The Indiana Pacers currently stand as the number eight seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, tied with the Charlotte Bobcats at 26-32 for the final playoff spot. That may not be saying much due to the fact that the Eastern Conference is not particularly strong outside of the top three or four teams. Quite frankly, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Indiana upsetting Miami or Boston if they reach the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean the fringe playoff contenders shouldn’t be wheeling and dealing to improve their rosters. Pacers GM David Morway had a three-team deal in place to upgrade his club that had Indiana sending forward Josh McRoberts and a first-round pick to Memphis in exchange for guard O.J. Mayo. Indiana was also sending guard Brandon Rush and forward Solomon Jones to New Orleans for a draft pick and two plays to be named later. The trade for O.J. Mayo never came to fruition as New Orleans backed out on being the third wheel of this deal as speculation ensued. Reports out of Memphis were claiming that the deal fell through because the Pacers weren’t prepared as the trade deadline went and passed. Morway wasn’t not particularly happy of all the rumors and speculation. He was also shocked to see this potential deal become such public knowledge amongst the Memphis media. David Morway joined 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis with JMV to discuss what happened over the NBA trade deadline with regards to the potential trade for O.J. Mayo that fell through, if O.J. Mayo become a big target for the Pacers as the season went along, whether there any truth at all to the reports coming out of Memphis that the potential Mayo deal just wasn’t ultimately finalized before the deadline passed, and if it is fair to say the Pacers organization was pissed the trade fell through.
Why did the potential trade fall through?
“Well JMV let me start by saying when we’re at the trade deadline we’re in multiple trade discussions with many teams, many front all the way up to the deadline. Most of the discussions you’re in 95%, 98%, or whatever never come to fruition. You know you talk. You discuss different players. At the end of the day one of the teams just can’t reach an agreement. In this particular case we were in discussions…first of all let me just say this was a three-team trade. Three-team trades are extremely difficult to put together. This one started to come together only on the day of the trade deadline because of some discussions with Memphis where Memphis decided to get involved. As a result of that we didn’t have a lot of time to put the trade together and at the end of the day in discussions with New Orleans, New Orleans decided not to do the deal. I was a little surprised by what went on yesterday and some of the discussions because this is not a typical for us. I guess the reason this became a big deal because in Memphis they discussed the trade publicly as something that was done when it was never done.”
Did O.J. Mayo become a definite target for the Pacers to acquire as the season went along?
“I can’t talk about it really…I can’t talk about other teams’ players, but I will say this: we are very targeted and very specific as to the guys we are looking at right now to add to this basketball team. We have a very good, young, core of players. They’re starting to play very well. They’re starting to grow up. We’re excited about them, but at the same time Larry [Bird] and I have taken a very clear and close look at this team and we known exactly what we are trying to add. One of the things we feel like we want to add to this basketball team is another scorer. Another guy who can create points on his own and we’ve targeted several guys we think can help do that and we’re going to continue to pursue them. We never felt…one thing I’ll tell you we never felt we needed to get anything done during this period of time. Our mindset and you know we’ve never changed this since the day we took over is we have a very specific plan as to how we’re going to develop and grow this team. One of the key elements to that [JMV] is the cap flexibility we created and we’re going to be very patient, very disciplined, on how we use that cap flexibility. It’s taken a long time and there’s been a lot of pain to get there, to have that flexibility, and we’re going to be careful about how we use it, making sure we add the right pieces to this team moving forward.”
Any truth at all to the reports coming out of Memphis that the potential O.J. Mayo deal fell apart right after as the trade deadline came to close at 3 p.m.? The deal just missed the deadline?
“You know that was characterized the wrong way. You know that was puzzling to me as well. We were in discussions with several teams besides Memphis. In other words let me back up. Memphis and Indiana had agreed to a trade okay at the time. We needed to add a third piece to the puzzle, a third team to that trade to make it work and we were in various discussions with several teams to see which team would be the best fit into that deal. At the end of the day we were in conversations as it came out with New Orleans and when we…for a short period of time came to terms with New Orleans on a deal it was after the 3 p.m. deadline, so there was never any deal. Now New Orleans pulled out of it 3 or 4 minutes into it because they determined they didn’t want to do it. We were never in…the deadline really was irrelevant because we had to reach an agreement with New Orleans and we never quite did.”
Is it fair to say you [Pacers Organization] were pissed the trade fell through?
“Yeah I’m not pissed. I’m aggravated because things get spread and rumors start. People talk about things that just aren’t accurate and they’re are not true. In a way I’ll tell you from a standpoint of not only Larry [Bird] and myself, but the people that work with us, that work so hard everyday it’s insulting for there to be this thought out there that our franchise bungles thing up and you know doesn’t look at a clock and can’t hit a deadline. It’s just ridiculous, so I’m just you know I’m not pissed, but it’s aggravating to have to hear those kind of things particularly after our group put in the kind of effort and time to try to aggressively pursue some deals.”