2021 NBA Draft mock #13: Indiana Pacers: Jalen Johnson
Scouts and fans did not get to see a ton of Johnson this season. He played just 13 games at Duke before opting out to prepare for the draft. The 19-year-old was dealing with a foot injury and was not getting consistent minutes with the Blue Devils.
Johnson still managed to average 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 21.4 minutes per game over the limited sample. The 6’9 forward is an outstanding athlete that gets to the rim with ease. He shot 52.3 percent from the field and made eight of his 18 3-point attempts at Duke.
The Pacers hired former Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle this summer. They want to win-now and already have a talented roster in place. Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren, and Myles Turner give Indiana an outstanding starting five. The Pacers can afford to take a shot at upside with this pick.
Jalen Johnson will need time to develop, but he has the potential to be a top five player in the 2021 NBA Draft class. He could be a standout two-way option with the versatility to guard multiple positions. The Indiana Pacers take the chance on his potential at 13th overall.
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