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Pacers host pre-draft workout laced with Hoosier ties

Six players were in the Circle City on Wednesday working out with the team Wednesday, three of whom had Hoosier ties.

INDIANAPOLIS — The 2023 NBA draft is three weeks away and the Indiana Pacers have five picks to look forward to - three first round picks, including No. 7 overall, and two second-round picks. Thus, the franchise will be busy during the pre-draft process scouting out talent. 

Six players were in the Circle City on Wednesday working out with the team, three of which with Hoosier ties.

Armaan Franklin was one of the names back in town on Wednesday. The Cathedral alum started his career in an Indiana Hoosiers uniform before ultimately transferring to Virginia and continuing his successful collegiate career. 

Franklin is trying to make his case to be selected in the NBA draft, and happy to be back in the Hoosier State.

"It's very cool. I haven't been back in a very long time, but it's good to be back," Franklin said. "I'm just trying to play hard and show the team what I can do. I'm not trying to do things I'm not comfortable with, play to my strengths, and also trying to show some things I didn't show in college."

Franklin was not the only Hoosier at heart in attendance. Johnell Davis also at the Ascension St. Vincent Center on Wednesday. The dynamic guard not only fresh off a Final Four run with the Florida Atlantic Owls, but also from Gary, Indiana.

"I haven't been back, really. I just came in for a few days. It's just the second time I've been back here and this is the longest stretch I've been back," Davis said. "Any feedback I can get is good. I can take criticism. Good feedback, bad feedback, anything to help me work on my game."

Don't forget about Notre Dame forward Nate Laszewski. He was also in Indianapolis working out in front of the team and is quite familiar with the Circle City.

"It's awesome coming back to Indiana," he said. "We played over at the Fieldhouse a couple times for the Crossroads Classic. Great memories there. It's always a great trip coming down to Indy and coming back to the Midwest."

All of those guys are hoping to hear their names called in the NBA draft, with most projected as late second-round picks. Higher profile names, though, were in attendance as well, like ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong and potential first-round pick Leonard Miller of the G League.

"I feel like I did well in the workout today," Wong said. "I showed I can score, I can play defense at the other end, and I can play well with anybody."

"To be in this environment, where the Pacers are at, I'm proud to be here," Miller said. "It would be an honor to play for an organization like this. I'm just going to keep working. It was great to be a part of this organization for the day."

Certainly, the Pacers will be keeping an eye on these players ahead of the draft on June 22. A great opportunity to add youthful, talented depth to the team with the five picks for the franchise within the two rounds. 

The Pacers hold the 7th, 26th, 29th, 32nd and 55th picks in the draft.

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