The Indiana Pacers finished the 2022 NBA draft, obtaining three new players with three overall picks. With the 6th pick, the Pacers selected Bennedict Mathurin, the 6’6″ forward from Arizona University. Next, they chose Andrew Nembhard, the 6’4″ guard from Gonzaga, with their 31st pick. Lastly, their final draft pick involved selecting the 6’7″ forward from Baylor University, Kendall Brown. Each of the picks in this year’s draft will look to help increase the talent of this young Indiana Pacers team. Here’s a more in-depth look at the Indiana Pacers’ draft picks selection.
Draft pick #6: Bennedict Mathurin F, Arizona University
Standing reach: 8’8″
Draft pick grade: A-
With the 6th pick in the NBA 2022 draft, the Indiana Pacers selected the Canadian forward Bennedict Mathurin, who resides at Arizona University. This instance was the Indiana Pacers’ first time having a lottery draft pick in the single digits since 1989. The selection of Mathurin was unexpected, as the Pacers were projected to acquire other players. The NBA draft results showed that the Pacers couldn’t obtain their target players because other teams selected them first. Even though Mathurin wasn’t the ideal pick for the Pacers, the selection still earns an A. Here is why this pick deserved this grade.
Bennedict Mathurin’s skill
The standout Wildcat forward, Bennedict Mathurin, seeks to join the Pacers and impact the team immediately. If this does happen, it wouldn’t be surprising because of his success in college. During Mathurin’s time at Arizona University, he averaged 14.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 2 APG. Mathurin also earned many achievements during his time at the university.
Some accomplishments include the 2022 Pac-12 player of the year, the 2022 Pac-12 tournament MVP, etc. Mathurin won these accomplishments because of his ability to be an effective playmaker and scorer. In addition to possessing those skills, Mathurin has excellent athleticism and a nice athletic build that should easily translate into the NBA. Overall, it won’t be surprising if Mathurin has a great rookie season for the Pacers and help make this team become a contender again in the eastern conference.
Draft pick #31: Andrew Nembhard G, Gonzaga University
Standing reach: 8’3″
Draft pick grade: B
With the 31st pick in the NBA 2022 draft, the Indiana Pacers selected the Canadian guard from Gonzaga University, Andrew Nembhard. This selection makes Nembhard the third Canadian player on the Pacers’ roster. This selection also makes Nembhard the second Canadian-born player selected by Indiana. Of course, the Pacers didn’t choose Nembhard because of his nationality, but they picked him because he has serious potential as a great combo guard. This selection by the Pacers earned a B, and here’s why.
Andrew Nembhard’s skill
The 6’4″ combo guard from Gonzaga University is one of the older players in the draft, as he’s played four years in college. Initially, Nembhard started his college career at The University of Florida, but he transferred after his sophomore year to Gonzaga. Once Nembhard had transferred to Gonzaga, his game elevated tremendously, as he started to average more points and facilitate the ball better.
During his time at Gonzaga University, Nembhard averaged 10.5 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 1.35 SPG. Another thing Nembhard accomplished after transferring was leading his conference in total assists with 184. Nembhard also qualified in the top 15 in the nation for total assists. These accomplishments and stats go to show the passing abilities of Nembhard and the defensive capabilities that he possesses. If Nembhard’s skills transfer to the NBA, he’ll be a great addition to the Pacers bench, as he’ll be the primary ball-handler for the 2nd unit.
Draft pick #48: Kendall Brown F, Baylor University
Standing reach: 8’7″
Draft pick grade: B
With the 48th pick in the NBA 2022 draft, the Indiana Pacers selected the 6’7″ forward Kendall Brown, who played a season at Baylor University. Initially, the 48th pick in the NBA draft belonged to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Pacers traded their 2026 second-round pick to acquire the 48th pick.
Many thought the Indiana Pacers decided to trade up for this pick to move up in the draft to acquire Brown specifically. The Pacers were under the impression that Brown would be chosen before the Pacers’ next pick. Initially, their next pick wasn’t until the end of the second round at pick #58, but the Pacers ended up trading that pick to the Milwaukee Bucks. Overall, I would grade the Pacers’ draft selection a B, and here’s why.
Kendall Brown’s skill
For starters, Brown had a decent freshman season at Baylor University, averaging 9.7 PPG while shooting 58% from the field. Brown’s stellar freshman season earned him a bid to the Big-12 all-freshman team. Beyond Brown’s efficient offensive ability, his defense is even more impressive, as he can defend across multiple positions.
Now, it’s not expected of Brown to immediately impact the Pacers once the new season starts, but his potential drew Indiana to draft him. Overall, seeing if Brown meshes well with the Pacers organization will be exciting.
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