First round talent fills latest Pacers pre-draft workout


The Indiana Pacers host a group of prospects before the NBA Draft (Courtesy: Indiana Pacers — July 21, 2021)

INDIANAPOLIS – As the NBA Draft approaches, prospects are counting down the days.

“It’s like, so many different feelings,” says Ziaire Williams, a guard out of Stanford, ranked by ESPN as the 24th-best player in the draft. “I’m excited though, so excited for what the future has ahead of me.”

But in the immediate future come their last pre-draft workouts. Today’s group with the Pacers included a handful of players widely projected to be first round picks.

“It was great competition out there,” continues Williams, “one of the best groups I’ve been a part of. We’re out there competing and working hard.”

“It was a great workout,” adds Chris Duarte, a guard out of Oregon, ranked by ESPN as the 23rd-best player in the draft. “A lotta talent out there. Really enjoyed it, and it was great to be out there with those guys.”

As teams like the Pacers zero in on their draft day targets, those prospects are trying to learn a few things themselves.

“Really just trying to pin down how they think I’d fit within the organization,” explains Corey Kispert, a forward out of Gonzaga, ranked as the 13th-best player in the draft. “Asking them to show me film, give examples of guys they have or sets they run that can make me a good fit, I’m really looking forward to making those next steps to become a better player and a more well-rounded and mature person.”

But who fits where? And with whom? And when will we know? Those questions aren’t just coming from fans and media.

“I’m curious like I’m sure you guys are,” Williams smiles. “It’s gonna be interesting. Shoot, I’d love to be with the Pacers. It’s a great organization over here.”

Eight days lie between the question and the answer, as the 2021 NBA Draft tips off Thursday night, July 29, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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