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90'sNBARocked
06-26-2012, 11:48 AM
http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2012/06/canzano_blog_kevin_pritchard_m.html


Brace yourself for a possible Brandon Roy-Kevin Pritchard NBA reunion.

This time, in Indiana.

Former Trail Blazers GM Pritchard, now an executive with the Pacers, has growing influence inside the Indiana organization. He feels headed to a much-talked about GM promotion sooner, rather than later.

This development only peripherally involves the Blazers, but it's fascinating theater if you're familiar with the Pritchard-Roy connection and watch what's shaping up in Indiana.

Earlier Monday it was reported that 71-year old Donnie Walsh, long-time Pacers CEO and former Knicks president, was coming back to Indiana to help oversee free agency. Not sure exactly where this leaves president Larry Bird but it feels like this all needs to be resolved in front of the draft.

Pritchard feels overdue for one of the league's 30 coveted GM jobs. Earlier this month, the Indy Star reported that Bird wanted Pritchard as his GM. But with Walsh around, and Bird's future with the Pacers undefined, it feels more and more like Pritchard could end up with some additional influence before the draft.


Pritchard did not return calls seeking comment on Monday. But keep watch on the Pacers in the next 24 hours and on Sunday, turn an eye toward three-time All-Star Roy, who is an unrestricted free agent.

Pritchard loves Roy's game, and was close with Roy, who he traded for on draft day in 2006. Yahoo! NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski briefly outlined some quick suitors for Roy on Monday, including Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota as well as Indiana. Woj previously speculated that Bird was sticking around for another season and pushing to promote Pritchard to GM. It probably doesn't go down that cleanly. Walsh's return to Indiana raises eyebrows. And it feels more and more like Thursday's draft in could be run by Pritchard, the guy who once set a league record for trades on a draft day with the Blazers.

Several Indiana media outlets called me Monday night to ask about Pritchard's time in Portland, and his connection with Roy, as they scrambled to make sense of what feels like imminent changes with the Pacers.


Their big questions:


What do you think went wrong between Pritchard and Portland owner Paul Allen?

What should Pacers fans expect from Pritchard?

What were Pritchard's notable successes (LA, Roy, Batum, etc.) and failures (Oden over Durant, etc.) in Portland?


All good questions.

If you want to get an idea of where Pritchard comes from, and what he's about, give a listen to the Bald Faced Truth radio "exit interview" that I did with Pritchard after his dismissal. It's telling.

Indiana must know it has an evolved, improved version of Pritchard that what we saw in Portland. Pritchard made his mistakes with the Blazers, and was blown up by Allen, but in recent months I felt like Pritchard was due for another big-job chance. He was always fun on a draft, went bold, and made some smart acquisitions.


Kevin Pritchard traded for Brandon Roy on draft day in 2006.
Pritchard has a great eye for talent, and is a hard-working person who you could find at the practice facility on Christmas Eve or the 4th of July. But what the Pacers also have is someone who has been humbled dramatically by the last few years sitting on the bench, watching from the sidelines.

Remember, Paul Allen began looking for Pritchard's replacement while KP was still on the job. Ouch.

I'd expect Pritchard will attempt to shoot down all that "Pritch-slapped!" talk from fans moving forward, if he's promoted to GM. He can't afford another circumstance in which he's viewed as taking too much of the credit or pounding his chest. I'd expect him to be more measured in his reaction to trades, and his expectations.

As an aside, it's interesting that the Blazers considered Indiana's David Morway one of their finalists, when Indiana clearly didn't view Morway as someone competent and capable enough to take over the Pacers GM position. He's been notably absent from the Pacers decisions in the last few weeks.

Basically.... Pritchard > Morway in the Pacers eyes.

But not in the eyes of the Blazers?

Roy will have a decision to make as well. There's Dallas, Chicago, Indiana, and Minnesota. Also, probably other suitors. But you have to wonder if there would be additional appeal for Roy in Indiana given that Pritchard, a guy who knows him better than anyone else, is there.



COMMENTS


phantom11 June 26, 2012 at 1:43AM

Ultimately, Paul lost trust in Pritchard. It's that simple. No one is saying Morway is a better option and it is not implied by the circumstances. Morway didn't even get the Portland job so even if talent was why Pritchard was let go (it wasn't), the connection is not explicitly valid.

I would love to see Roy and KP reunited in Indiana. Indiana is in need of a guy like Brandon and they are a nice, up and coming team. Of all the teams BRoy could play for, Indiana would be my choice and most likely the most palatable for Blazers fans so that he cannot haunt us in the playoffs.

cysantana June 26, 2012 at 2:10AM

What do you think went wrong between Pritchard and Portland owner Paul Allen? Pritchard said the wrong thing too many times, he probably also liked spending Mr Allen's money a little too much.

What should Pacers fans expect from Pritchard? Action, Pritchard will give Hibbert the new contract he wants since it's not his money. Granger and George won't be going anywhere. Also expect to see him rebuild the back court around someone proven. (Roy)

What were Pritchard's notable successes (LA, Roy, Batum, etc.) and failures (Oden over Durant, etc.) in Portland? He managed to trade away Theo Ratliff's horrible contract while also trading up in the 2006 draft. Also traded up in the draft by sending the #4 pick (Tyrus Thomas) and Viktor Khryapa for the #2 pick (LaMarcus Aldridge).

ADAM5 June 26, 2012 at 3:34AM

Lots of "stories", but neither party(Allen/Pritchard) is talking, so we may never know the actual details. Maybe Allen or Pritchard, maybe both parties were at fault.

Regardless, Roy and Pritchard are couple of my favorite people, and it would be so cool to see KP get that promotion in Indiana, then for Roy to join that Pacers team that are just handful of pieces away from becoming a true contender. Even with (very)limited minutes, I believe Roy could help almost any team.

I haven't been a Pacer fan since Reggie, D.D., Smits & those guys played on the team, but if KP & Roy are Pacers next season, I'll start rooting for them again!

Syd Barrett June 26, 2012 at 6:43AM

I don't really care where he goes. . I guess on one hand it would be nice to have him in the western conference so that we see him 3-4 times a year but that being said I don't really worry about seeing him 1 or 2 more games a year when I thought we weren't gonna see him play ever again. And how much do we really want to see him play?

DBrekke63 June 26, 2012 at 6:52AM

1. Egos clashed.

2. Bold moves. Some will pay off huge, some will not.

3. I still don't view drafting Oden as a mistake. Presti would have done the same thing if Seattle had the #1 pick. Every team except Orlando would have done the same thing. It was just bad luck.

griffd June 26, 2012 at 7:12AM

What do you think went wrong between Pritchard and Portland owner Paul Allen?

Pritchard sold his owner out in front of the media multiple times such as when the final roster spot was given to Patty Mills and undercut the organizations position on the Brandon Roy negotiation. It turned out the organization was right to be concerned, as they had to swallow the majority of his deal. At the end it was a little too much vanity and not enough humilty.

What should Pacers fans expect from Pritchard?

He will be great when the lights are on. He's big on culture and he will give everyone a warm and fuzzy when he talks in front of cameras. He'll be active during the draft, but Paul Allen's money was the tipping point in more than a few trades so don't expect draft picks to start falling out of the sky. If there was a criticism in the roster building, it was that he fell in love with "his guys" a little too much. I agree with John in that I will expect him to have learned from his failings a bit and tone down the mirror mirror on the wall routine a bit.


What were Pritchard's notable successes (LA, Roy, Batum, etc.) and failures (Oden over Durant, etc.) in Portland?

The 2006 NBA draft was an unmittigated success. Roy and Aldridge were 1-2 in that draft if you do it in 2009. It probably is fair to mention a few teams passed on Roy because knee history, but the train didn't go off the tracks with Roy until they signed the 5 year deal. There were probably a few trades that could have changed his tenure. Nash could have been landed but an infatuation with Jerryd Bayless prevented it. The Oden pick obviously looks bad in hindsight, but revisionist history leaves out that at least 25 GM's would have taken Oden in that case. Portland was offered Carmelo for the number 1, and it wasn't to pick Durant.

All in all he should be a very solid hire for the Pacers. They can expect a little less of the bad because he certainly has learned from the last few years, but they also can expect a little less splash because behind a lot of his bold manuevers was cold hard cash to tip the scales.

vnzla81
06-26-2012, 11:53 AM
I'm already liking this Pritchard guy ;)

graphic-er
06-26-2012, 11:59 AM
I don't have a problem with Pritchard, but it woudl be fools gold to think Brandon Roy can come back and be anything but a back up 2.

Steagles
06-26-2012, 12:52 PM
I don't have a problem with Pritchard, but it woudl be fools gold to think Brandon Roy can come back and be anything but a back up 2.

No one is wanting him to start. A spark in a limited role off the bench is perfect.


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