Posted by Matt Moore
Kevin Pritchard has surprisingly been out of pro basketball for a bit. The assistant GM and later General Manager of the Blazers' resurgence was known for his uncanny ability to create beneficial trades that netted good young asset after good young asset for Portland. He was fired in 2010 for, well, whatever it is Paul Allen fires people for (also known as the Cho Effect). Perhaps his most notable mistake was drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant, which wouldn't have been so bad were the Basketball Gods not have it in for Oden. Or at least his knees.
Pritchard didn't pop up in a new position right away, fueling talk that it was his stubborn approach and "arrogant" attitude as several Portland reports suggested that talked his way out of a job. But it would appear that his time in purgatory has come to an end. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Pacers are "in the process of hiring" Pritchard to work with President of Basektball Operations Larry Bird and General Manager David Morway.
Pritchard has worked with the Pacers in the past, including in the past year. He's very tight with that organization so this isn't really a shock. It's conceivable that with Larry Bird very much on the fence about his future past this season, that Pritchard could be being put in line to take the reins once Bird retires. Morway would head to the President of Basketball Operations position and Pritchard would then handle GM duties.
It gives the Pacers a more forward-thinking element in the front-office compared to Bird's very old school approach. And having someone who can handle the media without looking like he wants to stab all of them can't hurt either. The Pacers in the past 30 days have hired the coach that helped get them to the playoffs and about as impressive a five-game series loss to the top overall seed as you can find, the former assistant coach under Phil Jackson in L.A., and Pritchard. The infrastructure is there. The talent core is there (even if a star is still missing). Now they just need a season to test the new engine.