February 8th will mark the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline. Between now and then, the Portland Trail Blazers will face complex and tough decisions. We talked about some of those in yesterday’s trade deadline post. As we try to guess the direction the Blazers will take, ESPN has listed the trade deadline history of all 30 NBA General Managers, including Neil Olshey. ESPN Insider is required to read the whole article, but here’s Olshey’s portion, chronicling his history during five trade deadlines at Portland’s helm.
Olshey has taken three different approaches in recent years. With a league-low payroll in February 2016, Portland was able to absorb the contracts of Brian Roberts (from Miami) and Anderson Varejao (from Cleveland) in exchange for first- and second-round picks in 2017. The trade got Portland closer to the salary cap floor. Last February, attention was turned to the court, when Portland acquired center Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick. The trade was both financial, with Mason Plumlee set to enter free agency, and it also gave the Trail Blazers a starting center at a low cost, plus a draft asset. In 2015, Olshey sacrificed a 2016 first-round pick (lottery protected) and reserve Will Barton to Denver in exchange for Arron Afflalo. Although injured in early April, Afflalo gave Portland quality starter minutes when Wesley Matthews was lost for the season because of a torn Achilles in March. The downside is that Afflalo opted out of his $7.5 million contract in the offseason and Barton turned into one of the top sixth men in the NBA.