In the second of a four-part series, Pete D'Alessandro discusses the team's draft process, positive player attributes, the emergence of Ray McCallum and more.
Can you walk us through the year-long process of the Draft?
“We’re starting 2015 right now. We went to the McDonald’s All-American Game, we went to the Hoop Summit in Portland, and Mike Bratz (attended) the Jordan Classic. So that’s the early process of 2015 right now. ”
“In terms of 2014… Like I said in the beginning part of the year, I planned on being with my team. The latter part, I really need to get to all these different colleges. The process is really interesting. We try to carefully schedule everything. When I go out on the road, if I’m out five days, I try to have five games. So literally I will be on a plane, at a game, wake up the next morning and fly to the next place, at a game and maybe get in the car and drive a couple of hours and at a game. You need to be as efficient as you can because there’s so much to do back here at the office, and I have a family. So there are all these things going on at once.”
Is there any prospective technology the team is planning to use for the pre-Draft workout process and Draft that you could share with us?
“We’re constantly meeting and constantly thinking of different ways to attack the Draft because we don’t think it’s a perfect science… Even the teams that draft well, it isn’t a perfect science. There’s a lot of luck that goes into it. Our goal – over many years ��� is to get closer to the truth of how to choose a player. We have a couple of things up our sleeves that we’re hoping to do, because we feel like there’s a lot of information out there these days, and hopefully we can get to the most relevant information as quickly as we can.”
Which is more of a challenge: Drafting a player, or trading a player?
“I’d say trading, because there are so many moving parts. With the Draft, we get the list from the League stating the eligible players. Then you’re ranking, you’re watching film and re-ranking, and the variable is which player the teams in front of you pick. When you’re picking in the Lottery, there’s fewer variables in the drafting process."
“When you’re doing a trade, a deal isn’t done until it’s done. I’ve had probably five other deals done this year that weren’t ever completed, but they were right there, and at least one of them that got done was done quickly and out of nowhere. So trades are really difficult in terms of trying to manage the moving parts.”
Fan question from Joseph Gutierrez: With Ray McCallum emerging as a solid player, will that have an affect on who we target in the Draft?
“I think we’re in a position to take the best player we can get. With that said, it certainly makes it easier in terms of having Ray emerge the way he has. We believed in him. Mike Bratz has been scouting him for three years, so we believe he’s going to continue to progress and get better. Again, right now we have 28 wins – matching last year – and our best-case scenario would have been 29. So we’re not in a position where I could say any position is covered. All the positions are covered, but we still only had 28 wins. I have to take the best player.”
Fan Question from Joey Garcia: What is the number one quality you look for when adding new players to the team?
“The one that stands out the most to me is unselfishness, and I think sometimes it’s one of those very gray-area qualities, but I asked some of the staff, “What does it mean to you? Where do we go with that?” We ultimately came to a consensus it’s not just assists.
“When I first came in I said we need assists, and we still do, but it’s setting a good screen. It’s giving the ball up, it’s seeing the play ahead of time, it’s coming back to the bench and seeing one of your teammates down and putting your arm around him. It’s all of those things you see the great teams have. We will watch one of these Playoff games and we’ll see that. I’ve been a part of really good teams and it’s one of the things that always stood out to me: The unselfishness and the camaraderie that comes with it – to not have a gray area, but to specify what that means, and it means really caring about your fellow teammate. It means really sharing, and I think it comes in a lot of ways.”
Read: End-of-season Q&A Part 1