Neil Olshey’s five best decisions as Portland Trail Blazers General Manager

Portland Trail Blazers - Neil Olshey
Portland Trail Blazers - Neil Olshey /
1 of 5
Terry Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Neil Olshey has been the GM of the Portland Trail Blazers for nine years now. What are the five best decisions he’s made in his time in charge?

Neil Olshey took over as General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers on June 4, 2012. In eight seasons in charge, he has made a multitude of trades, draft picks and free agent signings.

They haven’t all been winners of course, but Olshey has made plenty of moves that have altered the direction of this franchise in a positive way, on and off the court.

Though Neil isn’t ultra aggressive in terms of taking risks, he doesn’t mind making in-season trades to upgrade his roster. Let’s begin.

Decision number five – August 7, 2012 – Hired Terry Stotts as Head Coach

This is without a doubt one of Neil Olshey’s best decisions. As Terry Stotts came in around the same time as Damian Lillard, he has been a massive part of Lillard’s development.

People may criticise Stotts for his defensive schemes, but his track record in a small market that hasn’t always had the best talent, is excellent.

There’s two key components to Stotts success. First, his record as head coach.

  • A 55 percent overall record
  • Only missed the playoffs once
  • Only been under .500 once
  • Made the second round twice, and the Conference Finals once

To put this in perspective, since Stotts has been head coach, teams like the Sacramento Kings haven’t made the playoffs, and haven’t had a .500 season. Stotts deserves a lot of praise for his part in the Blazers sustained success.

The second thing he and Olshey in turn deserve credit for, is player development. Lillard, and then CJ McCollum were both small guards who played four years in college and although they both went in the first round, they weren’t sure things in terms of prospects.

Stotts has helped turn this pair into one of the best backcourts in the league. McCollum is one of the best shooters in the league, while Dame is already a surefire Hall of Famer and perennial All-star.

Hiring Stotts was a great move by Olshey, and he has been a massive part of one of the longest sustained periods of success that this team has experienced.