It’s an annual tradition during the NBA Draft.
Fans of the local NBA team hope the local college player stays home.
The Indiana Pacers had a couple late second round draft choices available to choose IU All-American forward Trayce Jackson-Davis on Thursday evening at the 2023 NBA Draft. But according to Pacers GM Chad Buchanan, the former Hoosiers star didn’t want to play in his hometown.
“It’s got to be a mutual interest. You don’t want a player who is coming in not wanting to be there,” Buchanan said of Jackson-Davis on a radio interview with Jake Query on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis Friday morning.
Was that a bit of spin by the Pacers GM to keep the IU/Pacers overlap fans from getting restless? Perhaps, because he went on to say that there wasn’t much interest from Pacers either.
“Trayce is going to be a terrific player and we’re big fans, obviously,” Buchanan continued. “But our roster, and the position he plays wasn’t a great fit, we understood that, and his representatives understood that. But if we had been in a situation where we didn’t have four players at his position, I think Trayce would have been a great option for us and we were big fans of his game.”
So what’s the truth?
The Pacers had the No. 47 and No. 55 picks, and they chose guards in those spots. So it isn’t as though the franchise spurned Jackson-Davis for a similar player.
Jackson-Davis’ father Dale played for the Pacers for nine full seasons, so perhaps he didn’t want to play in that shadow, if there really would be one. But the Greenwood, Ind. product worked out for the Pacers a couple weeks ago, so there seemed to be some level of mutual interest, at least at the time.
And there’s this: At around 12:14 a.m., moments after the Pacers selected G-League player Mojave King at No. 47, Jackson-Davis tweeted “Y’all will regret it… I promise you.”
Was there a connection? We’ll probably never know for sure.
In the end, Jackson-Davis seems to have landed in a pretty good spot. And he will sign a deal with the Warriors that few late second round picks get. That could have been a deciding factor.
Drafted at No. 57 by Golden State, he plans to sign a three-year deal with a team option in Year 3, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files is reporting.
Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. said late Thursday evening Jackson-Davis will be part of the 15-man roster right away. Most players selected late in the second round sign two-way deals or non-guaranteed contracts, and often end up starting out their careers in the G-League.
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