Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports that Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey has entered 2013 NBA Draft preparation mode, taking to the road to scout and sending the organization's numerous basketball operations executives to various conference tournaments around the country.
"You never play to lose, and you don't tank games,'' Olshey said Tuesday. "I mean, we are already playing five rookies. But clearly, you don't want to be in no-man's land (out of the playoffs and out of top 12), but it's nothing you can control. We have good players and they are going to win games."
With input from the scouts, the team has identified 15 to 18 college players they want to target in the draft. Each scout must watch each player at least three times during the course of the season. Olshey said he likes the scouts to see the prospects in the early season, midseason and late season. The conference tournament assignments were made to accommodate the scouts meeting those requirements.
Olshey said the strategy creates a more well-rounded discussion in the draft room. All the scouts will have seen a prospect enough times to have an informed opinion. The days when a prospect was a certain scout's "guy" because he had scouted him more often will be eliminated."
The Blazers moved into the No. 12 spot on Tuesday and must remain there to keep their 2013 first-round pick, otherwise it conveys to the Charlotte Bobcats.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter