The Indiana Pacers added four players during Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
The Pacers entered the week with five selections (No. 7, No. 26, No. 29, No. 32 and No. 55) but made moves by trading picks with the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers before the draft. They ended up with four picks.
Here’s a look at the newest Pacers.
No. 8: Jarace Walker (Houston)
The team wasn’t done dealing on draft night, swapping their No. 7 pick with the Washington Wizards’ No. 8 pick. While the team technically selected Bilal Couibaly at No. 7, they surrendered his draft rights to Washington for Houston’s Jarace Walker and a pair of second-round 2028 draft picks.
“His defense is very good, his rebounding is good,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said of Walker. “Those are areas where we need to improve [as a team]. He played in a great system at the University of Houston for Kelvin Sampson, who’s done an amazing job there. His teams are always known for hard, unselfish play.”
Walker averaged 11.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists during his sole season in Houston. Measured at 6’6.50” (without shoes) and 248 pounds with a 7’2.50” wingspan at the combine, Walker is expected to play power forward. He could also find himself at center when the Pacers use a smaller lineup.
Walker’s most tantalizing potential comes on the defensive end. He’s an athletic shot blocker with the ability to guard on and off the ball, adding some defensive punch to a Pacers team sorely in need of a boost on that end of the floor.
The Pacers, after all, finished 26th in defensive rating last season.
His versatility and athleticism—he boasts a 38-inch vertical leap—make him a welcome addition to the lineup. He can switch and guard on the perimeter.
From an offensive standpoint, he offers a good midrange touch and an eye for passing. He’s expected to make an ideal pick-and-roll partner for Tyrese Haliburton.
“We think Walker is a really unique prospect because of his ability to handle, see the floor, pass, make plays. He’s one of these guys, one of those rare, young big guys, that really has great feel for the game,” Carlisle said.
No. 26: Ben Sheppard (Belmont)
In today’s NBA, you can’t have enough shooters. Wing Ben Sheppard brings a solid perimeter game to Indiana.
During his senior season at Belmont University, the Atlanta native averaged 18.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He shot 47.5 percent from the field, including 41.5 percent from 3-point range.
Sheppard worked out with the Pacers on June 8 and impressed the staff. Carlisle said Sheppard “showed out” during the workout and “played great” on both ends. His stock began rising after the NBA Scouting Combine. He measured at 6’5.25″ (without shoes) and 194 pounds with a 6’7.75″ wingspan.
Sheppard’s all-around game—his ability dribble, pass, shoot and defend—made him an intriguing prospect for the team.
“It appears to me that he could play some point guard in a pinch, but his natural position is two and three,” Carlisle said. “But that kind of versatility is very important in today’s game.”
Carlisle described both first-round picks as “energetic basketball junkies” with “high basketball intelligence.”
No. 47: Mojave King (NBA G League Ignite)
The 21-year-old New Zealand product has already played his fair share of professional basketball. As a teen, he played competitive basketball for the Brisbane Capitals of NBL1 North, a semi-professional league based in Australia. At the age of 17, he turned down Division I offers from the NCAA, signing instead with the developmental National Basketball League (NBL) as part of the Next Stars program.
He played in that league from March 2020 through September 2022, when he signed with the NBA G League Ignite. He made the G League’s inaugural Next Up Game during the 2022-2023 season.
His averages in the G League won’t turn any heads—8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists while playing 25.1 minutes per game. His athleticism (including a 42” vertical leap) gives him the versatility to play guard or wing. He measured at 6’3.75″ (without shoes) and 200 pounds with a 6’8″ wingspan at the combine.
He’s widely considered to be a developmental prospect, according to the recruiting profile on NBA.com. Analysts peg him as a potential two-way role player who needs to work on his perimeter game. He worked out for the Pacers on June 10.
The Pacers acquired the pick they used to draft King in a trade with the Lakers. L.A. received the Pacers’ 40th pick (acquired in an earlier trade with Denver) in exchange for cash considerations and the 47th pick, according to ESPN.
No. 55: Isaiah Wong (Miami)
The Pacers used their final pick on Isaiah Wong, who led Miami in scoring while winning a record 29 games and leading the Hurricanes to their first Final Four.
During his final year at Miami, Wong averaged 16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He shot 44.5 percent from the field, including 38.4 percent from 3-point range.
The New Jersey native was the ACC Player of the Year.
Wong worked out with the Pacers on May 31, participating in one of the team’s early workout sessions. He measured 6’2.50″ (without shoes) and 178 pounds with a 6’6.75″ wingspan at the combine.