In keeping with today's theme, Indiana Pacers GM David Morway is in the group of us who would prefer trades and roster moves remain between teams and players before deals are actually consummated. The Pacers were involved in discussions regarding a three-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets, but that deal fell through at the last minute, as so many trades do. What was frustrating for Morway and the Pacers was not that the deal fell through so much as the fact that it went public before it was complete.
"When we're at the trade deadline we're in multiple trade discussions with many teams, many front all the way up to the deadline," Morway told 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. "Most of the discussions you're in 95%, 98%, or whatever never come to fruition. You know, you talk. You discuss different players. At the end of the day one of the teams just can't reach an agreement. This was a three-team trade. Three-team trades are extremely difficult to put together. This one started to come together only on the day of the trade deadline because of some discussions with Memphis where Memphis decided to get involved. As a result of that we didn't have a lot of time to put the trade together and at the end of the day in discussions with New Orleans, New Orleans decided not to do the deal. I was a little surprised by some of the discussion because this is not atypical for us. I guess the reason this became a big deal because in Memphis they discussed the trade publicly as something that was done when it was never done."
The subject of this particular trade for the Pacers was Grizzlies guard OJ Mayo, whom the Grizzlies had been shopping for some time. The Pacers were in the market for another proven scorer to complement the young group that's already in place, and they viewed Mayo as such a player.
"I can't talk about other teams' players, but I will say this: we are very targeted and very specific as to the guys we are looking at right now to add to this basketball team. We have a very good, young core of players. They're starting to play very well. They're starting to grow up. We're excited about them, but at the same time (President) Larry (Bird) and I have taken a very clear and close look at this team and we known exactly what we are trying to add. One of the things we feel like we want to add to this basketball team is another scorer; another guy who can create points on his own and we've targeted several guys we think can help do that and we're going to continue to pursue them. We never felt we needed to get anything done during this period of time. Our mindset, and you know we've never changed this since the day we took over, is we have a very specific plan as to how we're going to develop and grow this team. One of the key elements to that is the cap flexibility we created and we're going to be very patient, very disciplined, on how we use that cap flexibility. It's taken a long time and there's been a lot of pain to get there, to have that flexibility, and we're going to be careful about how we use it, making sure we add the right pieces to this team moving forward."
One aspect of the failed trade that rubbed Morway the wrong way was the way it was characterized in the media, which read it as the Pacers messing up a deal that was all but complete.
"You know, that was characterized the wrong way," says Morway. "That was puzzling to me, as well. We were in discussions with several teams besides Memphis. Memphis and Indiana had agreed to a trade at the time. We needed to add a third piece to the puzzle, a third team to that trade, to make it work and we were in various discussions with several teams to see which team would be the best fit into that deal. At the end of the day we were in conversations as it came out with New Orleans and when we - for a short period of time came to terms with New Orleans on a deal it was after the 3 p.m. deadline, so there was never any deal. Now New Orleans pulled out of it 3 or 4 minutes into it because they determined they didn't want to do it. The deadline really was irrelevant because we had to reach an agreement with New Orleans and we never quite did."
At the end of the day, the failed trade didn't upset the Pacers nearly as much as the rumors that were spread about the deal.
"I'm not pissed; I'm aggravated because things get spread and rumors start. People talk about things that just aren't accurate and they're are not true. In a way I'll tell you from a standpoint of not only Larry [Bird] and myself, but the people that work with us, that work so hard everyday it's insulting for there to be this thought out there that our franchise bungles thing up and you know doesn't look at a clock and can't hit a deadline. It's just ridiculous, so I'm just you know I'm not pissed, but it's aggravating to have to hear those kinds of things, particularly after our group put in the kind of effort and time to try to aggressively pursue some deals."
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