INDIANAPOLIS – If you are wearing the blue and gold, you might have overlooked this upcoming NBA week just a bit.
After all, there is only a few minutes a Pacers fan would have to tune in on Thursday night to see something that would impact the team. In fact, 56 other things will take place before the name “Indiana” is finally called.
That’s because Larry Bird and the front office only have one selection at their disposal for the 2014 NBA Draft in Brooklyn and that comes with the 57th pick in the second round. The Pacers did have a first rounder but traded it away to Phoenix a season ago when the acquired Luis Scola.
But sitting with a second round pick doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s likely going to be an irrelevant players-though it’s worth noting the team has traded five of its second round picks since 2006 including last year when Colorado State forward Colton Iverson was dealt to Boston.
Proof of this exists in guard Lance Stephenson, who was picked up with the 40th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft after the team took Paul George in the first round. After a bit of a slow start, Stephenson elevated himself to a starter the last two seasons and in 2013-2014 averaged 13.4 points per game along with 7.2 boards a game while always bringing a bit of an edge to the court.
Stephenson is now one of the NBA’s biggest free agents in this offseason thought the Pacers have insisted that his signing is a priority.
Outside of Stephenson the other major find for the Pacers in the second round was forward Antonio Davis, who gave the Pacers seven productive seasons after being selected in the 1990 NBA Draft’s second round. He would play overseas till 1993 but when he arrived he had an impact on the Pacers off the bench.
He averaged over 20 minutes a game in each of his season in Indianapolis and would average nine or more point a game in his final three seasons while also grabbing an average of seven rebounds a contest in that time.
A season before the Pacers selected guard A.J. Price in the second round out of Connecticut and he managed to provide some production off the bench for the next three seasons along with first round draft pick Tyler Hansbrough.
In 1995 “The Mayor” found his way to Indianapolis thanks to the second round. Fred Hoiberg was selected with the 52nd pick in the 1995 NBA Draft and was with the team for four seasons before finishing his career in Chicago and in Minnesota. Since leaving the NBA Hoiberg has become the head coach of his Alma Mater Iowa State.
Oddly enough, the Pacers first ever draft pick in 1977 came in the second round. With that selection the Pacers took forward Alonzo Bradley.