VIDEO: Neil Olshey Talks Draft And Shifting Focus At The Draft Combine

by Casey Holdahl
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Thursday afternoon, Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey joined an ESPN broadcast at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago to discuss what the team prioritize in the draft process, trading for Zach Collins last year and what they want him to improve upon this offseason, evaluating players from mid-major schools and the plan for how they go about improving the team...

"I think probably one of the things we were a little too conservative with this offseason and at the trade deadline was, we were probably far too protective of our draft pick and our trade exceptions and the tools we had to continue to build the roster long term and maybe lost sight of the fact that the first round was going to be more competitive that we expected," said Olshey. "I think we went into it realizing, based on our regular season success, as constructed, we can move out of the first round, but the reality we’re all facing was we were all going to run into Houston or Golden State in the second round. And at some point, discretion becomes the better part of valor, right? You say, is the value of making the second round and giving up long-term, roster-building tools worth getting in there and then facing two juggernauts that we all clearly knew back in July were going to be playing each other in the conference finals? So I think this offseason we shift our focus to playoff-caliber guys, guys that hit the right benchmarks or the body of work that can really perform come April knowing the rebuild got done quicker than we thought and it’s time to start thinking of playoff success over whether or not we can or can’t make the playoff while retooling."