The Indiana Pacers have found themselves outside of the playoffs for the past two consecutive seasons. In fact, they’re coming off their worst-ever finish as they sat in 13th place in the Eastern Conference at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season with a record of 25-57. They find themselves in a tough situation, where they weren’t even close to contending for the postseason by the time the season was done, but they weren’t quite bad enough to grab a high lottery pick.
The Pacers should be looking for a franchise player, especially after sending Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento last season in exchange for Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield. Those two guys are decent scorers and certainly don’t hurt the Pacers, but it was just one move of several that will need to be made. They also had the third-worst defensive rating in the league last season, so they’ll be looking to make some defensive improvements. Here’s a look at who they drafted and what kind of impact they might have next season in terms of fantasy.
Pacers 2022 NBA Draft selections
No. 6: Bennedict Mathurin, G, Arizona
No. 31 (from Rockets via Cavaliers): Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
No. 48 (via MIN): Kendall Brown, SF, Baylor
Bennedict Mathurin has some solid shooting with the ability to knock down shots consistently. He can hit pull-up jumpers with the best of them and isn’t afraid to go up against any given defender. He’ll bring plenty of upside to the Pacers as they look to shore up their offense and create more space for themselves.
The Pacers got themselves a playmaker with point guard Andrew Nembhard, who ran much of the offense for Gonzaga. He averaged 11.8 points and 5.8 assists per game during his senior year with the Bulldogs, and should bring some solid play in the backcourt as he looks to get into the rotation.
Fantasy basketball outlook
Mathurin is dynamic both on and off the ball, on both sides of the court. He should bring some immediate impact to the Pacers and could be in a position to get plenty of minutes. Playing alongside guys like Tyrese Haliburton and Malcolm Brogdon should see him excel as he’s paired with other offensive-minded players as well.