Indiana Pacers: 3 goals for the 2019 offseason

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images /
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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /

3. Draft a scorer

The most glaring problem for the Pacers in the playoffs this past season was the inability to score down the stretch. They didn’t have much trouble during the regular season stringing together wins, but the team just as easily went on three- and four-game skids because of their inability to step on the gas on offense.

Even with a fully healthy Oladipo (there’s still no timetable for his return), the Pacers don’t quite seem to have a scorer they can rely on to create his own shot. Bogdanovic is a reliable set shooter, and Sabonis can score in bunches, but not without some help in the half-court.

Indiana’s focus in this year’s draft should be geared toward adding some buckets to the roster, and with this year’s class, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

A glaring option who averaged an unheard-of 34.8 points per game in this year’s NCAA Tournament is Carsen Edwards, who radiates a confidence the Pacers’ offense could utilize. He’s already worked out for the team and, hopefully, had an impressionable combine with them. Many mock draft boards have Edwards falling as far as 30th, but the Pacers could steal him with their 18th pick and nab a scoring guard who could develop alongside a healthy Oladipo.

Even if the Pacers elect for more length, as many mock drafts predict, there doesn’t seem like a wrong option. A pair of Kentucky freshmen guards in Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson could both be the shooting and scoring wings that Indiana needs to push the tempo more on offense. North Carolina’s Cam Johnson is another 6’9″ prospect who could change the dynamic of their offense.

If the Pacers elect for more length, it could mean a different look for some of their free agents this summer. They’ll have to decide whether forwards like Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young fit in their scheme for the future and, consequently, how much they’ll pay them if they decide to keep them.

Regardless of who Indiana selects, it’ll need that pick to produce almost immediately. A successful draft for the Pacers will be compounded by a summer of player development and preparation for an equally competitive Eastern Conference in 2020.