Kevin Pritchard Rumors
NBA teams had until the close of business on Sunday to waive players with non-guaranteed contracts to allow them a chance to be picked up by another team before the Jan. 10 deadline, when all contracts become guaranteed. Wilkins was one of those players, and knew all along he was an at-risk player. “I’ve been in this business long enough to not be surprised by anything,” he told the assembled media after talking with Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard, general manager Chad Buchanan and, separately, coach Nate McMillan. “Things like this happen. Businesses got to make business decisions. That’s the tough part of this business for guys like me.”
Paul George said the Pacers’ success has given him closure and made him feel better about how he handled his exit by informing the front office of his desire to play elsewhere and giving Indiana the chance to get something of value in return. He didn’t give them a half-hearted eighth season and leave them empty handed. But the timing of his decision still has some Pacers fans salty, because George waited until days before the NBA draft and gave “gut-punched” team president Kevin Pritchard little time to find a package that could’ve given the franchise the picks and prospects that All-Stars usually yield in deals. Pritchard is finally starting to get recognition for swinging a quality deal under the circumstances, especially with Oladipo playing as if an All-Star appearance and NBA Most Improved Player award are within his grasp. “[Victor Oladipo] is the face of Indiana. Vic is the future of Indiana. I’m along with Indiana on this Victor wave,” George said. “Let’s put all this to rest for what it is. I had an amazing seven years here. I was blessed to play in front of a great Indiana fan base, which as you saw tonight, they showed up and showed out. I’m grateful. I’m grateful to play in this organization. But ultimately I didn’t achieve what I wanted to do here and I moved on. Both sides moved on, and let’s all move on.”
Since then, both players are having career seasons, and fans are starting to retract their hot takes from months ago. Especially since the Pacers have a better record than the Thunder. So Pritchard pulled a perfectly petty move and “liked” a few tweets criticizing him from over the summer, including one from the Oklahoma City Police.
The Pacers officially picked up the fourth-year option on Myles Turner’s rookie deal for the 2018-19 season, Kevin Pritchard said. Still, this is a business so Turner said it was nice to physically receive a letter of notification earlier this summer. “You can never assume anything,” he said. “It’s always refreshing just to see it first-hand. To know this organization has my back and has a great deal of respect for me, that’s all I can ask for.” He’ll earn $3.4 million for the final year of his rookie deal. One of the top priorities early next summer will be signing Turner to a contract extension.