Neil Olshey Rumors
An Eastern Conference executive told me this week that Olshey explored trades for Henderson at the All-Star break, but wanted too much. Instead, Olshey used the trade deadline and all that cap space to turn a future second-round pick into a future first. A prominent NBA agent with a player currently on the Blazers roster told me last month that the most important task for Olshey is to figure out how to this season to turn on the lights for Portland’s future. “More work to be done,” the agent said. “Folks have to recognize what’s being done in Portland, otherwise, they will have trouble attracting a free agent.”
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When LaMarcus Aldridge decided to leave the Portland Trail Blazers after nine seasons and join the San Antonio Spurs, GM Neil Olshey had some work to do. There was a conversation that needed to take place, too. And it had to happen first. Olshey called Damian Lillard in for a meeting and asked the budding star a question that had to be posed — and answered. “Are you ready for this?” Olshey asked his point guard, according to a person familiar with the meeting. “Are you OK with this being your team now?”
Decisions on Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews were more tied to Aldridge’s decision — especially where Matthews was concerned. Olshey had been up front with Matthews’ agent, Jeff Austin, that he’d be interested in re-signing the 29-year-old shooting guard coming off an Achilles injury only if Aldridge came back. With C.J. McCollum waiting in the wings, it wouldn’t make sense otherwise.
Sirius XM NBA: AUDIO: Neil Olshey says “it’s a joke” that @Damian Lillard didn’t make the All-Star team #Blazers #RipCity bit.ly/1TGsE6w
There’s a small room off the side of the hallway outside the Trail Blazers locker room that general manager Neil Olshey uses on game night as his meeting space. During 41 evenings a season team president Chris McGowan works to catch the GM and get down to business on matters that concern both. “Neil is not seen as a big email or text guy,” one Portland front-office official said on Saturday. “You have to talk, and meet with him.”