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

Portland Trail Blazers - Neil Olshey
Portland Trail Blazers - Neil Olshey /
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Trading the 15th and 20th picks for Zach Collins

This may be a controversial selection, but when evaluating the number 15 and 20 picks, the chances of getting a good starter are slim.

Zach Collins hasn’t set the world on fire yet, but if you follow Rip City Project you’ll know how high we are on this kid. Once called a future defensive player of the year candidate by teammate Lillard, Collins and Gary Trent Jr are the longterm future of this team.

Collins is a six-foot-eleven big, who can stretch the floor and potentially play All-NBA level defense. He was 232 pounds prior to the season beginning and his unfortunate injury. Though he was down to play power forward full-time this season, he will have the size to play center come year-end or in the future if need be.

Collins has a nice shooting stroke, he is skilled for a near seven-footer and is an excellent defender. The Blazers center rotation hasn’t exactly been straight forward in the three years he has been in the league, but he and Nurkic are now the two main pieces in town.

The trade for Nurkic and his subsequent injury and replacement by Enes Kanter, combined with Leonard being traded for Hassan Whiteside last summer didn’t make things easy for Collins. But, by pushing Collins to the four this season, Olshey was showing faith in the 21-year-old big.

When he traded up to get Collins, Olshey was picking his next big man of the future. This hasn’t changed, and when Collins returns when the NBA season comes back, he will show how he can be the centrepiece big man on this team for the next decade.