2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks land difference-maker, Victor Wembanyama heads East
By Tyler Watts
7. Indiana Pacers choose Taylor Hendricks
The Pacers are building an exciting young core around Tyrese Haliburton with former Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle leading their charge, but they desperately needs a power forward that will defend and sink open jumpers.
Taylor Hendricks is a 6’9 forward that can defend all five positions on the floor. He will need to continue adding some weight to be a small ball five in the NBA, but he is the perfect fit in the modern game for teams that want to switch everything.
Hendricks was the 46th-ranked player coming out of high school, but his game popped at the college level. He averaged 15.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks in 34.7 minutes per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 39.4 percent on his threes in his lone college season at UCF. He figures to be a top-ten pick because of his defense and improved jumper.
The 19-year-old is a plus athlete that is willing to do little things to help his team. Coach Carlisle could help turn Hendricks into a devastating pick-and-pop big man with the ability to guard anyone on the floor. Teams will be salivating about his untapped potential, and Taylor Hendricks should hear his name called in the top ten on draft night.