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Former Blazers Scout Details the Importance of Intel in the NBA

Former Blazers scout Matt McKay Jr. recalls the lessons he learned on intel for Babcock Hoops.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

As preparations for the NBA Draft ramp up around the league, former Portland Trail Blazers scout Matt McKay Jr. recalled his time in the NBA and, specifically, the importance placed on intel within teams for Babcock Hoops. First, McKay lays out why intel plays such a big role for organizations:

It doesn’t get much more intense than sitting in the war room on draft night. Operating with better information than your opponent can provide a monumental advantage when you’re on the clock. In other words, these intel nuggets are the little puzzle pieces of information that can help make or break a draft night or trade deadline decision.

McKay says it’s not just intel that helps teams, but good intel:

What’s good intel? For starters, it’s incredibly important that the information is accurate. Positive or negative information about a player isn’t worth two cents if it’s not accurate and indicative of the player’s personality, character and M.O.

The former Blazers scout also looks back on his time in Portland and how he played a role in intel gathering for the D-League Draft:

The D-League Draft, since rebranded as the G-League, was around the corner and I had less than a week to glean pertinent, helpful information on my list that was primarily comprised of players at low to mid-major schools all over the country, as well as some role players on high-major teams from the Power Five conferences. I worked the phone over the next few days. I chatted with countless coaches and support staff members, I built some connections and I gathered relevant intel and helped prepare our group as much as possible for the eight-round draft.

There’s many more lessons that McKay shares in his piece, which is worth the read.