Portland Trail Blazers: Grading Neil Olshey’s past 5 Seasons

Portland Trail Blazers, Neil Olshey, Damian Lillard Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Trail Blazers, Neil Olshey, Damian Lillard Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Portland Trail Blazers 2016 season

Re-signings: N/A

Players Lost:
Festus Ezeli

C.J. Wilcox – 2-way deal

Allen Crabbe to Brooklyn for Andrew Nicholson
Tim Quarterman to Houston for cash
Picks 15&20 to SAC for 10

Zach Collins (No. 10)
Caleb Swanigan (No. 26)

This offseason was pretty quiet with the draft bringing all the excitement. Festus Ezeli couldn’t stay healthy and was released, Tim Quarterman got moved for cash and amazingly Olshey was able to get off Crabbe’s contract after just one disappointing year saving a lot of cap room.

Now we into the draft, the first 1st round pick for the organization since C.J. McCollum in 2013. They had a first-round pick in 2015 but moved it (Rondae Hollis Jefferson) to the Nets for Mason Plumlee and Pat Connaughton.

“And with the 10th pick, the Portland Trail Blazers select Zach Collins, Forward, Gonzaga.”

I was not happy. I went to Washington State a mere one hour away from Gonzaga. I watched nearly half of Zach’s college games, I instantly knew we had drafted a project that could be something in the future but not in the short term.

Now the fun part, looking at the players we could have had. No. 11 Malik Monk, No. 12 Luke Kennard, No. 13 Donovan Mitchell, No. 14 Bam Adebayo, No. 19 John Collins.

Looking back on the draft is always going to leave you with a lot of “what ifs” that you should not put yourself through for your own mental health. So, I will just say that any of those players would have been major contributors on this team and yes I will never get over this pick.

“And with the 26th pick the Portland Trail Blazers select Caleb Swanigan, Forward, Purdue.”

Now, this pick I was very excited about; I watch Swanigan in college and knew that he always played so hard but the “what if” game can’t be just exclusive to when I hate a pick. No. 27 Kyle Kuzma, No. 29 Derrick White, No. 30 Josh Hart. Safe to say any one of those three would have had a bigger impact than Swanigan had for Portland.

This draft was a disaster, the only saving grace from this offseason was getting off Crabbe’s deal which shouldn’t even be counted as a win since he signed him to it a year prior.

Grade: D+

Missing on two first-round picks while you are building a team is devastating.