Neil Olshey left the Los Angeles Clippers to become general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers in the offseason.
"After nine years, I had done everything I felt like I could do there," Olshey said Wednesday. "It would have been nice to enjoy the ride for the next period of time with the guys that we had acquired, but it was time for kind of a new challenge."
Olshey was reportedly offered a three-year, $3.6 million contract from the Blazers, while he only received a one-year, $750,000 offer from the Clippers.
Olshey compares the current state of the Blazers to where the Clippers were after the 10-11 season when they acquired Chris Paul via trade and also re-signed DeAndre Jordan.
"I don't know if we'll be that lucky here," Olshey said, referring to the Paul trade, "but we have the same flexibility. And that's all we're trying to create, is have a core group of players we're going to go forward with and then have the [salary] cap flexibility to involve ourselves in player acquisition deals."
"He did a tremendous job changing the perception of the organization and changing the culture," one NBA executive said of Olshey's work with the Clippers, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss a competitor. "He made the L.A. Clippers an organization that guys want to play for and that's no small task considering their history."