2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks go defense, Pistons surprise at 5
By Tyler Watts
29. Indiana Pacers (via Celtics) acquire Sidy Cissoko
Cissoko showcased his defensive chops with the G League Ignite this season. He is 6’6 and 232 pounds with a 6’10 wingspan. The 19-year-old is a switchable defender that brings toughness and energy. His defense just shined against professionals, including averaging 1.2 steals and 1.0 block per game, and Cissoko has an NBA-ready body. The teenager could make an impact right away with the potential to be a starter for a decade in the league.
Cissoko has some playmaking ability, but it is his jumper that puts him in the late first or early second-round draft range. He shot just 30.4 percent from 3-point range last season, and there appears to be a mechanical flaw. Can the 19-year-old fix his shot?
The Indiana Pacers have three first-round picks, and head coach Rick Carlisle and his staff have had plenty of success improving jumpers. The championship coach helped Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber become above-league-average shooters during his time with Dallas. Could he get the best out of Sidy Cissoko?
The Pacers also allow him to improve his game without needing a consistent role in the rotation. They can bring Cissoko along slowly and help him reach his ceiling.