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Mike Schmitz Joins the Portland Trail Blazers As an NBA Draft Analyst
Mike Schmitz is an esteemed American podcaster, author, Catholic speaker and Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries for the Diocese of Duluth. Additionally he serves as Newman Center Chaplain at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
ESPN NBA Draft Analyst
Mike Schmitz is a highly regarded analyst in the sports media world and an authoritative source for NBA scouting and research. As part of ESPN’s coverage of the NBA draft, Mike has extensive experience evaluating international prospects as well.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Portland Trail Blazers have hired Mike Schmitz as their Assistant General Manager, reporting his appointment. Reporting directly to General Manager Joe Cronin, Schmitz will oversee both domestic and international scouting efforts for the team.
Schmitz’ salary will be a benefit to the Blazers as they strive to improve their roster and compete in the Western Conference. His new role will enable him to collaborate closely with general manager Joe Cronin on identifying and developing potential young players.
His duties will include working on player development, scouting both domestically and abroad, and evaluating talent across all sports disciplines. Furthermore, he’ll serve as a consultant in the Blazers’ front office to aid with strategic planning for the team – including its draft picks.
He is also a part of ESPN’s NBA draft coverage team, alongside Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton. Prior to that, he worked as an NBA draft analyst for Yahoo Sports, covering the Phoenix Suns as both a writer and video analyst.
Mike is renowned for his expertise in evaluating high school and college basketball players. With multiple months of scouting abroad under his belt, Mike has also coached the Ugandan national team in Africa where he helps prepare their players for FIBA competitions.
Schmitz captained the University of Arizona to a national championship in 2012 and earned himself the distinction of being named both a first-team All-American and an ESPN top-50 prospect.
Schmitz is a 6-foot-9, 205-pound center who can create space in the run game. His size and strength make him an ideal center for this position; he can burst off the line of scrimmage and consistently put defenders on the ground.
His technique and quickness are impressive, and he blocks well on reach blocks with ease. Additionally, he has the flexibility to seal off the backside, making him a heady active player who reacts quickly to twists and stunts up front. In addition, he’s an impressive run game performer with great agility and leg drive off of scrimmage.
Pass protector, his strength and athleticism don’t quite match that of his run blocking counterparts. Additionally, his lack of speed could prove problematic against speed-to-power pass rushers early in his NFL career.
He has the potential to be one of the top six centers in the NFL if he achieves his full potential. If so, any team looking to build a deep and talented bench would be well served by adding him.