Pete Philo Rumors
Hundreds of attendees, ranging from high school coaches to NBA scouts representing 17 countries and 45 states, learned about several key elements of talent evaluation: identifying a player’s body type, understanding translatable skills for his position, weighing good information versus general information, having good relationships with agents and power-brokers and managing travel that can be 220 days a year, according to Philo. Philo said based on last year’s school, eight people got jobs, with four more to come based on the last week. And that’s not easy. “We try to give them the right information on how to get in, because you don’t apply for a scouting job,” he said. “You apply for the business side—maybe sales and marketing. You get into scouting because of relationships, and this is a way to build relationships.”
The Pacers are now adding to their scouting department, team officials confirm. Pete Philo joins the team as Director of International Scouting. Philo, along with four other Minnesota scouts, were let go in early May — just a few days after Flip Saunders returned with the organization as president of basketball operations. Saunders replaced David Kahn, who worked in the Pacers front office from 1995-2004.
New Timberwolves boss Flip Saunders went to work Wednesday, reshaping his front office by firing five scouts when he wasn’t holding all-day meetings with coach Rick Adelman. Saunders fired scouts who were working without a contract or whose contract was due to expire this summer and retained scouts who have years remaining on their contracts. Gone are international scouting director Pete Philo, regional scouts J.T. Prada, Curtis Crawford and Steve Gordon and special-assignment scout Will Conroy. Regional scouts Milt Barnes, who briefly was an assistant coach alongside Saunders with the Gophers in the mid-1980s, and Derek Pierce will remain.
Philo called himself a “little bit shook up” by the brief call from Saunders informing him today and said “what hurts most” is all the “great” seasons that wait ahead for a team he and fired president of basketball operations David Kakn helped assemble. He said he is “very, very thankful” to the organization for the opportunity. “It hurts to go through all those years, painful seasons, knowing we had a plan and things started to shape up,'” he said. “I’m very proud to be part of that. It was a lot of hard work and now not to be part of it…”
Philo had been with the team the longest — eight seasons — and his knowledge in international scouting helped reshape the Wolves roster into one that’s now filled with players and prospects from Europe and South America. He ran the annual pre-draft EuroCamp for years — and he had a young player named Alexey Shved there for three straight years. The Wolves, of course, last summer signed Shved to a three-year contract. He also was instrumental in wooing Ricky Rubio to sign with the Wolves after the team drafted him in June 2009 and influenced decisions to draft European players Nemanja Bjelica and Henk Norel as well as international prospects Paolo Prestes and Tanguy Ngombo.
Flip Saunders has started the restructuring expected when he took over as Minnesota Timberwolves president last week. Saunders fired international scouting coordinator Pete Philo, regional scout Curtis Crawford and Will Conroy on Tuesday. The moves were made as Saunders clears room to get a staff together for next month’s draft.