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Pritchard hired by Pacers, but still available

Posted on: July 8, 2011 3:47 pm
 

In a savvy move to bolster their basketball operations staff, the Pacers have reached a deal with former Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard to be their director of player personnel, sources familiar with the hire confirmed to CBSSports.com.

Pritchard, fired hours before the 2010 draft, will report to general manager David Morway, sources said, under a unique at-will arrangement that both sides can end at any time. Pritchard will be paid about $200,000 annually under the deal.

Pritchard will begin evaluating the roster and preparing for potential trades and the pursuit of free agents in advance of the eventual end of the lockout. With team president Larry Bird undecided about his long-term future, Pritchard's role could expand. But he also would be available to be considered for more permanent and higher-profile GM jobs as they become available.

One team thought to be a sensible landing spot for Pritchard was the Knicks, who elevated Glen Grunwald to the interim general manager position after team president Donnie Walsh stepped down last month. The arrangement comes with the understanding that Grunwald's contract will be extended for the 2011-12 season -- whenever that may be. Members of the coaching staff and some key members of the front office, such as vice president of basketball operations Jamie Mathews, director of pro scouting John Gabriel, director of pro player personnel Mark Warkentien, and regional scout Mark Hughes, also are expected to be retained for next season.

Coach Mike D'Antoni is entering the final year of his contract, and no indications have been given as to whether Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan intends to offer him an extension.

Grunwald, 53, is a respected, behind-the-scenes executive who received a strong recommendation from Walsh. If the Knicks ultimately look outside the organization to bolster the front office, among those they are expected to consider are former Hornets GM Jeff Bower and Pritchard.

Pritchard, who was briefly a teammate of Bird's with the Celtics in the early '90s, goes home to the Pacers -- up the road from his Bloomington, Ind., birthplace -- at an exciting time for the organization. Indiana acquired guard George Hill from the Spurs on draft night, and the Pacers have a talented, young roster built around Danny Granger, Darren Collison and Roy Hibbert with only $37 million in committed salary for next season. 

It was never clear why Pritchard, the driving force behind the Blazers' current run of success, was fired in the first place. His replacement, former Thunder executive Rich Cho, also has since been fired and landed on his feet with the Bobcats
Comments
fuzznutz
Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:32 pm
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Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: July 8, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Pritchard hired by Pacers, but still available

I predict that Pritchard will have the Pacers as good as the Blazers are now within 2 years. He has a good young group of talent and a good coach to work with. Whatever personality issues he may or may not have, he knows what he's doing when judging basketball talent.



Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Pritchard hired by Pacers, but still available

As a 30+ year Blazers fan who has watched the team closely for over a quater century, I am still unsure what the facts are behind Pritchard's firing... and it may be years before the truth comes out. I find it very difficult to believe that Kevin deserved termination, and I am absolutely positive that the manner in which he was fired, well... sucked.  That's what can happen when you are in the employ of Paul Allen & his team of "Vulcan Vultures".

I predict that, wherever KP ends up, local fans will be delighted by his basketball acumen -- even if he ain't exactly a scintillating interview. (Note to Pacers' fans: Not only does KP not tell his left hand what his right hand is doing, he often declines to admit he has hands.)


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com