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Clippers executive Neil Olshey goes to the Portland Trail Blazers

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The architect of the squad that advanced to the NBA playoffs' second round was thought to be staying with Los Angeles. Instead, the Clippers will seek a replacement.

June 04, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Neil Olshey, the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations, has left the team to become the general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Neil Olshey, the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations,… (Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty…)

The Clippers said Monday afternoon that the team has begun a search for a new general manager after Neil Olshey changed direction and bolted to the Portland Trail Blazers to become that team's GM.

The Clippers announced that they had mutually agreed to end discussions and part ways with Olshey.

On Friday, it looked as if Olshey and the Clippers would remain partners after the team announced that a deal had been reached in principle.

Olshey, the team's vice president of basketball operations, never signed that contract with the Clippers.

"Circumstances have obviously undergone some movement since our announcement Friday," Clippers President Andy Roeser said in a statement.

Olshey didn't return phone calls Monday night.

The Clippers said Coach Vinny Del Negro, director of player personnel Gary Sacks and Roeser will handle the team's basketball operations while the franchise looks for a general manager.

With the NBA draft on June 28 and free agency starting July 1, the Clippers probably will move quickly.

It's unclear whom they might contact.

Lately, names like David Morway, GM with the Indiana Pacers, and Jeff Bower, former GM with the New Orleans Hornets, have been mentioned for general manager openings. Olshey beat out both of them for the job in Portland.

Scott Perry, the assistant general manager with the Detroit Pistons, has been a candidate for some jobs.

Kiki Vandeweghe, a former general manager of the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets, spent last season as a basketball analyst and sideline reporter for Prime Ticket on Clippers games. He has indicated he is interested in getting back into a front-office position.

Olshey had interviewed recently with Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen in London; he also interviewed for the GM position last year in Portland.

Olshey had been credited as the architect who put together a Clippers team that had one of the best seasons in franchise history.

He acquired Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Reggie Evans, Nick Young and Kenyon Martin and re-signed center DeAndre Jordan after he signed an offer sheet with the Golden State Warriors.

During the 66-game, lockout-shortened season, Olshey acquired Paul in the biggest trade in franchise history.

Under Olshey and Del Negro, whose contract option was exercised by the team May 29, the Clippers posted a 40-26 record, a .606 winning percentage.

The Clippers reached the second round of the playoffs for only the second time during the 31 years Donald Sterling has owned the team, losing in four games to the San Antonio Spurs.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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