Indiana Pacers Draft Picks 2023 – Traded Three Of Their Picks And Still Added Three New Players

The Indiana Pacers entered the 2023 NBA Draft holding 5 of the 58 picks. They traded their 7th selection to the Washington Wizards for the 8th pick the Wizards had and still got the man they wanted with it, Jarace Walker. Indiana then executed their 26th pick to add Ben Sheppard before trading both their 29th and 32nd picks to the Denver Nuggets. The Pacers still added a third player with the 55th pick Isaiah Wong.

We look at the Indiana Pacers 2023 draft picks below, including a grade for the night.

NBA Mock Draft
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

No. 8 Jarace Walker

  • Position: Small forward/Power Forward
  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6-8 (2.01 m)
  • Weight: 235 (104 kg)
  • College/Club: Houston

The Pacers wanted Jarace Walker and they got him despite trading back in the draft. Walker is not a very good offensive player but for his size, he passes the ball very well and also has proven to be a great defensive weapon.

The Pacers had awful defensive stats last season and adding a defensive-minded forward was a logical move for them. In fact, if Walker reaches his limits he could easily eventually contend for the Defensive Player of The Year trophy. He has the size, quickness and instincts on that end of the floor. The big question is how helpful he will be on offence.

No. 26 Ben Sheppard

  • Position: Shooting guard
  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6-6 (2.00 m)
  • Weight: 190 (92 kg)
  • College: Belmont

Halfway through last season Ben Shepperd was not even seen as a draft prospect. Yet, a very strong end to the year for him saw him being selected in Round 1 by the Pacers.

Ben is a solid two-way player that is ready to contribute straight away. He has very good movement off the ball, can shoot from beyond the arc in the low to mid-30s, has the instincts to force deflections and record steals, and can guard multiple positions.

In fact, it was Ben’s defending that was his trademark in his early college years so just like with their first pick of the draft the Pacers went for a gifted defender.

No. 55 Isaiah Wong

  • Position: Shooting guard
  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6-4 (1.94 m)
  • Weight: 184 (82 kg)
  • College: Miami

Picking deep in round 2 is never easy and Indiana didn’t do too bad with the selection of the gifted guard Isaiah Wong. Wong might need to spend time in the G League to develop his defensive skills and also to build some muscle.

Still, Wong is a gifted scorer that helped Miami rebuild their basketball program with his excellent playmaking skills. We can see the logic behind this pick with the Pacers hoping that under the guidance of their star point guard Tyrese Haliburton Wong would develop well and eventually become a usable role player.

Indiana Pacers Draft Grade: B+

The Pacers clearly felt they need to strengthen their defence with this season’s draft. They were among the worst defensive teams in the NBA last season and really had to address that. By adding Walker and Shepperd with their Round 1 picks they certainly brought in two young players that have made their defending their calling cards.

The big question for us is how much impact Walker and Shepperd can have on offence as Indiana need more on that end of the floor too.

We don’t look at the 55th pick Wong as an immediate prospect. He is likely to need at least half a season in the G League.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!

About the author


Iskra had a promising, at least she believed so, tennis and volleyball careers as a junior but a series of injuries ended her hopes to become a professional athlete very early.

Instead, she focused all her energy on her other passion, writing. For over a decade, Iskra had been a freelance sports writer. Football, basketball and tennis are the main fields of her expertise.