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Thread: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

  1. #1

    Default Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Haven't seen these posted anywhere. Here are a couple blog posts from Morway, one from yesterday and one for today.

    http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=580006148

    Plenty of local interest in Pre-Draft Camp
    May 28, 2008

    By David Morway
    Pacers General Manager

    The NBA Pre-Draft Camp runs through Friday in Orlando and we have a large contingent here to help evaluate the prospects. Most of the lottery-type players are invited for physicals but don't participate in the games, so we're here more to scout candidates for our second-round pick, No. 41 overall, than our first-round pick at No. 11.

    Three players from last year's camp were drafted in the first round and there are two or three guys here this year that could go in the first round, but probably not at No. 11 for us. The league invited 15 guys for physicals only and there are about another 15, not including the international players, who chose not to play. There are about 30-plus international players that are not here, primarily because most of them are still playing in their various leagues overseas. But it's still a very good camp. The feeling there's a lot of depth in this draft has been confirmed from the quality of the guys we've seen here.

    Because there has been so much local interest in several players in this year's draft, and several are here for the pre-draft camp, let's take a look at their prospects.

    Eric Gordon (Indiana University, Indianapolis North Central High) is obviously a very good basketball player. He's considered to be projected somewhere in the lottery. Because he was invited to come down for a physical only, that shows where he fits into the equation. He's been more of a two-guard and his shooting ability is obviously a skill that's very important in our league. I don't think he necessarily has to play point guard in the NBA. People might look at a guy of his size and think of him as a point guard but I think the fact is the league is getting smaller. Ben Gordon isn't a point guard. He plays two and they can put him at the point. I think Eric is in that type of mold and there are a lot of guys in that mold now.

    D.J. White (Indiana University) was invited to the camp and chose not to attend. Those are difficult decisions for a player and/or his representative to make. I'm not quite sure why D.J. chose not to come but I'm sure he has a lot of workouts planned and he has a full body of work over a four-year career and he's a good ballplayer.

    I would've liked to see Mike Green (Butler University) get an invitation. My understanding is he was on the borderline. He's the kind of young man you’d like to see get an opportunity. He did alright at Portsmouth and had a very nice career at Butler. Even though he didn't quite make it here, he's still on the radar. He's a good ballplayer and I'm sure he'll have a number of workouts.

    George Hill (IUPUI, Indianapolis Broad Ripple High) is an interesting player. He's very athletic, he's long, he's quick. I think he needs come in here and play within himself, show he can defend, show he can run, show he can handle the basketball and show his basketball IQ. On the first night of drills he did a nice job and he needs to continue that. He's going to have a decision to make. He can pull out of the draft before the June 16 deadline and I guess that will be determined by the information he receives about his prospects. I suspect we'll take a close look at him.

    Robert Vaden (Indianapolis Pike High, transferred from I.U. to Alabama-Birmingham) looks great. He's lost quite a bit of weight so his body looks very, very good. He's a talented young man and he's played very well so far, so we'll see how that goes. Patrick Ewing Jr. (another I.U. transfer) is also here. He's a 6-8, 6-9 guy that can defend twos, threes and fours. He reminds a lot of people in the league of a Bruce Bowen type of player. Stanley Burrell (Xavier University, Indianapolis Ben Davis High) is also down here and doing a nice job. He's probably a little between the one and the two but he can really defend and is a tough kid.

    It's an important camp because you see the kids play against each other, so you get a sense for how they handle the speed of the game, the athleticism, the length. You also get a chance to see their basketball IQ – how quickly they pick up the plays that are put in, how quickly they learn to play with a bunch of different guys they haven't played with before. And they're playing under a lot of pressure in front of a lot of scouts and general managers and coaches so it gives you an opportunity to see how they react to that kind of thing.

    This is just one piece of the puzzle. We talk about it all the time, that their body of work is very important because it's what they've done over a period of time, whether it's one, two, three or four years. There are different camps, workouts, psychological exams, all the skills tests, background checks – all these things are taken into account to make the decision. This is one piece of that equation.
    WE ARE NOT GETTING ERIC GORDON

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=5700011517

    No rest for the 'sleepers'
    May 29, 2008

    By David Morway
    Pacers General Manager

    Because the players in the NBA's Pre-Draft Camp are primarily second-round prospects, although there could be three or four drafted in the first round, people ask about finding so-called sleepers here. I don't think there are many sleepers anymore. Scouting has gotten so sophisticated that I think we have a pretty strong feel for everybody, but this gives us an opportunity to see them step up their level of competition and play against each other.

    As I mentioned yesterday, you learn about their athleticism and their basketball IQ, but the other thing is a lot of these guys have one individual skill that might be at an NBA level and some other skills we're not quite sure about. This gives us the opportunity to take a closer look at their overall skill set as well as to identify if they have one skill – be it rebounding, shot-blocking, defense – that is specific to something that as a team we're trying to acquire and develop.

    We've talked about point guard and a big man being our primary needs but in terms of what we'd be looking for in the second round, it's not as simple as one or the other. You've got to go with the best talent. We're not at a point yet where we're going to draft specifically for need, particularly in the second round. We've got to look for the best player who can bring the most to our team and who we think has an upside. We can't simplify it and say, for example, 'We took a point guard in the first round so we're going to go big in the second round.'

    If we get to the 41st pick and there's, say, a two-guard there that's much higher on our board than any of the bigs, we wouldn't reach for need. We revise our draft board hundreds of times as we head toward the draft. By the time we go into draft night, the board has been analyzed and revised to death and we try to stick to our board pretty carefully, regardless of position. Philosophically, if you look at teams that have drafted for need and they've reached because of need, they've gotten themselves in trouble so you have to be careful not to do that.

    One of the main products of this camp is the official list of measurements – height, weight, reach and so on. All those types of things are part of the overall equation. Certainly, a guy that is undersized for his position, you have to take a look and see if he has the athleticism to overcome that. In football, there are certain parameters where if a guy doesn't run a specific time in the 40-yard dash, they red-flag him. We're not as definitive as that but there are things that will cause us to look more carefully at a player.

    If a guy doesn't perform well here, we're careful not to exclude him if our scouts really were excited about him because of his body of work over his career. I think it's a mistake to take a look at a guy over a short period of time like this camp and make final determinations based on that. However, if a guy doesn't perform well, it's important that you look at it and evaluate it, analyze it and try to determine whether it was just a bad few days or if there was something you have to take into account.

    A couple of guys that didn't perform well here but have gone on to be very good role-players are Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver, both in Utah. You wouldn't have looked at either of them in the camp here and determined they were really going to be productive in the league. In looking at both those guys, we were careful not to use the evaluation here as the determining factor. We didn't end up with either of those guys but we liked them.

    On the other side of the coin, there are guys that emerge here. For whatever reason, be it the system or a situation in school where you weren't able to see certain character traits, certain things they do that might fit within your system or just that they're better than you thought they were. So you look at it, investigate it further and make sure you bring them in for workouts so you can take another look at them.

    That being said, nobody in particular stood out in the games Wednesday. It was the first day of games and so I think most of the guys were getting their feet wet. Robert Vaden, a young man from Indianapolis, has lost a lot of weight, he's at 207 pounds now and that has helped him. He's appearing much quicker and he can definitely shoot the basketball. He could always do that. But losing the weight was good for him in the way teams will look at him. George Hill, another Indianapolis player, did well in his game yesterday. He handled himself well at point guard and also played some two.

    The days here really are a grind. We start with a morning meeting at 7:30 and head over to the gym around 8:30 because from 9 to 11 there are various drills the players go through. Then comes the first of the three games each day, with the players split into six teams. After the first game, we have a lunch meeting, get our phone calls handled and then head back to the gym for the two evening games, the first of which starts at 5. After the games conclude, we'll go to dinner and meet as a staff and go over what we saw that day.

    There's a lot to accomplish here, not only in terms of looking at the guys in the camp but in terms of taking advantage of the opportunity to sit down and talk with all the other teams that are here, as well as many of the agents that represent the players.

    Tomorrow, there are 15 guys that come in for physicals, including Eric Gordon of Indiana. These players don't need to participate in the camp because they're expected to be drafted at the top of the first round. Even though they don't play in the games, there will be a drill workout and they do some fullcourt work, which gives us an opportunity to see them work out to some degree before they visit our building.
    WE ARE NOT GETTING ERIC GORDON

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    by the by...they're showing this on NBATV...had it from 12-3 today and will have it again tomorrow.

    The game I was watching didn't have a lot of names, but it looked like Burrell from Xavier was one of the better guys on the court...if that tells you anything about the quality of competition.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    I LOVE David Morway.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    I'm glad Morway's our GM.
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    I love Morway too, and really believe that he will end up being a huge asset for the organization for years to come. He probably will, if he hasnt been already, be the proverbial "smartest guy in the room", even though he won't be in the public spotlight much.

    I do wish he wouldn't have mentioned Stanley Burrell of Xavier, only because I was going to surprise you all by making him a topic of my "tbird draft analysis" threads later, and catch you all off guard lol. I'm still going to do that post eventually in the next week to 10 days, but for now let me just go on record and say this: I want Burrell to be drafted by us at #41 badly, and if we have to give up a future second round pick to move up to make sure we get him, I'm willing to do that to.

    You all know how much I want us to acquire a great wing defender.....in my view, Stanley Burrell is the best wing defender in the draft, and I don't think it is really close. Westbrook from UCLA gets a lot of publicity (rightfully so) and Weaver is getting some too lately, but Burrell I think is better.

    When I see Burrell play, he reminds me of one of the NBA's best role players, who just happens to be another underrated Xavier product: James Posey of Boston. A fine defender, big shot maker, who just flat out gets the job done.

    Tbird

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    One of the reasons you like Xavier players, Tbird, is because of the coaching they get in college. Gee, a revelation. Coaching matters. That's why I'm not keen on Gordon. He got no coaching at IU. Sampson let him run around like a chicken with his head cut off. Let's hope he gets drafted by a team that will teach him. Like, Utah or San Antonio. Unfortunately, he will go in the first 10 and end up sitting on someone's bench.

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    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    impressed with morway's blog. he comes through as very knowledgeable. and can't fault his drafting philosophy.

    edit: also, looking forward to more tbird articles

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    I would have eventually found it, but thanks for the heads up Heck! I think the Pacers promoting David Morway to GM is probably on a par with Danny Granger slipping to us in importance.

    Morway of course is the one that got the $7m exception for Peja from New Orleans so he's well thought of by hard core Pacer fans. He's also well thought of nationally too. Chad Ford had this to say in his weekly chat two weeks ago;
    ------------
    Matt (ATL): Chad, Now that Lindsey has removed himself from consideration, who do you think the Hawks will/should hire as their new GM? Also, will the owners insist that the new GM keep Woodson as head coach? thanks

    Chad Ford: I think they have to re-open the search. Go after Pacers GM David Morway ... Donnie Walsh's right hand man in Indiana. He's the next best thing to Donnie.
    ------------
    I didn't like his suggestion at all, even though I didn't think Morway would accept. For one, he had just been promoted to GM in Indiana.

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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Morway is great and I think we've got him (hopefully).

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Everyone loves him now, but as soon as he makes a trade some people don't like, he'll go on their **** list like everyone else.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Everyone loves him now, but as soon as he makes a trade some people don't like, he'll go on their **** list like everyone else.
    Bird will get the blame.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Bird will get the blame.
    Probably. So wait until Bird's gone, then repeat!

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    I agree with all the pro-Morway comments. Great choice to keep him, love his blog comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Everyone loves him now, but as soon as he makes a trade some people don't like, he'll go on their **** list like everyone else.
    I don't think the people in this thread will be saying that, plus if you agree with the positive comments here then obviously you would be surprised to see a bunch of bad moves come from his choices...that's really the point isn't it?

    I mean I think those of us here going "rah Morway" also feel like "can we just move Bird out of the way", and the reason is that if it's not just Morway running the show then you CAN'T expect the results to be as good, unless you also believe in Bird.

    So yes, it will be "blame Bird" till he's gone, but isn't that how it was before. They've made the situation clear as mud.

    HOWEVER, just read the comments Bird makes versus Morway. The confidence fans have isn't coming out of their rears. Based on the only info we have to go on, namely the Peja thing and moves that are assigned to Bird along with their public statements, Morway appears to be much more suitable to be the final-say guy.


    D.J. White (Indiana University) was invited to the camp and chose not to attend. Those are difficult decisions for a player and/or his representative to make. I'm not quite sure why D.J. chose not to come but I'm sure he has a lot of workouts planned and he has a full body of work over a four-year career and he's a good ballplayer.
    Isn't the buzz that Detroit gave DJ a promise and that he's going into "I'm drafted already" mode which will include some invididual workouts but typically means skipping this camp?

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Isn't the buzz that Detroit gave DJ a promise and that he's going into "I'm drafted already" mode which will include some invididual workouts but typically means skipping this camp?
    Both Detroit and White's people refuted that rumor, but you may be right about why he's not there.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    and Weaver is getting some too lately, but Burrell I think is better.
    I think Weaver is a much better defender than Westbrook, his defense being primarily about his diligence rather than athletic ability. Not that 'brook doesn't get after it (and Mayo, Rush too) but Weaver is the most McKey like on defense to me. The questions on him are going the other way (again McKey). But he seemed to thrive on closing spaces off, denying position, all the non-ball defense that makes a truly great defender. And he put himself into good one on one position as well.

    I didn't pay attention to Burrell and only saw Xavier as opponents of team's I was looking at, so I defer to you on that. If he seems better to you then he's got to be a sharp defender.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Both Detroit and White's people refuted that rumor, but you may be right about why he's not there.
    More or less than Paxson has refuted both the Collins and Beasley to Chicago rumors.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Morway seems to have a pretty good grasp on the players. It's good that he recognizes that EJ is not a PG, but an undersized 2.

    I want no part of Vaden or Ewing Jr., btw.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Isn't the buzz that Detroit gave DJ a promise and that he's going into "I'm drafted already" mode which will include some invididual workouts but typically means skipping this camp?
    Don't remind me. I think I'm going to be sick. Again.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Here's todays blog. (05-30-08)

    http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=5800006255

    Over the past few days, there has been some separation just in terms of performance at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp here in Orlando. It's not going to be a determinative factor in our overall evaluation but a few guys have played really well. Drew Neitzel has played very well and Ty Lawson played well until he got a hip-pointer yesterday. Sonny Weems from Arkansas has looked good. And Robert Vaden and George Hill, our two local young men, both have played well. Aleks Marics from Nebraska, Jeremy Pargo from Gonzaga, Bryce Taylor from Oregon and Joey Dorsey from Memphis all have played well and there have been others. This has been a very competitive camp.

    One of the things this camp has highlighted is that there's depth at the point guard position and teams that are interested in the second round I think are going to be able to find a good young point guard to develop. I'd say guys like Lawson and Pargo, as well as Lester Hudson and George Hill have been good. There's also Sean Singletary from Virginia and Drew Neitzel. And a couple of kids played well that are in-between the guard positions with mixed skills, guys like Stanley Burrell, who have played well.

    There are not a lot of genuine bigs here. There might be one or two 7-footers and that's where the league has changed. There are a number of athletic bigs, guys from 6-9 to 6-11, and a number of them have played well. Joey Dorsey from Memphis has played well, as has Kentrell Gransberry from South Florida, Darnell Jackson from Kansas, James Mays from Clemson, Richard Hendrix from Alabama, David Padgett from Louisville, Sasha Kaun from Kansas, DeVon Hardin from Berkley, those kids have confirmed they have some ability and at least one NBA skill. All of those kids have a chance.

    One of the main things this camp has confirmed is there's a lot of depth between 25 and 55 in the draft. There are a number of guys here who can make the league from the outset or have the ability but may need a brief time in Europe or the minor leagues. As a result of that, at 41 we feel strongly that we'll be able to find a good young player who will be able to develop.

    I know we've had some success with our second-round picks over the years. I haven't analyzed or studied if we've had more success than other teams but we do put a lot of focus on it. We only have two picks in the draft and we look at them as two critically important assets for the franchise, both current and future.

    The other thing is, in talking with the staff and Larry (Bird) and Jimmy (O'Brien), our scouts have done a great job in evaluating this class and preparing us. We had a strong sense of what the talent was going to be like here. For the most part, there's been nothing that has in any large way changed our evaluations so we feel good about where we stand right now.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    I know we've had some success with our second-round picks over the years. I haven't analyzed or studied if we've had more success than other teams but we do put a lot of focus on it. We only have two picks in the draft and we look at them as two critically important assets for the franchise, both current and future.

    Is he talking about the Pacers?

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    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by imawhat View Post
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    Is he talking about the Pacers?
    well, james jones is still in the league

    other than jones though, you have to go way back to the 90's for the likes of hoiberg ('95) and antonio davis ('90)

    so yeah, our 2nd round record hasn't been stellar lately.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Maybe I missed it in years past....or maybe this is the "In" thing to do cuz of Mark Cuban's Blog....but have Pacers GMs in the past has to write a "Blog" or commentary about anything like this in the past?

    If anything...this level of openness...or at least willingness...to communicate to the Fans is somewhat refreshing.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I don't think the people in this thread will be saying that, plus if you agree with the positive comments here then obviously you would be surprised to see a bunch of bad moves come from his choices...that's really the point isn't it?

    I mean I think those of us here going "rah Morway" also feel like "can we just move Bird out of the way", and the reason is that if it's not just Morway running the show then you CAN'T expect the results to be as good, unless you also believe in Bird.
    You're going "rah Morway" without any real knowledge of how he has affected any transactions for the past ten years. Add that to Pacers fans rush to hate Bird even though DW was the top decision-maker through every decision until April 2008 and I think we can expect the "I love DM" chants to change if fans speculate Morway is at fault.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - David Morway blogs about the Orlando pre-draft camp

    Quote Originally Posted by YoSoyIndy View Post
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    You're going "rah Morway" without any real knowledge of how he has affected any transactions for the past ten years. Add that to Pacers fans rush to hate Bird even though DW was the top decision-maker through every decision until April 2008 and I think we can expect the "I love DM" chants to change if fans speculate Morway is at fault.
    Considering he was able to get the TE from the Hornets during the Peja deal, that deserves a big "RAH!" and a shouting "I LOVE DM!"

    NO could have signed him out right, I believe, and someone he got them to do a sign&trade, giving us the biggest TE in history.

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