INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers traded away their first round pick in this draft last offseason to the Milwaukee Bucks for point guard Malcolm Brogden. Now, their only selection entering the night comes at 54th overall out of 60 selections.
“If we can find a player (in that spot),” explains Pacers VP of Player Personnel Ryan Carr, “that even if it’s two or three years down the road can be on our roster and contribute in a way, that would be a home run.”
So the team’s plan for this draft pick, assuming it isn’t traded, is most likely going to be development in the NBA G-League before contributing to coach Nate Bjorkgren’s squad.
“Players want to know how you’re gonna make them better,” says Bjorkgren. “They want you to put them in positions to be successful, and that’s what player development is. player development is having success.
“As soon as they know that and they trust you in that situation, the sky’s the limit.”
In Bjorkgren, young players have a coach whose philosophy is perhaps more open than others’ philosophies to rising quickly through the ranks and into the rotation.
“I don’t think there should ever be a set rotation, ‘this is how we’re gonna play. these are the certain guys’,” points out Bjorkgren. “I think every game is different. every game will dictate different circumstances.”
In a year full of different circumstances, the Blue and Gold are set to add one new player to the fold tonight.