In another lockout-related cost-cutting move, the Indiana Pacers have let go of three veteran scouts, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Joe Ash, Leonard Perry and Brian Winters didn’t have their contracts renewed for the 2011-12 season.
The Pacers created a new position in the offseason – director of player personnel – for former Portland Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard. Pacers president Larry Bird agreed to return for the season, but has expressed reluctance to work beyond 2012 in his current role. The Pacers have drafted well in the past several seasons, getting several quality contributors in the middle of the draft, including Danny Granger(notes), Roy Hibbert(notes) and Tyler Hansbrough(notes).
“I had a great run there with Larry Bird, and appreciated the opportunity to work with Larry and the Pacers,” Ash told Yahoo! Sports when reached at his Naples, Fla., home on Monday. “I would’ve liked to continue, but I understand the nature of the business. Hopefully something else will turn up once [the lockout] gets sorted out.”
Ash worked for the past 20 years with the Pacers and Houston Rockets as a scout. Ash had been with Indiana for eight seasons.
Winters was a two-time NBA All-Star with the Milwaukee Bucks in his 10-year career, scoring more than 10,000 points. He was also the head coach for two NBA teams – Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-97) and Golden State Warriors (2001-02) – and the Indiana Fever of the WNBA (2004-07).
Perry had been head coach at the University of Idaho for five seasons before joining the Pacers as an assistant coach under Jim O’Brien in 2006.
- Brian Winters