Trail Blazers hire Clippers' Olshey as GM

Portland needs new head coach, starting point guard, starting center

Published On: Jun 05 2012 05:53:41 PM PDT
Basketball closeup, sports, NBA

Three days after Neil Olshey reportedly reached an agreement to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers, Olshey was hired by the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday to be their general manager.

Portland got into the picture when contract negotiations with the Clippers broke down, and Olshey will be introduced as Portland's GM on Tuesday.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to become a part of this successful franchise," said Olshey in a statement released by the Blazers. "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."

The 47-year-old Olshey has been the Clippers vice president of basketball operations the past two seasons, and he has been employed by the Clippers the past nine years.

The Clippers announced Friday the team had reached an agreement in principle with Olshey, but complications ensued.

He was the person most responsible for engineering the trade that brought Chris Paul to the Clippers before the start of the 2011-2012 season.

He will have a lot of work to do with Portland, which needs a new head coach, a starting point guard and a starting center.

However, the Blazers have two lottery picks in the upcoming draft -- the No. 6 and No. 11 selections in the first round.

Olshey replaces Rich Cho, who was fired in May 2011, 10 months after he was hired. Chad Buchanan has served as GM on an interim basis since then..

"Neil is someone we've had on our radar for quite a while," team president Larry Miller said in a statement issued by the team. "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."