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Report: Washington Wizards Interested in Neil Olshey

Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington says the Wizards might turn their focus on Portland’s head executive.

Neil Olshey and Damian Lillard
Blazers GM Neil Olshey talks with Damian Lillard during practice.
Getty Pictures

The Washington Wizards might be looking towards Portland Trail Blazers executive Neil Olshey to fill their vacant President of Basketball Operations position. A report from Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington cites “numerous sources” relaying Washington’s interest in Portland’s President of Basketball Operations. Olshey has been with the Blazers since June of 2012.

Standig begins by recounting the Wizards’ pursuit of Denver Nuggets executive Tim Connelly, whose team, like Olshey’s, shone this season. Then he suggests Connelly isn’t the only Western Conference exec on Washington’s list.

Numerous sources told NBC Sports Washington of the Wizards’ interest in Blazers President of Basketball Operations, the architect behind the Portland squad that reached the 2019 Western Conference Finals.

The article then launches into a list of Olshey’s achievements, including drafting star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, plus this year’s run to the Western Conference Finals. After setting the table, Standig discusses the possible courtship.

It’s uncertain the level of pursuit for Olshey from Washington, but the Wizards could face another uphill climb trying to lure the proven executive considering the similar contractual and team success to Connelly’s situation.

The general interest in Olshey began several weeks back, but the Wizards had yet to ask the Blazers for permission to interview Olshey as of Wednesday according to a source. Portland’s season ended Monday with the Game 4 loss to Golden State.

Olshey agreed to an extension in 2017 that carries his contract through the 2020-21 season. Sources believe he is open to considering other options including Washington after seven years with the Blazers.

The Blazers have won 325 games in the seven seasons since Olshey took over basketball operations, making the playoffs for the last six years straight.