The NBA Draft has come and gone but Paul George is still a member of the Indiana Pacers. Rumblings during the draft indicated the Boston Celtics were interested in making a push for George, but talks didn’t advance, and it wound up being Jimmy Butler that was the superstar who found a new home Thursday evening.
That’s left the Los Angeles Lakers focused on a future led by Lonzo Ball, and the Pacers with an hourglass that just saw a ton of sand tumbling down into its lower half. Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard, who took over following Larry Bird’s departure, spoke with media following the draft and had plenty to say about the George situation.
It’s clear the Pacers aren’t trying to hide the fact that they’re knee-deep in negotiations revolving around George. Many felt Indiana would need to make a trade during the draft to maximize the return, but ultimately they held onto their star player for the time being.
“There’s enough on the board we feel good about. We could pull the trigger at any time,” Pritchard told media, via Gregg Doyel of the Indy Star.
Pritchard unloaded on the situation, which he called “ongoing” following the draft. He was surprisingly candid about the situation, which he blamed George for putting the franchise in:
Kevin Pritchard on Paul George's message: "For me it was a gut punch, a total gut punch."— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 23, 2017
Kevin Pritchard on Paul George: "A lot of things still ongoing. We're not going to make a bad deal."— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 23, 2017
Pritchard on PG offers: "There’s a lot of options where we take back players, potential all-stars and all-stars, that keep us competitive."— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) June 23, 2017
Kevin Pritchard on a trade involving Paul George: "I'm confident we'll get something."— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 23, 2017
"It couldn't have come at a worse time for me."— Miller Time Podcast (@MillerTimePod) June 23, 2017
- Pritchard on timing of Paul George's declaration of intent to leave in free agency
"I know it's not ideal. But we didn't put ourselves in this situation - he did."— Miller Time Podcast (@MillerTimePod) June 23, 2017
- Pritchard on Paul George
Meanwhile, the Lakers added five young players headlined by No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball. A tough situation for Indiana, but Pritchard is confident they’ll end up with some sort of return. Whether that’s with the Lakers or not remains to be seen.