Pacers GM Chad Buchanan discusses their trades, landing Pascal Siakam and 'trying to look long-term'
Buchanan is bullish about where the team, led by Tyrese Haliburton, is headed while also acknowledging they're at least another key piece away from becoming a contender.
Twenty-seven minutes after the Indiana Pacers loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, general manager Chad Buchanan arrived in the Bob Collins-Wayne Fuson media interview room inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse for the annual post-trade deadline availability with a member of the front office.
Still with his game credential hanging around his neck, Buchanan answered 19 questions about the state of the team, deals completed and his vision going forward. He last spoke with local reporters leading up to training camp on Sept. 24.
Over the last month, the Pacers front office evaluated the market in search of a franchise-changing player while also setting themselves up for future success.
That player was NBA champion and two-time All-Star Pascal Siakam.
“We’re always trying to look long-term with this team, building this thing step-by-step,” he said. “Dating back to last year when we went in a new direction with this team, it’s going to be a process of building a team. We want to get to the point where we’re contending to championships and that’s going to take some time, it’s not going to happen immediately.
“We feel good about the moves. Pascal is gonna be a big part of things moving forward.”
Adding Siakam in a trade with the Raptors was the major move accomplished three weeks before Thursday’s trade deadline. He will be a free agent after the season, but both sides are optimistic that they will agree to a deal to keep him here, paired alongside Tyrese Haliburton, for many years to come.
“The goal when we obtained him was to have him be a long-term piece for us and that’s still the goal,” said Buchanan. “He’s been a great fit so far. I think he’s happy so far and we’re happy with him so it’s going to be a relationship-building part.”
Pascal changes their trajectory. But the team is not content. They’re another step closer to the playoffs, specifically avoiding the play-in, but they want to become a contending team in the Eastern Conference again.
“He’s a champion, has a lot of experience under his belt,” Buchanan continued. “He gives us another layer of experience for our starting group. He gives us some versatility in the sense that he’s a 6-9 versatile power forward, a position we’ve been looking for.