Pacers select European center with 18th pick in NBA draft

Goga Bitadze, from the Republic of Georgia, attends the NBA Draft basketball media availability, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in New York. The draft will

Goga Bitadze, from the Republic of Georgia, attends the NBA Draft basketball media availability, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in New York. The draft will

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers selected center Goga Bitadze with the 18th overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

At 6-foot-11, 245 pounds, he adds depth to a front-line that could undergo major changes this summer with starting forwards Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young set to become free agents next week. The Pacers have five players from their rotation who could hit the open market.

Bitadze, a native of Georgia, played last season in three European leagues, logging 47 games, 30 in the Adriatic League where he averaged 13.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

Indiana also reportedly tried to reinforce the front-line before the draft began. ESPN first reported that the Pacers acquired forward T.J. Warren and a second-round pick, No. 32 overall, from Phoenix in exchange for cash.

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