2017 NBA draft grades: Pacers select the best player available in T.J. Leaf
Things are getting interesting in Indiana. After four-time All-Star Paul George informed the Pacers he'll leave in free agency next summer, the team to aggressively put him on the trade market as a rental. Plenty remains up in the air for a team that hovered around .500 in the 2016-2017 season (they ended the year with a 42-40 record) and appears poised for a bit of a rebuild.
Last year, the Pacers selected Georges Niang with the No. 50 overall pick. In 2015, they took Myles Turner at No. 11. Turner is now the central piece to build around, and the team could use help pretty much anywhere on the roster.
Here's the full list of picks the Pacers hold in the 2017 draft, which will be updated with grades and analysis as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 18 (No. 18 overall): T.J. Leaf
The Pacers were picking in a tough spot here, with several of the higher-upside prospects going immediately ahead of them. Given Paul George’s murky future, Indiana had to draft the best player available, and Leaf is a pretty safe selection with a clear fit in the NBA. He’s athletic and highly skilled on offense and should give the Pacers scoring and allow them to spread the floor. They’ll hope his defensive shortcomings are mitigated by Myles Turner’s rim protection. He looks like a bankable asset, and that’s the smart choice for Indiana. — Jeremy Woo
Round 2, Pick 17 (No. 47 overall): Ike Anigbogu
Round 2, Pick 22 (No. 52 overall via Pelicans): Edmond Sumner, PG, Xavier