In a shocking bit of news given the timing of it, the Portland Trail Blazers have snagged Neil Olshey from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Olshey was the man who coordinated the largest acquisition in Los Angeles Clippers history:their trade for superstar point guard Chris Paul. In the same six-day span, Olshey signed All-Stars Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups, and re-signed DeAndre Jordan.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to become a part of this successful franchise,” Olshey said 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.”
The timing is odd for this story is because the Clippers released a statement saying they had come to terms with Olshey just 4 days ago. Whether that statement had anything to do with media pressure and posturing is unclear, but when the smoke rises from this one, then the Clippers are without the man who put together this young, talented squad. “Circumstances have obviously undergone some movement since our announcement Friday. In light of that, we want to wish Neil well and acknowledge his contributions during the time he spent with the Clippers,” said Clippers’ President Andy Roeser.
Olshey finished third last month in voting for the NBA’s Executive of the 2011-2012 season.
“He has the skills and the vision to successfully guide our organization into a new era of Trail Blazers basketball,” owner Paul Allen said in a statement released by the Blazers. “He’s proven that he can quickly turn around a franchise, and we are confident he can do that in Portland.”
Roeser and Vinny Del Negro will assume Olshey’s responsibilities for the moment, and the Clippers can hardly complain about the players Olshey recruited to their roster.