Kevin Pritchard Rumors
“That’s what we’ve gotta do right now. We’ve gotta capitalize on cap space, on picks,” Pritchard said. “In any way we can, we got to be gritty as a staff, if can we acquire more of those to have a chance to be part of our big core. And we’re developing the core. People ask me all the time, do you have that core? Maybe, maybe not, but we’re getting closer and next year we’ll be closer. “That’s the fun part of our business is being creative and generating ideas. Look, we have three first-round picks it looks like next year. We have close to $30 million in cap space. And we’ll be active to use that cap space to acquire more assets. That’s just natural, but I think it gives us the ability to pivot in a lot of different ways. We have optionality out the butt. At the end of the day, I want to be able to sit in the room with Herb and management and coach and say, ‘Alright, here’s our possibilities. Where do we want to go?’ In the past it’s been, ‘We’ve got to go down this path. This is the path we’ve got to go down. It’s only going to get us so far, we know there’s only so far, we’ve got a freaking ceiling.’ What I want to do is remove a ceiling and that takes time. It’s going to take time.”
Tyler Smith: Pritchard on Myles Turner- “I spoke with Myles for an hour and a half recently. He wants to play with Tyrese. He wants to play exclusively at the 5. He wants to be a defensive monster. And I think he’d be open to having deep roots here. But he’ll be a free agent next year.”
I have been told for months that Larry Bird no longer has an active role within the franchise, and in my recent conversation with Kevin Pritchard, the president of basketball operations, he confirmed that was the case. “Yeah, he’s not active,” Pritchard told Fieldhouse Files. “But look, Larry is a good friend of mine and he’s a good friend of Rick’s (Carlisle). At any time we need help, we know where to look. He’s always available.”
Pritchard conceded, that the rebuild is going to take some time, and he’s right. There are no shortcuts, especially for a small-market franchise that isn’t a destination for big-time free agents. The Pacers aren’t asking anybody to be patient through some kind of midwestern version of The Process, but last year’s trade for Tyrese Haliburton and this week’s draft of Mathurin, Nembhard and Brown, are a hopeful beginning. “One of the things I’m absolutely convinced of, these three young men will be a part of this organization for a long time,” Pritchard said. “We wanted to get more athletic, more dynamic and bring some intelligence. All three demonstrated that athleticism and drive to win. The one common denominator is, they all love to play.”
There was a new, but familiar face at the St. Vincent Center on Wednesday. Sitting beside team president Kevin Pritchard, courtside for the Pacers’ fifth workout with draft prospects, was Happy Walters. A player agent for the past decade, Walters wasn’t just looking on with Pritchard. He was wearing a navy team-issued Nike polo with the Pacers’ logo. He’s the latest addition to the front office. Walters joined the Pacers in recent months as a consultant to the front office, he confirmed during a phone conversation with Fieldhouse Files on Wednesday. Marc Stein first reported the hire.