Pacers host another workout with nine days until the 2021NBA draft

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The Pacers held another round of pre-draft workouts Tuesday with just nine days to go before the NBA draft.

This group of Pacers’ prospects included Marcus Garrett, A.J. Lawson, John Petty Jr., Yves Pons, Aamir Simms, and D.J. Stewart Jr.  The Pacers currently have three picks for next Thursday’s draft, numbers 13, 54 and 60. Most in this group are projected as second-round picks.

Garrett and Lawson headlined the workout at the Ascension St. Vincent practice facility.

A.J. Lawson is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard out of South Carolina by way of Ontario, Canada. He has paced the Gamecocks in scoring over the past two seasons. He averaged 16.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game this past year as a junior on his way to second team All-SEC honors. Now, after initially declaring for the 2019 and 2020 drafts, Lawson is ready to give the NBA his best shot.

South Carolina guard AJ Lawson (0) is defended by Tennessee guard Santiago Vescovi (25), and trailed by Tennessee guard Victor Bailey Jr (12) during a basketball game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the South Carolina Gamecocks at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

“I just feel like I’m ready,” Lawson said after the workout. “I’m confident in my abilities. I put a lot of work in, and throughout this pre-draft process I’ve been enjoying myself, having fun and showing scouts and front offices what I can do. I feel like it’s paying off.”

The work Lawson has been putting in has definitely caught some people’s attention. During his Pro Day he made 20 consecutive three pointers, and showed out in one of the five-on-five sessions by putting up 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. With a 6-foot-10 wingspan and the willingness to compete on both ends of the floor, Lawson has the potential to give  an immediate boost to any team that takes him.

“This whole pre-draft I’ve been showing that I can push the ball in transition, I can defend, I can shoot it at a high level and I can make plays with the ball,” Lawson said. “I just want to be consistent in every workout I go to. Just compete, bring high energy and talk.”

South Carolina guard AJ Lawson (00) fouls Ole Miss guard Matthew Murrell (11) during the second half of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, March 11, 2021.

The Pacers have invited many prospects to Indianapolis in recent weeks as the team prepares for the draft. The team is trying to put the pieces together to build a championship contender under new head coach Rick Carlisle. 

Kansas Guard Marcus Garrett had an impressive collegiate career, posting a line of 11 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals as a senior. He was a freshman on the Jahawk squad that went to the final four in 2018 and finished with a 106-30 regular season record that includes a 47-5 record in Allen fieldhouse. Garrett’s defense played a big part in Kansas’ success. He was named the 2020 Nasmith and defensive player of the year and the 2020 Big-12 defensive player of the year. He’s put an emphasis on that side of the ball throughout his workouts.

USC Trojans guard Ethan Anderson (20) leaps for a shot over Kansas Jayhawks guard Marcus Garrett (0) during the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Monday, March 22, 2021, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.

“I’m trying to take advantage of as much as I can, and showing I can defend whether it be one-on-one or two-on-two action” Garrett said after the workout. “Just trying to be aggressive on the defensive end and making it hard for the offensive player… I grew up in Texas, that’s a football state, so when I…

Read More: Pacers host another workout with nine days until the 2021NBA draft 2021-07-20 21:12:09

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