The Indiana Pacers tried out forward Christian Watford a few days ago and seemed to be happy with his performance. Watford had a good workout with the Pacers, but would drafting him be a mistake?
Watford averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season in college, but don’t let those stats fool you. Watford could put up those numbers every night, but just didn’t. Watford was very inconsistent and even though he would only be used as a bench player for the Pacers, that could become a problem. At one point in the season, Watford put up 21 points in a game, and then the very next game, only put up 9. If you want to have a successful NBA career, you can’t have your numbers fluctuate throughout the season. Although he can be inconsistent, he does have some positive things about his game.
Watford can be a lethal scorer and does have a nice size for rebounding. He was also considered a good defender in college. Watford is pretty athletic for his size at 6’9″ and 232 pounds, which is always a good thing. The player did have a pretty good college career and could make something out of himself in the NBA, but he will definitely need to work on some things.
Watford is a good player, but that inconsistency problem might be a bigger deal than it seems. If Watford can fix that he should be a solid player, but from where he stands now, he will only be just average.
I don’t think drafting Watford would be a problem, but there is better talent on the draft board that could be more effective right away. Since Watford would only be used a bench player, his inconsistency isn’t as big a deal as it would be if he was starting. However, it might hurt Indiana if there is an injury and he gets more minutes than the common bench player does.
The Pacers’ coaching staff does a very good job at shaping their rookies into talented players so Watford’s problem with inconsistency might be resolved within the next few years. Drafting Watford wouldn’t be a mistake, but it would be a challenge.