The Pacers have a lot of work to do to turn their team into a contender. They’re still siphoning off pieces of the former Eastern Conference contenders (while Ron Artest is winning championships for he Lakers) and trying to formulate a new core.
Apparently, one of their moves they may be planning is a little out of the box.
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Pacers are considering taking Daniel Orton, the high-upside, low-college-production center from the Kentucky Wildcats with the 10th pick.
I’m going to stop this carnival ride for a moment and let you get all the jokes about Orton not being white, not being a college superstar, and not being tremendously undersized out of the way.
Are we good?
Orton is actually a pretty great pick at that spot, even with Roy Hibbert on roster. Orton is 6-10 and has crazy amounts of athleticism, something the Pacers need. Putting him in a set with Hibbert would essentially create a super-rebounding machine for the Pacers, and give Danny Granger someone else to run the pick and roll with. You could argue that the Pacers have a bigger need at point guard, but with the slim picking at point in this year’s draft, Orton is a high-upside pick that could work out remarkably well if his game evolves quickly with pro coaching.
Plus, he won’t come in with the expectations of a Tyler Hansbrough, and could allow the Pacers to trade some of their other veteran bigs for younger talent.