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Indiana Pacers GM passing on Trayce Jackson-Davis in NBA Draft: ‘Has got to be a mutual interest.’



Indiana Pacers GM Chad Buchanan discussed passing on Trayce Jackson-Davis during the 2023 NBA Draft. (Indiana Pacers)

After heading into Thursday night’s NBA Draft expecting to go either late-first round or early-second round, former Indiana basketball star Trayce Jackson-Davis saw his name slide all the way to the end of the draft.

It was one of the more head scratching moments throughout the night as Jackson-Davis fell all the way to No. 57 overall — the second-to-last selection. While the Golden State Warriors saw the fit and traded into the spot to draft him, not every team felt the same.

One of those teams who had numerous selections in the draft, the Indiana Pacers, took a few odd picks towards the end of the night, when Jackson-Davis was still available and likely a much more intriguing potential pro option.

On Friday, Pacers General Manager Chad Buchanan joined 107.5 The Fan’s “Kevin and Query morning show to discuss the draft — especially the decision to pass up home-state star forward Jackson-Davis.

“I mean, we love Trayce Jackson-Davis as a player and sometimes it has got to be a mutual interest. You don’t want to have a player that is not coming in wanting to be there,” Buchanan said. “You know, Trayce is going to be a terrific player. Like I said, we were big fans. Obviously, our roster and what he is at the position he plays wasn’t a great fit, and we understood that, his representatives understood that. But if we would have been in a situation where we didn’t have four players at his position, I think Trayce would have been a good option for us. And like I said, we were big fans of his game.”

The bit of tongue-in-cheek answer from Buchanan allowed host Jake Query to push back a bit, trying to clarify if it were more of a Jackson-Davis and his camp’s decision to go elsewhere, not Indiana.

“I think that’s accurate to say,” Buchanan answered.

Despite the slip on draft night, Jackson-Davis likely found himself into a tremendous position with the Warriors. On Thursday night, Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy said that the 6-foot-9 forward would ‘be on the main roster’.

“We think there is tremendous value there,” Dunleavy said of Jackson-Davis. “Another guy we had pretty high on our board. Little surprised he made it that far.

“That’s the plan, he will be on the regular, 15-man roster. Not sure that we will carry 15, but he will be on the main roster.”

Had he gone to Indiana, he likely would have been on a two-way deal.

Jackson-Davis is the lone Indiana player in program history to score 2,000+ points and grab 1,000+ rebounds. He is one of only five Big Ten players to accomplish that.

He finished his Indiana career as the program’s all-time leader in rebounds (1,143) and blocked shots (270) and was third in scoring (2,258) and double-doubles (50).

Jackson-Davis didn’t need any additional motivation — but Thursday certainly brought that. During his slide in the draft, he took to Twitter to make sure everyone knew what he was thinking.

“Y’all will regret it… I promise you.”

SEE ALSO: Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy on drafting Trayce Jackson-Davis: ‘Little surprised he made it that far.’

Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.