Neil Olshey, General Manager, Portland Trail Blazers
Neil Olshey enters his fourt season as President of Basketball Operations of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2015-16. Olshey was named the team’s 10th President of Basketball Operations in franchise history on June 4, 2012. As President of Basketball Operations, Olshey leads the organization’s Basketball Operations department, overseeing talent evaluation, player personnel decisions, contract negotiations and salary cap management.
Less than a month after joining the Trail Blazers, Olshey drafted Damian Lillard (sixth overall), the fourth unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year in league history, along with Meyers Leonard (11th overall) and Will Barton (40th overall). He then signed Nicolas Batum to a long-term deal and named veteran coach Terry Stotts head coach of the Trail Blazers on August 7, 2012.
In July of 2014, Olshey bolstered the team’s bench by acquiring veteran free agents Steve Blake and Chris Kaman. In the summer of 2013, he traded for Thomas Robinson and Robin Lopez, signed free agents Mo Williams and Dorell Wright, selected CJ McCollum (10th overall) in the NBA Draft and acquired the draft rights to Allen Crabbe (31st overall).
Olshey finished third in 2013-14 NBA Executive of the Year voting after the Trail Blazers posted a 54-28 record last season, marking the largest improvement in franchise history and the sixth-best record all-time. Portland won its first playoff series in 14 seasons, defeating the Houston Rockets in six games, which set up a Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. The postseason berth was the team’s first since 2010-11.
Olshey came to Portland from the Los Angeles 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.
Under Olshey’s direction, the Clippers transitioned into a playoff team in 2011-12 after he assembled one of the deepest rosters in the NBA prior to the start of the season. During a six-day span, Olshey added Chris Paul, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups while re-signing DeAndre Jordan to a team that already featured Blake Griffin, Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe. The Chris Paul trade led to Olshey receiving the “Best Sports Transaction of the Year” award at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
Olshey began his NBA career with the Clippers as Director of Player Development prior to the start of the 2003-04 season, and served as an assistant coach during the 2004-05 campaign before holding the title of Director of Player Personnel from 2005-08. Olshey was promoted to the role of Assistant General Manager prior to the start of the 2008-09 season.
Prior to joining the Clippers, Olshey was the Director of Player Development for SFX Sports Group, Inc. where he created, organized and conducted predraft and offseason training camps for future and current NBA players. The camps produced 15 lottery picks, 25 first round selections and 57 NBA players overall. Participants in Olshey’s offseason skills development clinics include more than 85 current and former NBA players including numerous All-Stars and All-NBA selections. He has also served as a Head Coach/Clinician at the Reebok/Adidas ABCD Camp, the Roundball Classic and numerous NCAA basketball camps throughout the country.
A 1987 graduate of Le Moyne College, Olshey was a recipient of the Outstanding Senior Athlete Award for his efforts on the lacrosse field and is a current member of the Board of Regents.
He is married to Emmy-nominated television producer Leslie Radakovich, and they have two boys, Connor and James.