Shortly after the college basketball season had ended this spring, Neil Olshey had targeted his player for the 2016 NBA Draft: Jake Layman, a sharp shooting wing from Maryland who could defend and play multiple positions.
“Neil and I have been talking about Jake for the past two months,’’ agent Mark Bartelstein said. “He was a guy Neil really targeted. He told me if he could trade into the second round, he was a guy they would really go after.’’
On Thursday, Olshey did just that in the second round of the NBA Draft, trading with Orlando for the 47th overall pick to select the 6-foot-9 forward.
Olshey gave up $1.2 million and a 2019 second round pick to get his guy.
“Jake is a high character young man with a skill set we value on both ends of the floor,’’ Olshey said in a release from the team. “His ability to defend multiple positions and shoot the ball from range will be positive additions to our roster.’’
Layman, 22, played four years at Maryland where he had career averages of 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three-point range.
But Bartelstein, a long time power agent in the NBA, said there is much more to Layman.
“He’s one of those rare seniors with gigantic upside to his game,’’ Bartelstein said. “He’s kind of a late bloomer. His strength is coming and he has gotten better and better each year, and even late this season. So I think he’s a fascinating guy because he has so much upside. I think he will be a terrific player.’’
Layman on Friday said he can see similarities between his game and that of Utah wing Gordon Hayward.
“I’m not saying I’m him right now, but a guy who I can (model his game after) is Gordon Hayward,’’ Layman said.
He comes from Wrentham, Mass., a town of less than 11,000 located about 35 miles south of Boston and is the son of athletic parents: his dad played baseball and his mother basketball for the University of Maine.
It was in Wrentham where he watched Thursday’s draft, finally getting a call from Bartelstein who told him “It’s a home run!’” before he even mentioned which team had selected him.
“To finally hear my name called … it was a big sigh of relief,’’ Layman said. “I was very excited, especially to be picked up by the Blazers. I think their style fits me well.’’
Bartelstein said he told his client getting picked by Portland was a home run for two reasons: it’s always big to be a team’s only selection in a draft; and it’s important to be a targeted player, not just someone who is picked because they are available.
“It’s really important to come into the league and know a team wanted you enough to get the rights to get your pick,’’ Bartelstein said. “I know how much time Neil spent scouting and watching him, how much he focused on him, and to me, that says a lot.’’
Layman said he will arrive in Portland next week for the start of training camp for the Blazers’ Summer League entrant. The Blazers’ first game in Las Vegas will be July 9.