Pacers fans shouldn’t expect much with 20th pick

In no particular order, the last four players selected 20th in an NBA Draft are Bruno Caboclo, Delon Wright, Evan Fournier and Tony Snell.

Household names only if we’re referring to the Caboclo, Wright, Fournier and Snell residences.

In other words, don’t expect much the night of June 23 when the Indiana Pacers send NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to the podium for our very own “Who’s that?” moment.

And, quite possibly, armed with a pronunciation guide.

Barring team president Larry Bird working some sort of trade, Indiana has been projected to select players ranging from Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson to 6-foot-9 forward Juan Hernangomez (small letters on the back of this jersey, please) to former Kansas Jayhawks forward Cheik Diallo.

Don’t let the “Kansas” fool you.

The Cheikster played one season at Kansas, averaged 3 points a game and broke into coach Bill Self’s starting lineup once in 38 games.

But at 19, it’s all about potential and how much Diallo might be able to help during, say, the 2018-19 season.

I’m guessing with Bird’s well-publicized desire to run a faster-paced offense under coach Nate McMillan that Indiana is seeking a versatile backcourt presence such as the 6-2 Jackson (if he’s even still on the board).

Otherwise, someone capable of eventually becoming a trusted reserve along the front line as Indiana desperately needs to address its wave of backup players.

My preference is Jackson, 21, a Mishawaka Marian High School graduate who had little choice but to grow up fast having to live in two different foster homes by the time he was 12.

Jackson averaged 15.6 points and 5.1 assists for the Irish last winter before electing to enter the NBA Draft with one season of college eligibility remaining.

Despite playing only three seasons, he finished with 1,204 career points at Notre Dame.

Jackson, if taken by Indiana, becomes the second ex-Irish player drafted by the franchise since joining the NBA in 1976.

The other was guard Rich Branning in 1980.

This also marks the first time in four decades of NBA Drafts the Pacers have had a 20th pick.

So far the “Divisible by 10” Club includes Kenny Natt (30th), Dick Miller (40th), Purvis Miller (60th), Guy Morgan (40th), Jim Thomas (40th), Kenton Edelin (140th), Jeff Acres (140th), Sean Couch (60th), Erick Dampier (10th), Jamison Brewer (40th), Lance Stephenson (40th) and Paul George (10th).

I’ve never even heard of three of these guys.

Bird’s pick of Myles Turner a year ago was far and away his best since George in 2010. Hopefully, Bird’s knowledge of those players available to address his team’s most pressing needs are every bit as keen.

Indiana, a No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this past season, needs more pieces.

Could be worse. The franchise could be in the Western Conference.

Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal of Johnson County, a sister paper of the Daily Reporter. Send comments to rtorres@greenfieldreporter.com.