INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – During his time in Indianapolis, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard hasn’t shied away from changing up the roster, sometimes in overhaul fashion.
This trade deadline, though, came and went while leaving the Blue and Gold in tact.
“Staying pat was sort of the best course of action,” said Pritchard Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve been in situations where you can’t wait, like you’ve got a gift card and you’re just waiting to spend it. Sometimes, it’s good to hold it too.”
The Pacers’ decision to hold their assets is not one for lack of opportunity. Pritchard confirmed he had three potential deals on the table, but six different Pacers players came into his office over the days before the deadline, urging him to keep this unit together.
“At the end of the day,” continued Pritchard, “there was one thing that came back to me from one player. He looked me in the eye and he basically said, ‘We deserve to see this thing through. No one believed in us. No one thought we’d be any good. We deserve this.'”
At the same time, Pritchard deserves praise for putting the group together in the first place, largely with the offseason Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis trade.
“I played a couple years of high school basketball in Oklahoma,” Pritchard explained, “and my ex-teammates were ruthless when I did that trade.”
The shade didn’t come solely from Pritchard’s old teammates. You may remember the Oklahoma City Police infamously tweeting reports of a theft in the deal.
Thanks for the tweets reporting the "theft" of Paul George by @okcthunder.
Our investigative findings: totally legal & very savvy.
— Oklahoma City Police (@OKCPD) July 1, 2017
Perhaps just as infamously though, Pritchard liked that tweet several weeks ago.
“It was a little wink back to my buddies,” he smiled.
Pritchard calls the trade a win for both teams. Unquestionably, it has been a win for the Blue and Gold, who’ll try to string a few more wins together as a unit this season.
“This team deserved the opportunity to try to get into the playoffs themselves,” added Pritchard. “They wanted to prove some people wrong. Let’s see if they can do it.”