YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Neil Olshey downplays likelihood of Clippers making a trade

The trade deadline is Thursday, but the Clippers executive says he's not interested in stopgap deals and that any help this season will come 'from the inside.'

March 13, 2012|By Broderick Turner

Neil Olshey has listened to everyone clamoring for the Clippers to make a move before Thursday's noon (PST) trade deadline in an attempt to stop the team's current slide.

The Clippers' vice president of basketball operations has heard from his coaching staff, the team's fans and media, all of them stressing the need to acquire a player in the wake of Chauncey Billups' season-ending Achilles' tendon injury that appears to have shaken the team.

Olshey is making and taking phone calls from other general managers. But his mantra to Clippers fans is: "Your help is coming from the inside."

Translation: Don't expect the Clippers to make a trade before the deadline.

"[We] would love to add a piece right now [because] Chris Paul's goal of coming here was to win a championship," Olshey said Tuesday. "[But] unless the move you make today leads you in that direction ? you can't sacrifice the ability to build a championship-level organization by giving up your assets to go get a guy that's going to make you incrementally better this year instead of looking to improve from within."

Olshey has heard the rumors about the Clippers being in talks with the Portland Trail Blazers to get shooting guard Jamal Crawford in exchange for second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe and small forward Ryan Gomes.

Olshey wouldn't specifically discuss those rumors.

"If we can acquire a player without giving up much in terms of assets that help [us] move the needle a little bit this year and maintain [our] flexibility long term, [we] may do something," Olshey said.

When the Clippers traded shooting guard Eric Gordon to New Orleans in the Paul deal, Olshey knew the team would face the longer-term task of finding "a permanent solution" at shooting guard.

Nevertheless, Olshey said, "We're not going to give up our remaining assets unless it makes an impact acquisition."

The Clippers have struggled to an 8-10 record since Billups was injured.

Olshey acknowledged that practice time will be limited because of this season's compressed schedule.

On Tuesday the Clippers took the day off because they are in the midst of playing six games in eight days.

"The needle will move more once we accept that this is our team," Olshey said. "While we are a work in progress and we're trying to win a championship, we're [only] going to make good moves."

Making a deal now, Olshey suggested, "takes away your ability to get better next summer, when you really need to get better. [So] why would you do it?"

Los Angeles Times Articles