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Thread: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

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    Default Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft
    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/bird_draft_080619.html


    Editor's Note: Larry Bird met with the media after the Pacers' final scheduled pre-draft workout on June 19 and shared his thoughts about the prospects as well as his hopes for the June 26 NBA Draft. What follows is a transcript of that session.
    Q. Big guys and point guards still the focus?
    A. “Yeah, it’s according to what we do in other things but you always look at big guys and we need points so it has to be an emphasis, no question.”

    Q. I know you don’t want to show your hand but are there some of these guys that have stepped up and maybe opened your eyes these last few weeks?
    A. “Well, it’s always better to bring them in here and work them out the way that we think they can play, if they can get up and down and defend. It’s always better to see them in person. I have a good feeling of who we’re going to take right now and we think he’ll be there.”

    Q. Is he a point guard or a big guy?
    A. “He’s one of the two.”

    Q. Larry, do you feel like there’s one position more important over the other, or do you feel like you need a point guard more than you need a big man?
    A. “Not really. We’ll take the best player available. A guy that can help us out right now.”

    Q. How much weight do you put on the workout—
    A. “I’ve put on quite a bit lately.”

    Q. What do you think (about) their body of work throughout college or how much does this weigh when they come in here personally?
    A. “It’s good to see them up close and in your own arena. These guys have been scouted. We’ve been scouting them all year long. If a guy has a bad day, you just shake it off and move on.”

    Q. Larry, how much do you look into character? Not just the on-court work, do you check with friends? Do you check with coaches? Do you do that kind of homework as well?
    A. “Oh yeah, we do it all. We talk to a lot of people. We’ve got guys out there doing background checks and it’s a little different than it used to be.”

    Q. Did you hear Jeff Van Gundy talking about you the other night on the broadcast?
    A. “No.”

    Q. Somebody said that you’re a Celtic and that you’ll always be a Celtic and he said ‘No, he’s a Pacer, that’s what his paycheck says.’
    A. “Well, I’m a Pacer. I played out there but I’m happy where I’m at.”

    Q. Do you feel like you can get the player you want? Are you guys looking to trade up or do you feel like 11 is going to be where it’s at?
    A. “Well, there’s going to be a heck of a player at (pick) 11. There’s no question about that. We’ve talked to a number of teams about different scenarios but we’ve got some things in the works so if we can get another pick that would be just great. We’re looking at all options.”

    Q. Do you think there’s a chance you’ll move up?
    A. “We possibly could but I like 11. I like a lot of places but whoever we get is going to help us. He’s going to be a good player.”

    Q. When you look at this thing, do you feel like it’s turning into more of a point guard league? When you look at some of the top players in the league, it’s more point guard oriented over big men?
    A. “Well, there’s a lot of good point guards in the league right now. There’s no question that it’s a very critical position. We look at all of the point guards, but we’ll take the best player available whether it’s a point, a swingman, or a big man. We’d like to have another pick in this draft and that’s what we’re trying to get right now.”

    Q. Do you feel like the point guard position is even more vital the way Jim (O’Brien) plays offensively and defensively?
    A. “Well, if you don’t have a real strong point guard, you have to have a good off-guard. I always like to have two guards out there that can handle the ball. The way Jimmy plays, anyone can bring it up and start the offense. It’s important to have a solid starter at the point. The way Jimmy plays, quickness and up-tempo, as long as you have a good two guard out there with him.”

    Q. The player you’re looking at, do you feel like you’re pretty confident he’ll be at 11?
    A. “Oh, yes. Yes.”

    Q. The fact that (Russell) Westbrook (UCLA) didn’t come, does that compromise your interest in him at all?
    A. “Not really, we’ve seen enough of him. Like I said, we’d like to have them all come through here. (J.J.) Hickson (NC State) didn’t come. Guys that showed up (today) here, this has been our best workout as far as number of guys we’ve had in here. They really played hard and did a good job.”

    Q. Is there a reason why Westbrook didn’t come?
    A. “He’s been hurt. We’ll probably get him in here early next week.”

    Q. What’s your take on Mike Green from Butler?
    A. “I like Mike. He’s scrappy, he’s smart and every time he steps on the court he does some good things.”

    Q. George Hill from IUPUI was in here last week. Your thoughts on him?
    A. “George Hill played very well. I don’t know where he’ll go in the draft but he’ll have a job, no question about it. (He’s) very skilled.”

    Q. What do guys have a chance to show in workouts like this that maybe they can’t show in their college setting because they have to do certain things to help that team win?
    A. “Right. Here, you can see how athletic they are whereas a lot of places they play in college, some of the teams are so good that kids can’t really do the things they want to do (like) one-on-one and pick-and-pop. Coaches want them to stay down low. You see a number of players come through here that are a lot more athletic than we really thought they are because they were in a structured offense.”

    Q. Larry, a lot of the analysts and mock draft types, basically (have) it down to Westbrook and Augustin for you guys at 11. Would you have a surprise for them or is that a reasonable forecast?
    A. “We’ll see. We’ll know next Thursday. All I know is that we’re going to get a good player. I can guarantee that.”

    Q. What do you take away from some of the guys that come through here that aren’t necessarily first-round draft picks and may be free agents or summer team guys? How seriously do you look at them and how do you evaluate those kind of guys?
    A. “Yeah, we will. We think they’re very important. The last couple of years, we’ve had guys we sent overseas. We’re at 41 this year in the second round and we feel we’ll get a player that has the possibility of making our team. We’re looking hard at it. We’re looking at a lot of guys. We feel we can get a player there that could help us down the road.”

    Q. How good is this draft?
    A. “I think it’s a great draft. The top 20 picks, there’s players that are going to step in and play right away.”

    Q. When you say play right away, are you talking starters or..?
    A. “I don’t know about starting but they’ll play a lot of minutes.”

    Q. Larry, you’ve had a lot of prominent big guys (work out), McGee, Jordan, Hibbert now and Arthur; how do you break down and analyze that group?
    A. “They’re all very talented big guys. This (Darrell) Arthur is a man. He’s good. The other guys played very well. Obviously, he didn’t play against the other guys. They were all here together but Arthur’s probably got the most skill of any of them. There’s no question.”

    Q. All things being equal, do you lean towards experience and players that are more ready to step in or are you more interested in potential?
    A. “Well, I’m ready for a guy to step in and play. We’d like to have him three or four years (in college) but there’s some players that come through here with one year of college and have gone on to make a really big impact in this league. I really feel that the eleventh pick, we’re going to get a heck of a player and he’s going to help us.”
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

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    Expect Delays blanket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    My decoder rings says he's targeting Augustin, and they're trying to make a deal for a second pick between 12-20.
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    I've got a feeling if we trade to get another late first round pick, we will trade it off for something else. I don't know, I just have a feeling.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    funny mine says they're getting one in the 20s too but for Hill...

    going big at 11.


    augustin has defensive liabilities and one key point the Ps struggle with is perimeter defense/containment of dribble penetration. DJ does nothing for that.

    Would love to deal with seattle and land Bayless for Augustin though...

    Speights and Hill '08
    Last edited by MyFavMartin; 06-19-2008 at 06:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bird View Post
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    ...we’ll take the best player available whether it’s a point, a swingman, or a big man.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    LOL. I think he's gonna get a PG. If he gets a swing man, it's because of a trade he's about to make
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    I thought he did a good job of keeping his hand to his chest. He has always been like this----but it's obvious the P's have at least 2 players in mind they are targeting if they want to get another pick. Who do we trade for that pick is the question?

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    I can't wait until the "we tried to do something more but it didn't work out" interview.

    You can set your watch to it.
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    I doubt we pick at eleven.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    I can't wait until the "we tried to do something more but it didn't work out" interview.

    You can set your watch to it.
    That, we'll have a foreign guy that has to acquire more strengths and powers before coming over.
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    i think he has his eyes on a pick around 12-15. Possibly going after both Augusting and Speights(or hibbert). I think the Pacers will finally have a great draft. and a suprising one at that. We might shock the country like we did last year by drafting stanko!
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by iPACER View Post
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    funny mine says they're getting one in the 20s too but for Hill...

    ...

    Speights and Hill '08
    please tell me you're joking about picking hill in the first round. that is seven different types of ridiculous.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    yeah but someone like courtney lee a true 2 and a swing man. we need a (any?) true 2 so it wouldn't be a wasted pick to trade back into the first for him. just no 3s.
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    He's so sure his guy will be there at 11..... must be Koufos!!

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Q. How much weight do you put on the workout—
    A. “I’ve put on quite a bit lately.”


    Did Larry just say that he put on quite a bit of weight? Time for him to hit the gym

    Q. Larry, you’ve had a lot of prominent big guys (work out), McGee, Jordan, Hibbert now and Arthur; how do you break down and analyze that group?
    A. “They’re all very talented big guys. This (Darrell) Arthur is a man. He’s good. The other guys played very well. Obviously, he didn’t play against the other guys. They were all here together but Arthur’s probably got the most skill of any of them. There’s no question.”


    That makes me think he's targeting Arthur.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Swingman View Post
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    A. “They’re all very talented big guys. This (Darrell) Arthur is a man. He’s good. The other guys played very well. Obviously, he didn’t play against the other guys. They were all here together but Arthur’s probably got the most skill of any of them. There’s no question.”


    That makes me think he's targeting Arthur.

    With his confidence that the guy he wants will very likely be there I suspect he is targeting
    a player who is not expected to be in the top 10. Arthur fits that description.
    If they are wanting a second player are they looking to cover the pg, big man need in this draft or are they going for two bigs?
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Swingman View Post
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    Q. Larry, you’ve had a lot of prominent big guys (work out), McGee, Jordan, Hibbert now and Arthur; how do you break down and analyze that group?
    A. “They’re all very talented big guys. This (Darrell) Arthur is a man. He’s good. The other guys played very well. Obviously, he didn’t play against the other guys. They were all here together but Arthur’s probably got the most skill of any of them. There’s no question."

    That makes me think he's targeting Arthur.
    It made me think the opposite, if he's learned anything from Donnie it means he has no interest in Arthur what-so-ever.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Q. What do guys have a chance to show in workouts like this that maybe they can’t show in their college setting because they have to do certain things to help that team win?
    A. “Right. Here, you can see how athletic they are whereas a lot of places they play in college, some of the teams are so good that kids can’t really do the things they want to do (like) one-on-one and pick-and-pop. Coaches want them to stay down low. You see a number of players come through here that are a lot more athletic than we really thought they are because they were in a structured offense.”

    Makes me think of Hibbert.
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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Swingman View Post
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    That makes me think he's targeting Arthur.


    That makes me think it's a smokescreen. Like in 2004 when we had the 30th pick and he kept telling everyone who would listen that he really liked Luke Jackson. Later he revealed that Ben Gordon was his true target all along and he had never once mentioned Gordon in any interview.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Good point on possible smokescreen but is Bird as good at that as Walsh was?

    Anyway, too bad we didn't get Ben Gordon.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Larry handled this interview very well. Seriously. He didn't tip his hand and left all his options open. Having said that, I recall last year at this time he told us he was going to get us a really good shooting guard, etc. So far, Larry's best moves have been the moves he didn't make. Nothing wrong with that, per se. I'm hopeful that a #11 pick and a trade of someone like JO for an even better pick (or perhaps a JT for a later 1st round pick) will give us a leg-up obtaining some badly needed athleticism, defense and shooting abilities.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Dude, when you're in the Pacers position, the chief objective is to acquire talent. If the best player available is something you already have, then you take it, and trade from your strength.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    I can't wait until the "we tried to do something more but it didn't work out" interview.

    You can set your watch to it.

    Then there is the "we got the player we really wanted all along" spiel.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Swingman View Post
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    Q. How much weight do you put on the workout—
    A. “I’ve put on quite a bit lately.”


    Did Larry just say that he put on quite a bit of weight? Time for him to hit the gym

    Q. Larry, you’ve had a lot of prominent big guys (work out), McGee, Jordan, Hibbert now and Arthur; how do you break down and analyze that group?
    A. “They’re all very talented big guys. This (Darrell) Arthur is a man. He’s good. The other guys played very well. Obviously, he didn’t play against the other guys. They were all here together but Arthur’s probably got the most skill of any of them. There’s no question.”


    That makes me think he's targeting Arthur.

    After reading Bird's response about the weight, I had to go back and re-read the question to be sure what was asked.

    Speights is who Bird is interested in. He never mentioned his name. He said Arthur was "probably" the most talented. Speights will be available at 11.

    If Alexander is available, Bird will take him no matter how many SF on the team.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    After reading T-bird's analysis on Speights, he is probably who I'd want if no one drops like Granger did.

    I noticed that he didn't mention Speights but I wasn't sure if he had gone to Indy for a workout so didn't know if he intentionally left him out.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Pacers.com: Bird hints at possible moves in NBA Draft

    The comment about trying to get another 1st rounder was nice PR. I remember his comment last year about getting a pick to get back into the draft, and he did. Unfortunately it was a 2nd round pick which he used to get Stanko b4 anyone else could get him 1st.

    Wouldn't it be a hoot, sorry Owl but you did mention this player earlier in another thread, if Bird got a 2nd 1st round pick, after drafting Westbrook, for the Frenchman Ajinca. Bird gets his big and a Euro who can play now instead of having to go back to Europe to season up.

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