The Wizards struck out on luring Nuggets president Tim Connelly.
Washington’s next choice?
As for the rumor mill, one name stands out: Neil Olshey.
Numerous sources told NBC Sports Washington of the Wizards’ interest in Blazers President of Basketball Operations
Olshey has done a good job in Portland. He drafted Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum then built a winner around those two after LaMarcus Aldridge left. Trading for and re-signing Jusuf Nurkic to a reasonable contract looks great. Olshey also overpaid Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe and Festus Ezeli, but many teams spent wildly in 2016. It was a weird summer.
The Wizards would do well to hire such a proven executive.
Would Olshey leave the Trail Blazers? Their ownership situation remains uncertain following the death of Paul Allen in October. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has demonstrated extreme loyalty to his executives.
Portland will also reportedly sign Damian Lillard to a super-max extension – a move that practically must be made, but one that carries massive downside risk. However, if he goes to Washington, Olshey would be trading uncertainty in Damian Lillard’s value on the super-max for certain negative value with John Wall on his super-max extension.
A couple years ago, Olshey signed his own extension through 2021. Maybe he’s ready to move on.
Or maybe he’s ready to use the Wizards as leverage for a raise.