Most projections for 2017-18 NBA Season suggested that the Indiana Pacers will be nowhere near the top eight finishers in the Eastern Conference. Some game analysts believe they could even be one of the seven lucky teams who could vie for the chance to land one of the Top 3 picks next NBA Draft, the talent-laden class of 2018.

It started when the Pacers dealt Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. And then they lost Jeff Teague to free agency. Finally, they sent CJ Miles to Toronto for Cory Joseph.

In all, three starters from last year’s rotation are gone.

PG13-less Pacers

The Pacers managed to create a decent backcourt combination of Oladipo and Joseph. They also retained the frontcourt combination of Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young. Somehow, having no legitimate No. 3 makes the Indiana roster look weak, not to mention the lack of firepower coming off the bench.

According to Bleacher Report, the Pacers lost two of their three most valuable players: Paul George and Jeff Teague. In return, they got five players: Bojan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, Joseph, Oladipo, Sabonis.

Unfortunately, all registered dismal minus scores last season.

When PG13 was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 2010, they appeared on all but one NBA Playoffs -- in 2015 when he suffered a compound fracture of his right leg. With PG13 gone, the chances of landing even the last Eastern Conference playoff spot is close to nil.

Tanking is the best way out

Early this month, ESPN projected a dismal 32.0 win record for the Indiana Pacers, tied with the New York Knicks for the 11th and 12th spot in the East.

Based on this projection, Pacers will be tied for 24th to 25th spot. But they could do even better (or worse) if they decide to tank just like what other NBA teams would rather do in order to rebuild their franchise.

This puts the Pacers in a position to join the other six NBA teams for the NBA Draft Lottery, giving them a slim 0.053 chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft (based on the 2017 NBA Draft which has two teams also tied at the 6th and 7th spots).

They also got 0.060 and 0.070 chance of landing the No. 2 or No. 3 overall picks, respectively.

According to SB Nation, there are at least four NBA prospects in the Class of 2018 who have potentials to become future franchise players and are worth “tanking.” They are DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Michael Porter Jr. -- all from the collegiate and international prospect Luka Doncic from Slovenia. Other names include Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba and Robert Williams.

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