Paul Allen has a new general manager for the Portland Trail Blazers, and you may wager amongst yourselves as to how long Neil Olshey will last in what has been a revolving-door job for the past few years.
Olshey left a similar post with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday to take the job with the Blazers, who have been using Chad Buchanan as their interim GM for the past year.
Buchanan took over from the departed Rich Cho, who lasted only one season with the Blazers (Allen said their personalities clashed) after Kevin Pritchard and assistant GM Tom Penn were kicked out the door on draft night in 2010.
Olshey’s first job will be hiring a head coach, and the folks at ESPN Radio700 in Salt Lake City believe it may be Jerry Sloan — as we discussed today on the Bill and Hans Show. Click to play button below to listen.
“Neil is someone we’ve had on our radar for quite a while,” team president Larry Miller said in a news release. “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 spent the past two seasons as the Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations. He placed third behind Larry Bird (Pacers) and RC Buford (Spurs) in voting for the 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year Award after acquiring Chris Paul and Nick Young in trades, claiming Chauncey Billups off waivers and signing veteran free agents Caron Butler, Kenyon Marin and Reggie Evans.
“I am very pleased to have Neil as our new general manager,” Allen said. “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.”
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.