Both Kevin Pritchard and Nate McMillan spoke with the media on draft night. McMillan after first round pick, Aaron Holiday was selected and then Pritchard after closing out the draft by selecting Alize Johnson.
In discussing Holiday, both men used the word toughness to describe what they liked about Holiday. As a small guard who can get buckets, Holiday will need that toughness to survive in the NBA, something his brothers Jrue and Justin have leaned on to make it thus far.
In discussing Holiday’s expectations for his rookie season, Pritchard indicated the team’s interest in bringing back Darren Collison by guaranteeing his contract at the start of July. Holiday would be a third point guard behind DC and Cory Joseph, which also indicates the team will pass on Joe Young’s final team option.
Pritchard revealed that they had their eye on a player higher in the draft but the cost of moving up was too prohibitive and not worth wiping out the strong effort they put in to create a flexible salary cap situation for the upcoming free agent signing period.
Alize Johnson was a known commodity after going through a draft workout and Pritchard described him as a bulldog and one of those guys that is always around the ball. Also, indicated his defense and rebounding ability will get him paid in the league, but diminished any expectations that Johnson would play much his rookie season.
The key takeaway from Pritchard’s comments was that this draft is to help build depth on the roster for the future, but the key to improving the team for next season will be deals and/or signings made once the free agent signing period begins July 1.
Kevin Pritchard answers questions following the draft:
Hear from President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard following the 2018 NBA Draft.Posted by Indiana Pacers on Thursday, June 21, 2018
Nate McMillan comments after Aaron Holiday chosen with No. 23 pick.
Nate McMillan Press Conference on First Round Pick
Hear from Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan following the selection of UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday.Posted by Indiana Pacers on Thursday, June 21, 2018