Indiana Pacers

Pacers receive 6th overall pick in 2022 NBA draft

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers walked away from Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery with the sixth overall pick.

The Pacers dropped one spot in the lottery when Sacramento slid ahead of Indiana and into the top four. The Orlando Magic hold the first pick in the draft.

It will be Indiana’s highest first-round pick since drafting Rik Smits with the second overall pick in 1988. It also marks the first time the Pacers have ever received the sixth pick.

Kevin Pritchard, Pacers team president, spoke after the lottery about what he’s looking for in the draft.

“I think this guy who we pick, it’s going to be paramount, number one, that he loves basketball,” Pritchard said. “We’re going to keep an open mind. There’s something that’s really important to me [and] to the [front office] and that is, the player that we draft, we want him in Indiana. We want him in for 24 hours and maybe more and we want to spend some serious time to get to know him.”

Pritchard says he and head coach Rick Carlisle know they have to “hit on it and whatever they get” with their draft picks.

“I think we’re really excited to start getting to know these players,” Pritchard said. “There’s some difference-makers and there’s some real value in this draft and we’ve got to find both.”

The Pacers will make their first-round selection June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The team also owns the first and last picks of the second round as well as the 31st and 58th overall picks.