With the 57th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft the Indiana Pacers select…money. The Pacers traded the second round pick to the New York Knicks in exchange for cash considerations.
The Knicks took Louis Labyrie (who?) a Frenchman. ESPN didn’t even have a profile on him and doubts he’ll ever play in the NBA.
I’d prefer the cash too. In the words of Larry Bird, “That was a waste of two weeks.”
After a fair amount of speculation and analysis, and staying up until midnight, nothing happened.
The Pacers can actually use the money though. Bird is committed to re-signing Lance Stephenson and every extra dollar will help.
As for this draft, the Pacers shouldn’t have traded away their first rounder for Luis Scola. There was a fair amount of talent available, even with the 27th pick in the first round.
I’d give the Pacers a C- for the 2014 Draft. Anytime you come away with nothing, its hard to give a positive rating. If the monetary consideration helps the team keep Stephenson, then trading the second pick will be worth it.
There are also a number of talented undrafted free agents that the Pacers could bring in for Summer League play.
Bryce Cotton, PG Providence
Cotton averaged 21.8 points and 5.9 assists per game in the Big East. He is a playmaker and a player that many thought the Pacers might take in the second round.
It would actually be surprising if he didn’t make a roster this fall. Cotton stands at just six feet tall, but boasts a 7-11 standing reach.
C.J. Fair, SF Syracuse
Fair is a talented player, but didn’t make a huge jump between last season and this season. He should have gone pro last season when he had a lot of attention and the draft was weak. He’s listed as a small forward but doesn’t play like one nor does he have the skill set of the typical NBA player at the position.
He’d need to improve his shooting to make an NBA roster, but that is by far the easiest skill to improve. The Pacers don’t have a backup for Paul George and this could be an option going forward.
James Michael McAdoo, PG North Carolina
Another player that should have gone pro earlier. Two years ago, McAdoo would have been a lottery pick. Now there are concerns about his work ethic and overall ability as a basketball player. He certainly has the potential and athleticism to play in the NBA, but does he have the IQ or desire to do so?
Keith Appling, PG Michigan State
Appling is certainly battle tested having played in the Big Ten for four years. He’s undersized at the position being a generous 6-2. He’s a talented scorer who is athletic and able to penetrate with ease.
Appling’s stats improved each year and while his scoring was down in his senior campaign, his shooting percentage and assists were up. He could certainly be a solid backup point guard at the next level and is one of the players the Pacers brought for workouts.
It would not be surprising if the Pacers found a player among those who went undrafted to make the final roster. Bird has a lot of work to do to improve the roster and not a lot of cap space to do so.