The Portland Trail Blazers have named Neil Olshey as the team’s general manager, Team President Larry Miller announced today.
“Neil is someone we’ve had on our radar for quite a while,” said Miller. “Over the past two seasons he has demonstrated success in constructing a roster, managing salary cap and evaluating player talent. We feel very fortunate to have him in Portland and are thrilled about what this means for the future.”
The 10th general manager in Trail Blazers history, Olshey comes to Portland from the Los Angeles Clippers, where he served as the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations for the past two seasons. Placing third in votes for the 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year Award, Olshey was responsible for all facets of basketball operations and player personnel moves while with the Clippers, and will hold the same responsibilities as General Manager of the Trail Blazers.
“I am very pleased to have Neil as our new general manager,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “He has the skills and the vision to successfully guide our organization into a new era of Trail Blazers basketball. He’s proven that he can quickly turn around a franchise, and we are confident he can do that in Portland.”
Under Olshey’s direction, the Clippers transitioned into a playoff team this past season after he assembled one of the deepest rosters in the NBA prior to the 2011-12 season. During a six-day span, Olshey added Chris Paul, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups while re-signing DeAndre Jordan to a team that already featured Blake Griffin, Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to become a part of this successful franchise,” said Olshey. “Portland is a great basketball city with a rich tradition, an incredible fan base and committed leadership. I’m joining an organization that has a strong foundation and a bright future. I couldn’t be more excited and I’m ready to hit the ground running.”
Olshey, 47, began his nine-year NBA career with the Clippers as Director of Player Development prior to the start of the 2003-04 season, and served as an assistant coach during the 2004-05 campaign before holding the title of Director of Player Personnel from 2005-08. Olshey was promoted to the role of Assistant General Manager prior to the start of the 2008-09.
Prior to joining the Clippers, Olshey was the Director of Player Development for SFX Sports Group, Inc. where he created, organized and conducted predraft and offseason training camps for future and current NBA players. The camps produced 15 lottery picks, 25 first round selections and 57 NBA players. Participants in Olshey’s offseason skill development clinics include more than 85 current NBA players including numerous All Stars and All-NBA selections. He has also served as a Head Coach/Clinician at the Reebok ABCD Camp, the Roundball Classic and numerous NCAA basketball camps throughout the country.