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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Portland Trail Blazers
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Trading Mason Plumlee and a second round pick to the Denver Nuggets for Jusuf Nurkic and a first round pick

This has been Olshey’s best trade by far. Although Jusuf Nurkic‘s terrible injury has meant he missed a year of NBA action, he was the main reason for a massive revival in the Blazers worst season in recent memory after only just joining the team in 2016/17.

He then had a career best year last year in the Blazers best season in 18 years.

A big reason this trade was such a winner for Olshey, was he upgraded at center while not giving anything away to do it.

Nurkic was unhappy on a Nuggets team that couldn’t use him. As an over-qualified backup who knew he could be a starter, the Nuggets had to attach a draft pick to dump him, while taking on Mason Plumlee. Plumlee, though he was a good starting center for the Blazers, was never a great defender and was due to be paid in the next season too.

Getting off Plumlee, then upgrading to Nurkic while also getting a first round pick, was a huge win.

Nurkic instantly became a fan favourite in town and revived the Blazers, pushing them to a 14 and 6 record in his first few months in town.

Nurk is a top ten center in the league when fit, and his massive 2018/19 season was one of the best big men season in Blazers history.

Averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds with 3 assists, one steal and one block, he was the second best player on a team that won 53 games.

Obviously Nurk’s injury was devastating for him, but when fit he is the perfect big man for this team. This trade was a masterpiece, and we will likely see a great version of Nurk when he comes back.