In case you were wondering why Neil Olshey changed his mind so abruptly and decided to join the Portland Trail Blazers, it was apparently all about money.
Not surprising, by any means, but it does explain Olshey's sudden change of heart.
On Friday, June 1, the Los Angeles Clippers announced they had reached an agreement in principal to keep Olshey, their general manager, with the team.
On Monday, June 4, the Clippers announced that they and Olshey had agreed to part ways.
Less than an hour later, the Blazers announced that they had hired Olshey to fill a GM position that had been manned by Chad Buchanan on an interim basis for more than a year.
So what happened over the weekend to lure Olshey to Rip City? What changed his mind?
Money and job security, as it turns out.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday, June 8, that Olshey had signed a three-year guaranteed contract with the Blazers worth $3.6 million. That trumped the one-year, $750,000 deal Olshey had with L.A., based on salary figures the Times obtained.
Blazers fans had been, rightfully, frustrated that owner Paul Allen took so long to hire a permanent GM, but Allen might have made up for it with the hiring of Olshey, who made some significant moves with the Clippers, none bigger than bringing in point guard Chris Paul.
(Hey, Neil, the Blazers could really use a top-notch point guard, themselves; got another big acquisition like that up your sleeve?)
Allen's willingness to get out the checkbook and offer a guaranteed contract to get a good GM in place before the June 28 draft is an extremely positive sign that the Blazers' turnaround is in good shape.
After reports of his new deal with L.A. surfaced last Friday, it looked as though Olshey was out of the running, after initially being tabbed as Portland's top choice. Turns out the situation was nothing a couple million dollars couldn't fix.