Armed with Picks up his Sleeve, Neil Olshey looks to Work Trade Magic

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May 10, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey (R) talks to actress Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia (L) after game three of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

May 10, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey (R) talks to actress Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia (L) after game three of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

With a treasure trove of picks, GM Neil Olshey faces a situation of both envy and immense pressure, as the team struggles for a winning path

Coming into the 2016-17 season, GM Neil Olshey had a win-now mentality, with a Blazers’ roster built to capitalize on his stars’ prime. However, this season has started rocky, going 23-31 and added scrutiny with his offseason moves.

But, Olshey has a cache of picks, which started with Portland forfeiting their pick to Denver last season.

Then, the Blazers made a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade the 2018 Cleveland pick they owned for their 2017 pick instead.

Which brings the season to now, where the Blazers just traded center Mason Plumlee for Jusuf Nurkic, and yet another first round pick. This time, the Blazers acquired Memphis’ 2017 first rounder.

The recent trade puts the Blazers not only at three first round picks, but at a crossroads of what direction to take the team.

This season was about making the playoffs, and making the leap into the next tier of contenders—like the Clippers and Spurs. But hope has cratered to any seed but the eighth spot.

Now, the Blazers just made a deal with the team in the eighth spot, who holds a one game lead over the Blazers. In that trade, Denver got the better player right now, and it may signal to Portland throwing in the towel on this season.

More trades could be coming. Whether before the deadline, on the deadline, or even in the offseason. I’m going to make a case for both trading the picks and keeping them, or at least holding off until the offseason.

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