The Indiana Pacers are scheduled to select 13th in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Pacers, oddly, haven’t had a pick earlier than 10th since 1989 (George McCloud, 7th overall), so they’re used to trying to find diamonds in the rough.
What can you find at No. 13? Anybody from Kobe Bryant to Georgios Papagiannis.
The Pacers’ recent draft history hasn’t been spectacular. In 2020, they held only the No. 54 pick and selected Duke’s Cassius Stanley, who appeared in 24 games as a rookie.
Their five most recent first-round picks were Goga Bitadze (18th, 2019), Aaron Holiday (23rd, 2018), T.J. Leaf (18th, 2017), Caris LeVert (20th, 2016; his rights were traded soon after the draft for Thad Young, but LeVert ended up with the Pacers in a 2021 trade) and Myles Turner (11th, 2015).
When is the 2021 NBA Draft?
8 p.m. on Thursday, July 29.
How can I watch the 2021 NBA Draft?
Picks will be shown on ABC and ESPN, and a livestream will be available on the ESPN app.
Which No. 13 picks are current NBA All-Stars?
► Donovan Mitchell has averaged 20+ points per game each of his four seasons with the Utah Jazz, and has been an All-Star the past two years. He really broke out in the bubble in the summer of 2020, dueling Denver’s Jamal Murray in a seven-game, first-round series defeat.
► Devin Booker also has been an All-Star the past two seasons. He led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in his sixth season. In his second season, he scored 70 points in a game.
► Zach LaVine earned his first All-Star nod in 2021, during his seventh season. LaVine averaged 27.4 points per game and shot 41.9% from 3-point range this season. He has won the dunk contest on NBA’s All-Star weekend twice, but he has yet to appear in the playoffs.
What other current players were picked 13th?
► Kira Lewis Jr. averaged 16.7 minutes and 6.4 minutes off the New Orleans bench as a rookie in 2020-21.
► Tyler Herro was one of the Miami Heat’s breakout players in his rookie season of 2019-20, particularly in the bubble as the Heat made the NBA Finals. He averaged 15.1 points, mostly off the bench, in his second season.
► Jerome Robinson (2018) comes off the bench for Washington, his second team, averaging 4.9 points per game.
► Kelly Olynyk has been with three teams in his eight seasons. He has been a 10-point, 5-rebound performer for most of his career, but averaged 19 points in 27 games at the end of the 2020-21 season in Houston.
► Markieff Morris has been with five teams in 10 seasons. He was with Phoenix his first 4 1/2 seasons, averaging 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020-21.
► Ed Davis‘ career averages in 11 seasons with seven teams are 6.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. He has been with a different team each of the past four seasons.
Who are the best players ever picked 13th in the NBA Draft?
► Kobe Bryant wasn’t drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. Charlotte traded his rights there for Vlade Divac on draft night. They got a Hall of Famer who earned one MVP honor, two NBA Finals MVP awards and was part of five championship teams.
► Karl Malone, out of Louisiana Tech, played 18 seasons for the Utah Jazz and was voted NBA MVP twice. The Hall of Famer stands second in career scoring with 36,928 points.
► Jalen Rose was selected by the Denver Nuggets but was traded to the Indiana Pacers after two years. Rose played 5 1/2 seasons in Indiana, starting for the 1999-2000 team that made the NBA Finals. He averaged 14.3 points per game over a 13-year career.
Pacers have picked 13th in the NBA Draft
► Tyler Hansbrough (2009) averaged 8.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in four seasons with Indiana. He also played for Toronto and Chicago.
► Dale Davis (1991) played 10+ seasons for Indiana and was a vital interior presence, earning an All-Star berth in 2000, when the Pacers made the NBA Finals. His Pacers averages were 9.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game.
► Dudley Bradley (1979) played two seasons for the Pacers, and also for six other teams through 1989.
Who are the most forgettable No. 13 picks?
► Georgios Papagiannis was selected by Phoenix in 2016, but his rights went to Sacramento on draft night. He played 39 games with two teams over two seasons.
► Kendall Marshall played four four teams from 2013-16.
► Sebastian Telfair (2004) played for eight teams over 10 years, averaging 7.4 points and 3.5 assists.
► Marcus Banks (2003) played for five teams over eight seasons, averaging 5.9 points per game.
Pacers own No. 54 and No. 60 picks
The Pacers also have the 54th and 60th (and last — the NBA’s version of Mr. Irrelevant) selections in the second round. It’s the second straight year they have No. 54, taking Stanley in 2020.
The most notable No. 54 NBA Draft pick in recent years is Shake Milton in 2018. He averaged 13 points per game for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2020-21, his third season. A couple of players with Indiana ties have also been selected 54th — Valparaiso University’s Alec Peters in 2017 and Robert Vaden (Pike, IU) in 2009.
The best recent No. 60 NBA Draft pick was Isaiah Thomas in 2011. He earned two NBA All-Star berths for the Boston Celtics (2015, ’16), averaging 28.9 points per game in the 2015-16 season.