VIDEO: Kevin Pritchard on 2017 first-round pick T.J. Leaf

In his first player decision as Pacers president of basketball operations, Kevin Pritchard selected forward T.J. Leaf out of UCLA at No. 18.

Leaf was the top-ranked forward on their draft board when the Pacers were on the clock. Just 20, Leaf is entering the pros after just one season at UCLA. He led the 31-5 Bruins with 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

And he has ties to this state, with family in Indianapolis and Evansville. And his dad played at Lawrence North High School, and was drafted 146th overall in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Pacers.

[VIDEO: T.J. Leaf’s introductory press conference]

“I think he’s kind of that new-age four,” Pritchard said on draft night. “He can spread the floor. He can put it down. He’s athletic at the rim. He’s got a knack for scoring the ball around the rim with either hand, and he runs. He’s a gazelle, he loves to run.

“His agent was adamant about ‘I want to be a Pacer.’ And so at the end of the day does that make a little bit more of a difference when you make these decisions, yeah, maybe today it did.”

Watch Prichard discuss Leaf’s game and what he’ll bring to Indiana:

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