The Trail Blazers have hired former LA Clippers General Manager Neil Olshey to serve in the same role with Portland.
The statement by the Blazers came less than an hour after the Clippers revealed that they and Olshey had made a decision to part ways. NFL odds
Last season, Olshey oversaw a major retooling of the Clippers that contained signing All-Star point guard Chris Paul in December as an element of the largest trade in organization history. In the same 6-day span, Olshey signed All-Stars Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups, and re-signed DeAndre Jordan.
The Clippers finished 40-26 and reached the second round of the playoffs.
“I am extraordinarily thankful for the chance to become part of this successful organization,” Olshey asserted in a statement released by the Blazers. “Portland is a great basketball city with a rich convention, a fantastic fan base and committed leadership. I’m joining an association that has a powerful foundation and a vivid future.”
The Blazers have been operating under interim General Manager Chad Buchanan for the past year. Buchanan, the team’s director of school scouting, took over when the team fired Rich Cho after about 10 months on the role.
Olshey becomes the 10th director in Blazers history.
“Neil is somebody we’ve had on our radar for quite a bit. Over the past 2 seasons he has demonstrated achievement in assembling a check-list, managing salary cap and assessing player talent,” Blazers President Larry Miller announced in a press release. “We feel very lucky to have him in Portland and are thrilled about what this means for the future.”
Olshey had formerly interviewed for the position in Portland last September in the work stoppage.
The 47-year-old Olshey had been with the Clippers for 9 years, including stints as director of player development, assistant coach, director of player personnel and assistant General Manager. He was elevated to run the Clippers’ front office in March 2010 after serving under Mike Dunleavy as the club’s assistant GM.
During Olshey’s 2 seasons as the top executive in basketball operations, the Clippers improved from 29-53 in 2009-10, to 32-50 in 2010-11, then vaulted into the postseason this past season with a 40-26 record, the best winning percentage in franchise history.
He came 3rd last month in voting for the NBA’s Executive of the Year for the 2011-2012 season.
“He has the talents and the vision to guide our franchise into a new era of Trail Blazers basketball,” owner Paul Allen asserted in a statement released by the Blazers. “He’s proven that he will swiftly turn around an organization, and we’re confident he will do that in Portland.”
Now that the Blazers have a GM they can turn their attention to contracting a new chief coach. The team discharged Nate McMillan at the trade cut-off point after more than 6 seasons at the wheel. Assistant Kaleb Canales served as coach the rest of the season.
The Blazers finished the lockout-shortened season 28-38 and out of the playoffs for the 1st time in 4 years.