Apr 6, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) and Syracuse Orange forward James Southerland (43) react in the second half of the semifinals during the 2013 NCAA mens Final Four at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft 2013: Indiana Pacers May Be Targeting Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Indiana Pacers may not be still contending for the NBA Finals, but they’re still very focused on getting back to that point. One of the ways they can improve is to draft a backup point guard that could eventually develop into a starter, and that guy may be Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. According to NBA.com Pacers writer Scott Agness says the Pacers are looking at Hardaway Jr., and could end up taking him at 23rd overall in the draft.

The Pacers have the 23rd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and former Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is one player that figures to be taken in that range. There’s no doubt, the Pacers are in need of a backup point guard and a scorer. … If the Pacers take him at 23, he’s certain that he can help in both areas.

The ‘both areas’ Agness is referring to is the Pacers scoring and the hole that may be left if D.J. Augustine leaves in free agency. Hardaway made his name this past season as part of a great Michigan team that nearly made their dreams come true and almost won the national championship. He wasn’t the star of the team, but he was a big part of it and complimented guys when he was on the court.

Plus, you don’t get a much better rep as a backup than backing up the guy many view as the top guard in the draft — Trey Burke.

A good way to look at Hardaway with the Pacers is to look at Marquis Teague with the Chicago Bulls this past season. He came off the bench and played effectively when he could as he slowly learned the game. Hardaway Jr. may see more minutes with the Pacers than Teague did with the Bulls, but they’d be coming into similar positions in that they’d be mainly learning the game in the first season and shouldn’t be expected to do much more than that.

Tags: Indiana Pacers NBA NBA Draft Tim Hardaway Jr

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