I’m crying writing this, and you’re crying reading this. This doesn’t seem like reality, and I really want to wake up from this terrible nightmare. The Indiana Pacers have declined Lance Stephenson’s 4.3 million dollar contract. That is not a typo, they literally kicked the heart of Indy out of town, for most likely the final time, for 4.3 million. Lance was everything Indy ever hoped for. Declining Lance’s team option is equal to the Cavs trading LeBron for Pau Gasol. (no exaggeration) Just so everyone in Indy is aware including Kevin Pritchard, THE INDIANA PACERS WILL NOT WIN THE 2019 NBA FINALS. 0% chance we win the 2019 NBA Finals. One last time for the people in the back, THE INDIANA PACERS WILL NOT WIN THE 2019 NBA Finals. After the Pacers spread this money out between Tyreke Evans and Will Barton their chances of winning the Finals are still 0%. This is a prime example for a time where you lose with your guys instead of someone else. I would FOREVER rather lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs with Lance then with Will Barton. Lance is Indys guy. Indy loves Lance. Lance loves Indy. Do we not remember when this man blew in LeBron’s ear? What about when he threw the T-shirt off of the security guards head? My god, if you even believe that I am holding back the tears right now, then you’re just a psycho. Indianapolis = Lance Stephenson. What do I have to do Pritchard/Herb Simon, start a GoFund me? We are getting rid of players that Pacer fans love to watch when we know for 100% certainty that we are not going to win the NBA Finals. Losing in the Semi-Finals of the NBA playoffs don’t hold value. Anyone reading understands my point that this is just flat out stupid. The last thing to wrap this up, if the Pacers go through all of the free agency and they still have $4.4 million left then I promise to find where Pritchard lives and stand outside his house with signs, in regards to Lance’s player option being declined, until Pritchard acknowledges me or I am arrested. Anyone is welcome to join. #PuckFritchard
We recorded a podcast live during the draft. We covered up through 24 picks. (sorry for the low talking areas.) The draft ended up being very very surprising. Hear my initial reactions to the Luka trade and Michael Porter Jr slipping all the way to 14. Subscribe Rate and Leave a comment.
Will the Indiana Pacers win the 2018-19 championship? Not a fucking chance. Can they compete at the highest level? Absolutely. The Indiana Pacers have no chance of signing an already developed superstar. (in all honesty, I thought if we made a push for Paul George then we could maybe swing him but no one would get on my #BringBackPG13 train.) The Pacers can win 55 games, and we still know that it would take a miracle to beat Boston. What does Indiana have on their side? A TON of cap space. There are a lot of moves this offseason that the Pacers should take a chance at, let’s dig into them.
Free Agents for the Pacers :
Julius Randle PF – 16.1ppg 8.0rpg 2.6apg
I love this fit for the Pacers. I feel like Julius Randle fits what the Pacers are looking for in a PF. Julius not being able to shoot isn’t an issue to me even the slightest. If they do take the route of signing Julius Randle, then they have to make sure they either draft/sign more shooters for this roster. Bojan and Oladipo can’t be the only capable shooters off of a Randle drive. Most Pacers fans may disagree, but I don’t believe in the starting two center theory with Sabonis and Turner. If the Pacers have the chance to pull the trigger on Randle at a reasonable price, (which I know is going to be high), then I think they should do it. He’s the perfect replacement for Thad Young.
Jabari Parker PF/SF – 12.6ppg 4.9rpg 1.9apg
People aren’t talking about this one because it’s a little crazy, but hear me out. I still believe if Jabari can stay on the court, then he is a tremendous talent, that’s a big what if. Jabari didn’t fit into what the Bucks were doing anymore when he came back last season. Jabari would provide the Pacers with a better shooting PF if that’s the route they’re going to take, with even some lineups he can play SF. The only reason I would want the Pacers to take a chance here is if 1) he can pass a physical 2) they get him for dirt cheap on a two year deal with a team option for the 2nd year. Jabari has something left in the tank; he has to stay on the court to prove it.
Will Barton SG/SF – 15.7ppg 5.0rpg 4.1apg
Pacers need to talk first and pull the trigger on Will Barton before someone else can. The Pacers are missing a Will Barton style player and whose better at being the “Will Barton” style player other than Will Barton? I believe this signing helps Bojan tremendously. I know it doesn’t make sense for a team to sign a player to play some of your minutes, and it benefits you, but in this case, I think it does. Bojan is a good role player for the Pacers, what the Pacers lacked was not having a role player that could make up for Bojan on bad shooting nights. A role player isn’t going to play 82 good games, that isn’t how they work, but if you have two similar role players, then you can hope in a majority of the 82 games one of them shoots half ass at least. Then when they’re on, on the same night, then the other team is in trouble from the start. GR3 didn’t provide this for the Pacers like they originally hoped. Just a personal preference, I think Bojan would be a tremendous 6th man.
JJ Redick SG – 17.1ppg 2.5rpg 3.0apg
This would be a weird fit but I think I can talk myself into it. This whole signing only works if they sign a PF. No Circumstance does this work with Sabonis and Turner on the court at the same time. The starting lineup would have to be without a true point guard. Vic would have to step up his playmaking ability. Oladipo, Redick, Bojan, ________, Turner/Sabonis would have to be your lineup almost unless you could talk Redick into being a bench player, doubtful since he’s in his prime. The Pacers would have to fly around defensively and beat everyone with the shooting. I love Redick and would love to have him as a bench player doesn’t seem like something he would sign up for right now, but it could always be worth a call.
Marcus Smart SG/PG – 10.2ppg 3.5rpg 4.8apg
This signing would allow the Pacers to be one of the best crunch time perimeter defending teams in the league. Being able to have a lineup with Smart, Lance, and Oladipo in the game to get a stop is something that I can get behind. Marcus Smart is a glue guy, Lance and Marcus together is literally super glue. The thought of those two on the court together at the same time already makes me feel horrible for the other team having to deal with them both, and those two would fall in love with each other’s shenanigans. Marcus Smart seems like a player the Pacers really should pursue because I think he fits what the Pacers are trying to do but I’m not too sure the Celtics are going to let him walk.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG/SF – 13.4ppg 5.2rpg 2.2apg
KCP is the definition of 3-and-D guy. After getting paid the way he did last offseason, and there are a lot better free agents this offseason I see KCP taking a major pay cut. His style of play fits the Pacers, and I think he can start alongside Oladipo and provide defense and floor spacing. He isn’t anything special; he is literally a 3-and-D guy. KCP is a personal preference; you are either for it or against, there will not be much in-between when it comes to him.
Wayne Ellington SG – 11.2ppg 2.8rpg 1.0apg
He fits with what the Pacers have, but you won’t be signing a starter. Wayne Ellington can be a very crucial part of your bench if the Pacers decide Bojan should start. Ellington is a good shooter and can provide shooting during slumps. He shoots well, and he shoots often. I can’t tell you I’m sold on his defensive ability, I think with this signing you need to know you’re signing a shooter.
Luc Mbah a Moute SF/PF – 7.5ppg 3.0rpg 0.9apg 1.2spg
The Pacers need to be 100% sure when signing Mbah a Moute that they’re not overpaying. He isn’t worth much, but what he does provide is Oladipo a break on defense, and he will space the floor slightly. Not a horrible shooter but not someone who is going to kill you either. Mbah a Moute to me is a last resort type of player. You know exactly what you’re getting when you sign Mbah a Moute. If the Pacers end up having to sign Mbah a Moute instead of other guys, then we failed. If we sign him cheap with other guys then I find that a win.
Joe Harris SG/SF – 10.8ppg 3.3rpg 1.6apg
Joe Harris can’t be your sought-after player, but he can be a beautiful piece in a pool of players. If the Pacers go expensive on someone, then I would enjoy seeing a Joe Harris signing also to close up free agency. The kid is an excellent shooter, he started to develop last year, and he’s a very under the radar guy. Joe Harris can provide some real shooting off the bench which is something the Pacers could use. I also really like the fit with Joe Harris, he fits the “overlooked players” shadow that the Pacers have going on.
I will be releasing my 2018 NBA Draft Big Board below. This year I have taken it upon myself to thoroughly study players as much as I could. You can disagree with literally every single person I have below, but I have researched this draft like an NBA Nazi. So most likely you’re talking out of your ass and just agreeing with the general media. Not the guy I am, I will not agree with someone just because they made it on TV or have a little blue check mark. Most of you will because you’re incredibly small-minded. That means absolutely nothing to me when it comes to watching the tape. Basketball is basketball no matter what.
Derrik’s Big Board :
1.) Luka Doncic
The kid is just flat out extremely talented. If you listed Deandre Ayton over Luka Doncic on your big board then you need to look into a new profession because clearly you don’t know what a basketball player looks like. Luka is only 19 years old and has already won every single euro league award that is worth anything. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched foreign league players tape but usually you get done watching it and think to yourself, “how the fuck is this guy going to go top 10?” When you watch Luka’s tape you start to think how many years until he is going to be a top 20 player in the league. 2? 3? The KID is 6’6 218 pounds, size will never be an issue. In this NBA and with his passing skills he’s interchangeable through basically 4 positions. Luka is a modern-day NBA player, and people have him as their 3rd or 4th best player because instead of doing workouts with some proclaimed “trainer” (who works for a company with just a ridiculous name because there are literally millions of self-proclaimed trainers) he is literally playing basketball and that pissed people off. How could Luka think playing 5on5 instead of 1on0 help your draft stock? Seriously Luka. Why would anyone need tape for 5on5 when you can get wide open shots on perfect passes up? Dammit Luka. People are seriously fucking stupid. Playing 5on5 against actually basketball players hurt his draft stock, MY GOD.
2.) Jaren Jackson
You can’t teach players to be built like Jaren Jackson. 6’11 243 pounds. Jaren Jackson is number 2 on my big board strictly because if he pulls it all together then you have your next Giannis/Anthony Davis player. I’m not saying he will ever be as good as the two, but if he figures out that being 6’11 and being able to move the way he can, can make you virtually unstoppable, then I don’t think you want to be the guy that choose to pass on him. With a wingspan over 7 foot, if he can fully figure out this thing called basketball then he is going to be a problem for every single team that has to play him. My one big complaint with Jackson is I think it’s going to take him 3-4 years to figure this whole thing out. I’m not saying he will be bad from the start by any means, but after 3-4 years I think you’re going to see a superstar in the early stages.
3.) Marvin Bagley
Weirdly even though he is suppose to be a top 5 pick, I think he is somehow underrated. I had to debate with myself between Jackson and him for 2nd on my board. Bagley is going to be a great basketball player. I just think Jackson and Luka can be something very very special. This is how I know Bagley is going to be a great basketball player. When Bagley was a senior in High School I traveled about 25 minutes across town to watch Bagley, Jaren Jackson, Brian Bowen, Romeo Langford, and a few other players play in something put on by ESPN. After I watched Romeo score 40 something and Brian Bowen just completely light up the game like he wasn’t even trying. ( Pitino was at this game in person, this could of been a very easy moment to hand a kid a $100,000 check without ever having to text him about it, but that’s another story.) After that game, I had to watch Marvin Bagley, who I didn’t even know existed. Do you want my honest takeaway from high school Marvin Bagley? He was 6’11 and completely unskilled. Couldn’t shoot, couldn’t really dribble, couldn’t do anything besides bully people with his size. The obvious question, “Derrik, how does this back up your point?” Shut up, I’m getting there. Early into college basketball season I’m pretty sure Duke played it’s first 17 games on TV and I started watching those games completely confused. Marvin Bagley was now a player that could dribble, shoot fairly, run the floor, catch lobs and it literally blew me away. Just 8 months before I watched a 6’11 kid who couldn’t do a god damn thing on a basketball court besides dunk and hit lay-ups now plays like a wing. At that exact moment, I told my roommate something along the lines of ” That kid is going to be a good NBA player.” If in just 8 short months you can go from not being skilled and being a center in high school, to being a wing at Duke then I’m pretty sure I will take my chances of you being a good NBA player. Clearly the kid has the passion. Bagley reminds me of kinda like a Kawhi player, (minus the defense) he has a ton that he needs to improve on and people have their doubts but once it’s all said and done this kid will have had an excellent NBA career.
4.) Deandre Ayton
Deandre is this years “Everyone get on your knees” guy. He is more of an old-school post guy than a new school post guy. But guess what? Those guys aren’t superstars anymore. Deandre Ayton is a 3rd best player on a championship team in his prime. (that isn’t an insult, Klay Thompson is too.) That being said, I believe the last 3 players I listed can be the best player on a championship team when they hit their primes. I don’t understand why everyone is in such awe of this guy. He will be a good NBA player, that’s fine. There are 3-5 players in this draft that have the potential to be great NBA players if everything pans out for them. The last thing I’m going to say about Ayton is, if the Suns take Ayton number 1 over the 3 other guys above him on my board then Devin Booker may literally never ever play in a playoff game.
5.) Mo Bamba
He’s raw. The upside to Bamba I think gets him into the top 5. He’s extremely defensively talented. Not good at offense. The video of him going around of him shooting with Joel Embiid actually means a lot to me. Everyone either hates that video or likes that video. The fact that he’s showing that he can have the ability to adapt to the modern day game is a huge plus for me. Will he actually do it? No clue. Everything looked fluent in that video. If he can pull together a little stretch big, then he can do big things for a franchise someday, and if he doesn’t, you still have a natural rim protector and a lob guy.
6.) Mikal Bridges
I love this kid. He is an extremely extremely talented player. I debated having him all the way at 4 on my big board before deciding 6. He reminds me of a Klay Thompson style player. I truly hope that Cleveland takes a chance on this kid strictly because I will love to see a team built around Mikal. Excellent shooter, athletic, good defender. What else do you need? Oh, maybe that he’s coming off a national championship. I’m going to stop why I can because if I keep going, I’ll be raving about this kid for 500 more words. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
7.) Miles Bridges
This is a little high compared to where most people have Miles Bridges ranked. I thought 7 was a perfect spot. I think Miles Bridges has shown that he will be a good starting small forward for years to come. Others may disagree, that’s fine. (This is my big board) He has a lot that he’s going to have to improve on. Him coming back to MSU for an extra year really shows me that this kid wants to be great, he doesn’t just want a payday. (Which with all of MSU problems I’m not going to sit here and tell you he wasn’t paid…) Sometimes when you watch the tape on a player you just get a feeling that they will figure it out, I had that feeling with Miles Bridges.
8.) Trae Young
Oh yes, Trae Young. There isn’t a player in this draft being nagged as bad as Trae. Let’s get one thing straight, HE’S GOOD AT BASKETBALL. What the fuck else do you really care about? A shooter had a terrible 10 game stretch? (which wasn’t even terrible) NO SHIT. Young is a shooter and was the primary scorer for a team where only one player on the court could wipe their own ass. (That player was Trae) Everyone is looking way to deep into a player starting hot and then a college team adjusting to why Oklahoma is winning games. Oklahoma wasn’t even good, and they made the tournament because of one player. Explain that? (Pleaaaaase get drafted by the Magic.)
9.) Kevin Knox
Kevin Knox is Tobias Harris. I don’t know what else to say. He may never be an all star but he will always be a crucial player for his team and probably an easy trade throw in. I loved Kevin Knox tape. Then he had one of the worst individual drill tapes that I have ever seen. It was flat out pathetic. He was slow, wasn’t trying, cuts were garbage, didn’t shoot the ball like it was a game situation. It was fucking bad. ( I tell it like it is)
10.) Michael Porter Jr.
I know the kid is an extreme talent. He hasn’t released his medicals and I will NOT watch high school AAU as a reference for a NBA player. When he did play at Missouri this year he played like complete shit.
11.) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
I love the potential in SGA. First thing, SGA as a nickname already kind of makes you a better player. He’s an NBA defender, he’s long, he can do things off the dribble, he knows when to take his 3pters because when he shoots them he hits them. A 6’6 point guard in the NBA is always going to create mismatches for other teams. If he can figure out how to bully smaller guards off the court that will be huge for his career. Also, he doesn’t create a defensive match-up problem for his own team. For even certain teams that play smaller guards, he can guard different players on the perimeter.
12.) Khyri Thomas
This is extremely high for Thomas. I think he is a tremendous player that is truly just being overlooked. Even though the NBA has successful combo guards, that phrase literally sends GMs to run deep into their nearest closet. He can score and he can shoot. Those are 2 things in this NBA that every single team needs. People fall in love with players for no reason and they dislike players for no reason. They know what material brings clicks and what material doesn’t. Khyri Thomas doesn’t pay the bills. Just know after his career pans out well that I’m smarter than all of you.
13.) Lonnie Walker
Scores from anywhere on the floor. Kid has a extremely hard motor. He will never be your superstar or even an all-star but he might be your better version of Lance Stephenson. Plays hard and disrupts everything. I’m not sure on his 3 and D fit with a team because I’m not sold on his 3pt shooting but he will be able to score in other ways and he will figure it out defensively. I could see Lonnie being the guy that sneaks up in the lottery come draft night because you know what you’re getting.
I’m stopping after 13 because after this point this draft, to me, is an extremely hit or miss. I didn’t forget Collin Sexton or Wendell Carter, I just don’t like either as a player. I know that everyone else fell in love with Collin Sexton, I did not. I don’t want a worse version of Eric Bledsoe on my team at any given point in my life, hell I don’t even want the real version. Collin Sexton just plays out of control, and he doesn’t shot the ball real well and doesn’t seem like a natural playmaker. It’s a gut thing here. For Wendell Carter, there are 7-8 “good” bigs in the NBA right now, 4 more aren’t coming in the first 13 players of this draft. That is nothing but common sense. He has the worst upside I feel like of all the bigs ahead of him, and with that reasoning, I’m out on Wendell. (plus he has mom problems, and that is just a diaster.)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s NBA offseason baby. Ryan and I break down our lottery mock drafts and our big boards. Talk about a few sleepers and “what-ifs” in this draft. We also break down the Pacers future offseason ahead of them. Thanks for listening, Like Subscribe and Leave a rating!