Pacers Pick Ike Anigbogu in 2nd Round of 2017 NBA Draft Despite Injury Concerns

Ike Anigbogu’s decision to leave UCLA after one season was a smart one after the center was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 47th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday. 

The 18-year-old didn’t get a lot of playing time in his lone college season, averaging just 13 minutes per game, but his size and strength give him the potential for development in the NBA. 

UCLA reacted to the pick:

Prior to Anigbogu’s selection, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla thought the UCLA star would’ve benefited from another year in college:

Scout’s Evan Daniels tweeted why Anigbogu slipped to the second round:

The Southern California News Group’s Brian Martin tweeted Anigbogu was once thought to be a first-round pick:

Still, many thought Indiana did well to get him in the second round:

Anigbogu did post impressive numbers at UCLA if you stretch them out to an average of 40 minutes per game. His stats jump up to 14.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per 40 minutes in 29 games last season, per Sports-Reference.com

One big thing working in Anigbogu’s favor is age. He’s the youngest player in this year’s class, with his 19th birthday not coming until Oct. 22. 

B/R’s Jonathan Wasserman ranked Anigbogu as the 23rd-best prospect in the 2017 NBA draft class, citing his strong defensive play and overall physical presence in the paint:

“At 252 pounds with an enormous 7’6” wingspan and quick feet, he patrols the paint defensively and finishes inside off dives, dump-offs, lobs and putbacks.

“Having played just 13.0 minutes per game as a freshman without any projectable skills, Anigbogu is likely looking at mostly G-League playing time as a rookie.”

With Anigbogu’s defensive skills already well-honed, he makes for an excellent choice at this point in the draft. His ability to develop an offensive game will determine what his ultimate role in the NBA will be, but there is always a need for a strong rim protector.  

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

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