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Pacers select UCLA's TJ Leaf with 18th pick in NBA Draft

Pacers select UCLA's TJ Leaf with 18th pick in NBA Draft”

With the No. 18 pick, the Indiana Pacers took forward T.J. Leaf out of UCLA.

Leaf told ESPN that his father Brad, who played in Israel on a kibbutz team, gave him some advice on how to act in the NBA: "No. 1, just be a professional about it". He was drafted by the Pacers in the seventh round of the 1982 NBA Draft. The Pacers drafted him with the 18th pick.

He was one of 20 players invited to the draft's "green room" at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

"It couldn't have come at a worse time for me", Pritchard said. At 47th, IN was able to snag Ike Anigbogu out of UCLA, another player with the ability to grow into a serious weapon IN the modern National Basketball Association, but one who will need more time before becoming a regular contributor. "I spent a lot of time in the summers and whatnot". I'm a facilitator and scorer. In summer of 2015, when it was time to start looking for a suitable college home-Arizona, Indiana and OR were considered before choosing UCLA-Leaf decided instead to go back to his homeland, this time as a member of the Israeli under-18 national team in the European division B tournament.

Leaf moved at a young age to California, where he's lived most of his life. At UCLA this season he shot 61.7 percent from the field, and averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

"It's pretty much what this league is going to, bigs who can shoot the ball", explained Pacers head coach Nate McMillan following their selection of Leaf. "I really love his spirit. He's a very positive kid, a very confident kid, believes in team basketball, believes in playing the game the right way". He went on to grow up in California's San Diego County, where he played high school basketball at Foothills Christian High School before enrolling at UCLA.

In a post-draft press conference Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said not trading Paul George on draft night doesn't mean they won't. Or he may still have hope of persuading George to stay by improving the team's roster.

IN was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round this season by the Cavaliers.

Casspi, who was the 23rd pick in the 2009 draft by the Sacramento Kings before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in June 2011.

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Xavier guard Edmond Sumner with the 52nd pick.



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