The Pacers pick No. 11, so what will they do? Insider Candace Buckner talks potential picks with Matt Glenesk. (Stephen Beard / The Star)
Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel,left, shares a laugh with team president Larry Bird during their rookie workouts Tuesday, May 26, 2015, afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Photo: Matt Kryger / The Star)
- NBA Draft: 7 p.m. Thursday, ESPN Pacers hold 11th, 43rd picks
Before he shakes the commissioner's hand Thursday night with a freshly unpacked blue-and-gold hat on his head, Indiana Pacers' scouts will have observed his skills as far back as a few days after last year's NBA draft.
He will have paddled out of the deep end of a pool of players chosen by the Pacers' scouting staff, then ascended to the top of the team's "pyramid" along with only two other
prospects in the days before the draft.
His college career statistics dissected, his body inspected, his background checked — then double-checked — all before his invitation to the green room of Barclays Center. And if the Pacers don't trade the pick, he will have dodged a final obstacle to a new home in Indiana.
Finally, inside a party room at Bankers Life Fieldhouse that has suddenly fallen quiet, none other than team President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird will call his name for the 11th pick.
All 30 NBA teams have a specific plan of action that uses untold money, manpower and time to draft the perfect player. This is the Pacers' process.
NBA employment comes at a premium, and since there are only 15 roster spots available within the locker room, finding the right fit takes the collaboration of an entire basketball operations staff.