The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off their most successful season in nearly 20 years and are making sure the architect of their roster stays in place.
The Blazers have signed president of basketball operations Neil Olshey to a contract extension that will keep Olshey with the team through the 2023-24 season.
“Neil has done an exceptional job finding and keeping the talent that has made the Trail Blazers a perennial playoff team, culminating in this season’s magical run to the Western Conference Finals,” Jody Allen, Trustee of Paul G. Allen Trust, said in a statement Friday. “I have great confidence in the culture he has created in Portland, and I look forward to seeing it thrive and grow for years to come.”
“I am honored to extend my tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers under the leadership of Jody Allen, the ongoing partnership with Bert Kolde, Chris McGowan and Terry Stotts and in the memory of Paul G. Allen,” Olshey said in a statement. “Leslie, Connor, James and I love Portland and feel blessed to be a part of the future of Rip City.”
Olshey has been with Portland since 2012 and was in charge of the team as it built its contending team around All-NBA guard Damian Lillard and his fellow star guard, CJ McCollum. He has also overseen several key transactions that helped the Blazers amass the rest of their core players, from acquiring center Jusuf Nurkic from the Denver Nuggets for Mason Plumlee, cash and a 2018 second-round pick to this season's additions of Rodney Hood and Enes Kanter. The Blazers reached the Western Conference finals this season, the first time they had advanced to that round since 2000.
Less than a month after joining the Trail Blazers, Olshey drafted Damian Lillard, who became the fourth unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year in league history. He then named veteran coach Terry Stotts as coach of the Blazers on August 7, 2012. Olshey also drafted and developed guard CJ McCollum (10th overall in 2013), winner of the 2015-16 Kia NBA Most Improved Player award. Stotts and the Blazers reportedly agreed to an extension just days ago.
Promoted to president of basketball operations in 2015, Olshey was named the 10th General Manager in franchise history on June 4, 2012, and finished his fifth season at the helm in 2016-17. In his role, Olshey leads the organization’s basketball operations, overseeing talent evaluation, player personnel decisions, contract negotiations and salary cap management.
Olshey came to Portland from the LA Clippers, where he served as the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations for two seasons. Placing third in votes for the 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year Award, Olshey was responsible for all facets of basketball operations and player personnel moves while with the Clippers.
Olshey received a contract extension in August of 2017 which was set to take him through the 2020-21 season.