Report: Trail Blazers hiring ESPN draft analyst as assistant GM


Mike Schmitz has been analyzing NBA draft prospects for ESPN.

But soon he’ll be doing it for an NBA team. 

The Portland Trail Blazers are hiring Schmitz as their assistant general manager, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday night. Working under general manager Joe Cronin, Schmitz will play a significant role in leading the Blazers’ domestic and international scouting departments, per Wojnarowski.

Schmitz, 32, has established himself as one of the most prominent NBA draft analysts. He, along with Jonathan Givony, was hired away from DraftExpress by ESPN in 2017 to bolster the network’s draft coverage.

In addition to scouting players stateside, Schmitz spends multiple months per year overseas evaluating international prospects. His experience also includes working as a video coordinator with the G-League’s Bakersfield Jam in 2012-13 and currently serving as an assistant coach for Uganda’s national team. 

Schmitz is expected to remain with ESPN through next month’s 2022 NBA Draft, of which he will be part of the network’s on-air coverage, before officially beginning his new gig, according to Wojnarowski.

He’ll be joining the Blazers amidst a pivotal first offseason with Cronin running the show. Portland missed the playoffs this past season for the first time since 2012-13. With the No. 7 overall pick in the draft and a path to substantial cap space, Cronin and Co. are tasked with retooling the roster around superstar Damian Lillard.

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