The Portland Trail Blazers are keeping Neil Olshey in the front office a little bit longer. As a result, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Tuesday that the Trail Blazers have signed the team’s president of basketball operations to a contract extension that will run through the 2021 season.
The Olshey era got underway in 2012 and just one month later, he responded by making a splashy move in the NBA Draft. With players such as North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Washington’s Terrence Ross and UConn’s Andre Drummond still on the board, Olshey and the Blazers went with the unsung hero out of Weber State, point guard Damian Lillard at pick No. 6.
That selection has paid dividends given Lillard, who has played in 75 or more games in each season, won Rookie of the Year and has been named to a pair of All-Star Games.
Olshey and the Trail Blazers rounded out the backcourt the following cycle when Portland took another small-school product in the form of Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum. It took a while for the shooting guard to get going, but he flashed his potential to be the sidekick to Lillard after McCollum was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player one season ago.
Olshey began his NBA front-office career with the Los Angeles Clippers, where he started as director of player personnel in 2003. He elevated to assistant coach the following season and took a spot as assistant manager ahead of the 2008 season.
The Trail Blazers have been to the postseason in four straight seasons. They were ousted in the first round of last season’s playoffs by the eventual NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, 4-0.