The Clippers were offering former vice president of basketball operations Neil Olshey a one-year contract worth $750K when the Blazers countered with the three-year, $3.6MM offer to become their general manager, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The Blazers deal, which Olshey took last week, includes team options for two additional seasons. Olshey had been making $450K per year on a month-to-month deal with the Clippers since August.
Olshey, in his comments during his introductory press conference in Portland, was unwilling to blame the Clippers for his abrupt departure from the team, but Mark Heisler of SheridanHoops.com took the Clippers to task earlier this week for their lowballing tactics. Teams across the league have been trying to cut corners on salaries for their front office executives, but the disparity between the offers casts the Clippers in an especially negative light.
The Clippers haven't put together a list of candidates to be Olshey's replacement, Turner says, mentioning that team president Andy Roeser was expected to meet this week with agent Warren LeGarie. One of LeGarie's clients is former Nuggets and Nets executive Kiki Vandeweghe, who's currently a television analyst for Clippers broadcasts and has expressed a desire to return to a more formal capacity with a team.
Turner says front office executives in attendance for the NBA draft combine in Chicago threw out the names of former Lakers assistant general manager Ronnie Lester, Warriors assistant general manger Travis Schlenk, Pistons assistant general manager Scott Perry and former Wolves assistant general manager Tony Ronzone as possible candidates. They also mentioned Pacers general manager David Morway, who appears to be on the outs in Indiana.
Gary Sacks, Clippers director of player personnel and a friend of Sam Goldfeder, the agent for Blake Griffin, may also be considered, according to Turner. Earlier today, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com cautioned that the team's search is not yet serious.