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Neil Olshey Rumors

Neil Olshey thought Anfernee Simons was the most talented player he ever drafted

Simons, meanwhile, was a promising youngster who had mostly scuffled in his first three years, even as veterans trumpeted his talent and predicted stardom. Added to the expectations was the full-throttled support of Neil Olshey, the executive who drafted Simons. Olshey never backed down in his belief that Simons was the most talented player he had ever drafted, a list that included Blake Griffin, Lillard and McCollum.
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Anfernee Simons’ recent explosion also has league executives chattering about the future of CJ McCollum in Portland, and to a lesser extent that of Norman Powell. Simons is headed for a lucrative restricted free agency this summer, and Portland is already trying to evade paying the luxury tax. 
Assessing the interest for McCollum is somewhat difficult given his recent collapsed lung and a decline in production at the age of 30. But former GM Neil Olshey’s regime valued McCollum quite highly, and there’s a sense among some rival executives that McCollum would have a sizable market at a lower evaluation than Olshey may have held.
The Sixers have long targeted Lillard, who reaffirmed his desire to stay in Portland around the start of the team’s training camp. After the recent firing of president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, Cronin has publicly and privately said the franchise plans to keep building around Lillard. The Blazers have been open to discussing a deal for Simmons centered on guard CJ McCollum, but that conversation never gathered traction, sources said.
Storyline: Ben Simmons to Blazers?
As former President of Basketball Operations and GM Neil Olshey exits the Blazers, the process to hire his successor will soon be underway. Portland is deciding whether it’ll hire a firm to research and recommend candidates, sources said. Bert Kolde, the long-time ownership executive and right-hand man to the late Paul Allen, will direct the search again. He’s hired several GMs in his tenure.