NBA Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /
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NBA Draft
Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

6. Indiana Pacers – Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona

Bennedict Mathurin was linked to the Indiana Pacers often during the pre-draft process, as they needed wings and forwards and his offensive pop would be a great fit next to Tyrese Haliburton. It was no surprise when he went sixth overall to the Pacers, the first Arizona Wildcats player to go in the lottery since Deandre Ayton went first overall in 2018.

Mathurin got out to a scorching start to the season, and while he cooled off he still ended the year having averaged 16.7 points per game, finishing as a First-Team All-Rookie. He can get his shot off in most situations, but the problem is that it doesn’t go in as much as you might like. Add in some really shaky defense and it was a mixed bag for the season.

Looking back, the Pacers would obviously be much better off with Jalen Williams instead of Mathurin, although no one was mocking Williams that high pre-draft. I would slot him 10th now, so Shaedon Sharpe and Jeremy Sochan also would have been better selections for the Pacers to add to their 2-4 positions.

Grade: B-