Pacers' 2 biggest needs entering 2022 NBA Draft -

Pacers’ 2 biggest needs entering 2022 NBA Draft

The Indiana Pacers have a rather strange off-season ahead of them in 2022. On paper, the team definitely has some intriguing pieces that can make a serious push for the playoffs. However… this team also doesn’t have a high ceiling barring major improvements from their players.

For short, the Pacers are in the dreaded NBA purgatory: not good enough to seriously contend for a title, but also not bad enough to fight for a high lottery pick.

The good news is that the Pacers have started to try and pry themselves out of this jam they found themselves in. Flipping All-Star center Domantas Sabonis for Kings standout Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield was a good start. With the 2022 NBA Draft coming soon, let’s look at what the biggest needs are for the Pacers heading into that fateful night.

Pacers’ 2 biggest needs entering 2022 NBA Draft

A franchise player

The NBA revolves around its stars. That’s just the reality of the situation of the league nowadays. Rarely do you see teams that win consistently without a true superstar leading the way. If you want to make it big in the NBA, you need to have that player who can carry you to great heights.

The Pacers, unfortunately, don’t have that franchise player on their roster quite yet. There was hope that Myles Turner could be that guy for the team. Over the years, though, it’s become increasingly clear that Turner’s ceiling is a solid second option on a winning team. He’ll get you points and help your defense, but he shouldn’t be the guy that runs the entire offense.

Interestingly, the Pacers have a pretty good roster on their hands. We already talked about Turner’s impact for the team. On the other hand, Hield and Haliburton are decent scorers who will feast with true 1A taking all the defensive attention. Malcolm Brodgon is no joke, either, while Chris Duarte has been excellent for them in spurts.

The Pacers don’t necessarily need to trade for an established star with their draft assets. For one, no one of that caliber might be available with the assets they have. Instead, they need to find a player in the draft that has the potential to be THE guy for them. With the sixth overall pick at their disposal, there’s plenty of great options for them.

Defensive pieces

The last great Pacers team back in the 2010s made their mark on the defensive end of the ball. With players such as Paul George, Roy Hibbert, David West, and Lance Stephenson, that team made life absolute hell for their opponents. Led by a defensive-minded coach in Frank Vogel, the Pacers dominated most of the Eastern Conference at the time.

The Pacers of now are far from that defensive powerhouse we saw before. They do have one of the most underrated shot-blockers in Myles Turner. However, aside from Turner, Brogdon and Haliburton (who is okay at times), the team doesn’t inspire much confidence on that end of the court.

A winning team starts with a winning defense. The Pacers need to do everything they can to bolster their defensive potential. Whether it’s adding a defensive-minded wing in the latter stages of the draft or acquiring a cheap option in free agency, they need to pull the trigger on that move.

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