#11 Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner
With the #11 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers selected Texas big man Myles Turner.
While it didn’t happen in the order that everybody expected, the best 10 prospects in the draft were selected with the top 10 picks, leaving the Indiana Pacers to grab who they considered to be the top guy in the next tier of players: Texas big man Myles Turner.
Without even looking at the numbers, it’s a pick that makes a ton of sense of the Pacers, who look as though they’ll lose David West, who recently turned down his player option in favor of unrestricted free agency, as well as Roy Hibbert, who may still pick up his own $15.5 million player option but who almost certainly will not be a Pacer beyond 2015-16. In fact, there were significant rumors on draft night that Larry Bird already was actively shopping Hibbert to other teams.
In other words, Indiana is going to need some help in the frontcourt, and while a lot of mock drafts had Bird and Kevin Pritchard selecting point guard Cameron Payne with this pick, the recent roster developments make center a more pressing need.
Indiana is getting a versatile if raw prospect in Turner. He’s huge at 6’11 with a 7’4 wingspan, and at that size it’s somewhat surprising just how good a shooter he is. He can stretch the floor quite a bit and even knock down an occasional three-pointer. With his back to the basket, he’s proven to be plenty capable, offering an array of post moves that prove he’s considerably less lumbering than Hibbert and his ilk.
Turner also led the Big 12 in blocks last year with 2.6 per game, and he’s a hungry defensive player expected to bring that intensity to Indiana, who has built their identity on defense for the last half decade.
While he didn’t have a great freshman season at Texas, he’s only a year removed from being the second-best, five-star high school recruit in the country behind only Jahlil Okafor, so there’s a ton of potential here. Myles has an incredibly high ceiling, and with the 11th pick in the draft, it’s hard to imagine a guy left on the board with so bright a future.
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