Jan. 10, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey poses with point guard Damian Lillard (0) as Lillard was presented with the Western conference rookie of the month award for December 2012 before the game at the Rose Garden. The Blazers won the game 92-90. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Neil Olshey - How to Draft

After working out several new prospects, Blazers General Manager, Neil Olshey, spoke with the media about his intentions for the 2013 NBA Draft . Wouldn’t you know it- He’s got a strategy; one that I love to hear. Olshey believes that the Portland Trail Blazers are not deep enough at any position to draft based on need, nor would he want to if they were. Instead, Neil Olshey plans to select the best available player at #10.

Every GM in the league gets asked, “Are you going to go talent or need?” They all say talent, and then every mock draft is based on need. So we have conflicting agendas, for the most part.

This is why I, like Olshey, find most mock drafts to be silly. Entertaining, sure, but ultimately unreliable. Mock drafts tend to put players where they fit, once the draft order has been announced, but every GM in his right mind will draft ability over necessity. Each player is an asset, whether they have a spot on the roster waiting for them, or they are coveted by another team (trade bait). Often they come in and make their own spot anyway.

Video via Sean Meagher, OregonLive:

It’s very relieving to hear Olshey actually say the words, “We’re always going to take the best player available.” Longtime Blazer fans know all too well what can happen when prioritizing need over talent, as Portland passed over Michael Jordan in 1984, having drafted shooting guard, Clyde Drexler, the previous season.

I trust Olshey to make the best decision for the Blazers on draft night (assuming we haven’t traded our 1st round pick). There may be no standout all-star, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gems hidden in the depth. As Olshey said, “Where you draft doesn’t always have as much importance as how you draft.”

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