A Video Coordinator’s NBA Trade Deadline Week
Working in the NBA
If you work in the NBA, you’re always ‘on call.’
But for the week of the Trade Deadline, that goes to another level.
As a Video Coordinator, I was as tuned in to Woj and Hoopshype (iykyk) and all of the other rumor engines. I actually first joined Twitter (X) the week of the Trade Deadline years ago. I didn’t know what players would be available and when but I did know that my GM was going to need film on them asap if any players came on to our radar.
In the weeks leading up to the Trade Deadline, I would put together game film on our team’s trade targets along with every player I thought had the potential of getting moved and being in a deal. Sometimes the film is for the GM and scouting staff to watch but more often than not, it was for the Owner. (Side note: I would also put together film on the top 10 currently available Free Agents and G-League players available for call-up. If we were to make a 2 for 1 / 3 for 2 deal and would have a roster spot available, we wanted to be ready to fill in that slot).
For most of my tenure with the Trail Blazers, I worked for Team Owner Paul Allen, and he loved watching game film. Anywhere he was in the world, at any time, his team would let me know who he wanted to watch and I would upload footage to his servers. Come Trade Deadline week, this became even more key. If a player became available and our GM wanted to make a move to acquire them, I needed to get film to the Owner asap so he could sign off on the deal.
And for me, I had to learn the nuances of the presentation of the Video. If it was for entertainment or scouting purposes, I’d leave it as is. If it was for a deal our GM wanted to make, well, I had to do what I had to do… which was clean up the film, remove a few missed shots, take out some turnovers, add in a few extra highlights and help our GM sell the player to the Owner. Always know your audience.
Being on Pacific Time in Portland, we operated on Eastern Time the week of the deadline. We came into the office in the dark hours and often… just waited. Everything was ready and prepped and then as soon as a move was about to be made, you’d go into action. And then once a deal was completed, I’d convert the film again… from what the scouts wanted to see, to what the owner wanted to see, to watch the Coach wanted to see. For the Coach, I’d mainly show pick and roll’s on both ends of the court, how a player moved within an offense, some of their sweet spots, etc. Anything I thought would translate from their game to our team, I would prepare the film accordingly.
And once the Deadline had passed, it was time to go into Draft prep mode.
Want to hear more stories from and about the NBA Trade Deadline? We are having a 2-night session this week, Tuesday and Wednesday evening on Zoom, 5-7p PT, 8-10p ET (all classes recorded). We’ve got a former NBA Head Coach, a G-League GM, an NBA Trainer, and NBA Front Office Personnel coming in. You’ll have a chance to interact with NBA Personnel and ask questions to our guest speakers, we hope to see you there! (use Promo: NBA for $20 off)