The Indiana Pacers finished up a workout with Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith yesterday afternoon, and the first results come back very positive. Indiana was very happy with what they saw from Smith, and they are very intrigued with the possibility of drafting him in the 2014 NBA Draft. That being said, the Pacers likely won’t be able to stand pat with the 57th overall pick and hope that he falls to them.
There wouldn’t be too much trouble for the Pacers to move up higher in the second round to draft Smith if they decide that they do want him on their roster. Smith would add good bench scoring and a shooter off of the bench, and has a lot of potential to become a special bench piece in the future. The Pacers would be very smart to pay a small price to move up to acquire more bench scoring and a young player that has great potential.
“(Seeing me in person) they know that I’m an athlete, I can jump, and I can compete. And they just see it up close. You watch it from a TV and you hear a lot of people say things, you kind get a perception about something without really knowing.” - Russ Smith
Smith averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game last season in his senior year at Louisville. He is the type of prospect that Larry Bird usually targets, and would be able to come in and contribute right away. The Pacers’ bench has had issues with scoring and shooting in recent years, and Smith would be able to help fix that problem. His three-point shooting steadily improved at Louisville, and ended up being 41.2% this past season.
Overall, this would be the type of move that the Pacers could make when the NBA Draft comes around. They aren’t expected to make any major moves this offseason at this point in time, but a small trade to move up in the second round for Smith would make a lot of sense. The Pacers are very intrigued with what they saw during the workout, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Smith in a Pacers jersey next season.