Although the Indiana Pacers failed to make the playoffs this season, they still managed to exceed expectations. In fact, many expected them to be one of the four or five worst teams in the NBA this season, which would have put them in a prime position to land the number one pick.
Instead, they overachieved, winning 35 games and finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference. Guard Tyrese Haliburton was a big part of the team’s success and took a step toward stardom. Meanwhile, rookie Benn Mathurin came in and immediately contributed by putting up big numbers as a rookie.
Those two players give Indiana a promising nucleus to work with, and they can continue to add to it in the draft. But what are the odds that the Pacers select first overall? Here are the Pacers’ full draft odds.
Indiana Pacers complete draft odds
Despite having the seventh-worst record in the league, the Pacers will have a nearly 30% chance to move up into the top four of the draft. Having nearly one in three odds to move up in the draft order gives the Pacers a real chance to select a potential franchise player. Of course, there is Victor Wembanyama, who is a once-in-a-generation type of prospect.
But even if they fail to pick first, there could be at least three other future All-Stars in the top four. Of those players, Brandon Miller could prove to be the best fit for Indiana and may be available with the fourth pick. Miller would be a boon for the Pacers and give them a legitimate building block.
While the Pacers have about a 30% chance to move up into the top four, there is a nearly 20% chance that they stay at seven and a nearly 36% chance that they drop to eighth. The difference between 7th and 8th in this draft is negligible at best, so Pacers fans shouldn’t be too worried. In fact, their realistic worst-case scenario would be to select 9th, and compared to the draft odds for the teams ahead of them, that isn’t so bad.
For instance, the San Antonio Spurs share the top odds for the number one pick, but their realistic worst-case scenario would be to fall to seventh. That’s a potential big drop compared to the Pacers. It goes without saying that Indiana would prefer to have the highest pick possible, but outside of the top four, there is far less consensus.
That means Indiana could technically select eighth but end up with the fifth-best player on their draft board. Factor in their history of finding steals in the NBA draft, and Indiana should be good no matter where they end up picking.
Overall, while the Pacers have a slim chance of landing the top pick, they do have a good chance to move up in the draft order. If they can, they can add to a promising young core and be even better next season.