Kelly Krauskopf

Central Notes: Kennard, Krauskopf, Evans, Dunn

Luke Kennard may be the latest Pistons wing to play his way out of the starting small forward spot, as I noted in the Detroit Free Press. Kennard has scored just 24 points over the last six games after a 28-point outing in Philadelphia. The second-year swingman out of Duke was benched during the second half of a 98-95 home loss to Atlanta on Sunday. Stanley Johnson and Glenn Robinson III were also ineffective in that role. “There’s nothing maddening about it at all (but) you want that person to step in and produce,” coach Dwane Casey said of finding someone to fill that slot. “Give some production, whether it’s energy defensively, energy offensively, running the floor, cutting, just playing basketball. That’s what you’re searching for in that position.”

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard said that hiring Kelly Krauskopf as an assistant GM had nothing to do with making history, according to Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Indianapolis Star. Krauskopf became the first women to hold that NBA front office position in a modern-day format in that she will be involved in personnel decisions. “It’s going to be made a big deal about (her being a woman) and the truth is she is just the best person for the job, period, end of discussion,” he said. “It doesn’t matter (her) gender, race, anything like that. She was the best person for the job.” Krauskopf spent 17 years as GM of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.
  • Pacers guard Tyreke Evans has missed the last two games due to knee soreness and will be a game-time decision against Atlanta on Wednesday. Evans explained to Scott Agness of The Athletic that he aggravated an old right knee injury when the Sixers’ Joel Embiid fell on him during a collision. Fluid built up and Evans, who had three operations on that knee in 2016, needed to have the knee drained.
  • Bulls point guard Kris Dunn has taken a bigger offensive role with Zach LaVine sidelined by an ankle injury, Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Dunn is averaging 17.8 PPG and 6.0 APG over the last five games with LaVine out of commission. “Whatever gets the win. If I’ve got to be aggressive on the offensive side looking at the rim a little bit more or getting my guys involved,” he said. “I’m a pass-first point guard but it’s the NBA.”

Pacers Hire Kelly Krauskopf As Assistant GM

8:52am: The Pacers have made it official, formally announcing the hiring of Krauskopf in a press release.

“As the architect of one of the WNBA’s most successful franchises, Kelly is a true pioneer in our sport,” Pacers owner Herb Simon said in a statement. “I’ve worked with Kelly over the past two decades, so I know her tremendous basketball mind, strong work ethic and proven leadership skills will continue to be of great benefit to our organization.”

8:23am: The Pacers are hiring veteran WNBA executive Kelly Krauskopf to their front office, making her the first female assistant general manager in NBA history, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of

According to Wojnarowski, Krauskopf will work in Indiana with a basketball operations staff that includes president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard, GM Chad Buchanan, and assistant GM Peter Dinwiddie.

Krauskopf has strong local ties, having served as the president and general manager of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever for 17 years, up until 2017. Last year, she moved into a role overseeing the Pacers’ entry in the NBA2K eSports league. In joining the Pacers’ basketball operations department, she’ll relinquish her WNBA and eSports duties, sources tell Wojnarowski.

While Krauskopf will become the first woman to secure an assistant GM title for an NBA franchise, a growing number of teams are employing female executives, Wojnarowski notes. Longtime WNBA star Sue Bird joined the Nuggets in a front office role last month, while the Magic, Thunder, Raptors, Hawks, Rockets, and Nets also have female execs.