2017.


              • #8
                Success for me is a trade back and end up with all three of Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham and Caleb Houstan.
                Pacers fan since April 9th 2004 - New Jersey 80 Indiana 90.
                Been to 42 Pacers games since November 2017.


                • #9
                  Thank you, T-Bird! Always great reads. Would love to see us get at least two, maybe three names out of the draft amongst your tiers 2, 3, 4. Hopefully with Turner and Brogdon heading out to facilitate it. McConell or vet to be named later can mentor the young-ins.
                  I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.

                  -Emiliano Zapata


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pacer4ever View Post
                    1. Chet
                    2. Chet
                    3. Chet

                    best fit for us and will be the best player from the draft. His love for the game and toughness by far best long term prospect also great fit for us to help our defense and shooting long term.

                    With you 100%. I wish the lottery had gone differently and we had a shot at him.

                    I’m failing to see how Banchero is different from Jabari Parker, a tweener who can easily score but doesn’t/can’t defend anyone. He’s the far greater risk to bust, IMO. I like Jabari Smith’s fire, and I think he’ll make a good piece, but there are 3-4 guys from last year’s draft that I’d rather have.

                    I’ve got Chet and Ivey as the top 2 prospects. Sochan and Daniels are also high for me.

                    Shaedon Sharpe: I watched just about every game available on him. Even if the personal concerns weren’t there I’d be quite worried about him. He struggled to beat high school players off the dribble. He also disappeared on both sides constantly. Finally, his vertical is nowhere near the reported 50”. At his height, 50” (or 4’ 2”) would put his whole head above the rim. The highest I saw him get was the top of his head level to the rim. 42” or 43” is pretty great, but the hype isn’t quite what it’s built out to be. Maybe he turns into Beal or Kay, but the dude is a red flag disguised as a basketball player. It will take some serious improvements for him to be a positive contributor.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dal9 View Post

                      well, the two "industry guys" on the board have strongly opposed views on Chet...this will be a fun one to check back on in 3 years
                      It's as if people can disagree without having to disparage each other's knowledge.

                      Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk


                      A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                      Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dal9 View Post

                        well, the two "industry guys" on the board have strongly opposed views on Chet...this will be a fun one to check back on in 3 years
                        You can always look at the post history and see how accurate the projections have been.
                        Last edited by imawhat; 06-23-2022, 08:34 AM.


                        • #13
                          ^^ It shows that this whole draft thing is a guessing game at best. No matter what they put these kids thru, they can't measure or determine heart/desire. Or how someone will actually translate from the college game to the NBA game.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PacerDude View Post
                            ^^ It shows that this whole draft thing is a guessing game at best. No matter what they put these kids thru, they can't measure or determine heart/desire. Or how someone will actually translate from the college game to the NBA game.
                            It is equal parts guessing/skill, IMO. Sam Presti, for example, is pretty damn good at it. Michael Jordan/Vivek, who are strongly influencing their team’s picks, are not.

                            We have someone on this board who has consistently projected players, even late first rounders that end up being much better, pretty accurately.


                            • #15
                              You have Blake Wesley several spots higher than most and I do too. Would love to pick him up in a way similar to how we got IJax last year. Think he'll be a good scorer in a 6th man role or pinch starter his whole career.