Does Kevin Pritchard plan to add to his front office?

Kevin Pritchard hit the ground running at the first of May, officially taking over the basketball operations department for the Indiana Pacers. Larry Bird had been president since 2003 and held that title through May 1, 2017 with the exception of a one-year sabbatical.

For Pritchard, he’s back in the saddle. He’s held many titles over his years, including General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2007-2010.

After one year away, he then joined the Pacers’ front office and has been there ever since. Now, though, he has the final say. It’s his call.

“I think you have to be bold in this position, but the one thing I’ve learn from Larry [Bird] is how important continuity is,” Pritchard said. “I like interchanging pieces, I like moving around in the draft. It doesn’t mean it happens every time, but I want to be aggressive. I want to be out there and understand all of the deals. I think that’s what I did for Larry, and ultimately Larry either says yes or no.

“[He’s] a direct communicator. When he says something, that’s what he means.”

See Also: Get to know Pacers executive Kevin Pritchard

Pritchard wasn’t immediately sure whether he would fill his old role of General Manager. He wasn’t sure if someone in house would be promoted, or if he’d even bring in another asset. While his voice has been elevated, Bird to Pritchard, the four-headed front office monster remains intact: Pritchard, Peter Dinwiddie, along with Bird and Donnie Walsh as consultants.

“I’m not going to go there right now,” Pritchard said on May 1, noting that priority one is pre-draft camp. He has since attended the NBA’s Draft Combine in Chicago, and held three workouts with six guys in each.

“That guy, if there is that guy, is kind of like a soul mate. You spend so much time, you have to be able to argue. I guess it’s like a marriage, too. You got to figure it out, you have to be brutally honest with each other. And that doesn’t happen overnight so I want to be very methodical in how I approach that.”

Over the weekend, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Pacers had received permission from the Charlotte Hornets to interview assistant GM Chad Buchanan.

Kevin Pritchard (black shirt) and Chad Buchanan (sitting, right) watch a workout in Portland. [The Columbian]

Pritchard and Buchanan have ties going all the way back to the Kansas City Kings of the ABA. And when Pritchard was named GM of the Portland Trail Blazers, he promoted Buchanan to director of college scouting.

From The Columbian:

With the 2010 NBA Draft less than 36 hours away, Pritchard said there is no one he believes in more than [scout Michael] Born and Buchanan — evidenced by both recently signing two-year contract extensions with the organization. The duo are Pritchard’s eyes and ears, focusing on the minutiae while the single-minded GM attempts to complete his vision.

On July 14, 2014, Rich Cho, the Hornets’ General Manager, brought Buchanan on as his assistant.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Chad to our organization,” Cho said in a statement announcing the hire. “He is extremely organized and well prepared and will add another dimension to our basketball operations department with his extensive scouting and player evaluation experience. Chad is well respected throughout the NBA.”

Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and assistant Bill Bayno, hired last summer, previously worked closely with Pritchard in Portland.

“Kevin and Nate are both like family to me,” Bayno said last June.

More on Chad Buchanan from Joe Freeman of The Oregonian:

In NBA circles, he is a well-respected talent evaluator who’s worked his way up from low-level college basketball to the minor leagues to the NBA. It’s from these humble beginnings that Buchanan honed his style, a mix of aw-shucks Midwestern coolness and honesty, and learned the value of good old fashioned hard work.

Buchanan and Pritchard became inseparable. They shared many of the same beliefs about the importance of character, evaluating talent and building a winner.

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