2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks go defense, Pistons surprise at 5
By Tyler Watts
26. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers) draft Colby Jones
The Pacers have three first-round picks, including the seventh overall selection. With Tyrese Haliburton leading their charge, Indiana could go in several different directions, but loading up on wings seems like the best bet.
Jones averaged 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.3 steals in 34.0 minutes per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the field, 37.8 percent on his 3-point attempts, and 65.3 percent from the foul line during his junior season at Xavier. The 6’5 wing can do a lot of things well, and he should immediately be able to join the rotation.
There are some questions about his jumper after Jones shot just 30.3 percent from 3-point range during his first two college seasons combined, but he still profiles as a first-round pick. Were his improvements this season real or will his jumper regress as he makes the leap into the NBA? Expect him to continue working on his shot as he looks round out his game.
The Indiana Pacers could play him next to Bennedict Mathurin, Buddy Hield, and Chris Duarte as they look to add to their wing depth. Jones offers some secondary creation ability and the defensive chops to guard multiple positions. Head coach Rick Carlisle will be eager to get the Pacers back to the playoffs, and he knows that teams can never have too many wings in the postseason.