The Portland Trail Blazers General Manager took over a franchise riddled with injuries after the 2010 season and could have thrown in the towel. Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, once thought to be franchise cornerstones, both suffered multiple knee injuries which would derail their careers in Portland.
But Olshey stayed the course, opting to hold onto highly-touted young forwards LeMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, and is hoping that tanking isn't the only way to turn around a struggling franchise.
"This is still a process, but everything we did this offseason was with one goal in mind. We're going to continue to develop our young guys, it's just not going to come at the expense of winning games," Olshey proclaimed at Portland's media day. "I think we're talented enough (to make the playoffs)."
Portland has drafted well around its all-star Aldridge, who has averaged 18.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in seven years with the Blazers, and fortified its bench via free agency. Now Portland, which finished last in the NBA with 18.5 bench points per game last season, 5.6 points worse than 29th-ranked Indiana Pacers, has a deep, talented roster with a good mix of youthful exuberance and veteran leadership.
Perhaps more important than Aldridge to the success of Rip City is the reigning Rookie of the Year, Damian Lillard. The Weber State product and sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft made an immediate impact with his new club, tallying 23 points and 11 assists in a season-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Lillard led all rookies with 19.0 points and 6.5 assists per game, and has no plans of slowing down.
"I think I can do a better job of making the people around me better,"Lillard told the Oregonian. "I want to make the playoffs, I want to make the all-star team."
Lillard, the fourth ever unanimous Rookie of the Year, broke a rookie record with 185 3-pointers and led the league with 3,167 minutes played.
Joining Lillard in the upgraded Blazers' backcourt is rookie C.J. McCollum. Drafted 10th out of Lehigh this past June, the talented young combo guard was expected to step in as the team's sixth man. Unfortunately, McCollum recently underwent surgery after fracturing his left foot -- the same injury that ended his senior season at Lehigh just six games in -- and will miss an undisclosed amount of time.
If McCollum misses an extended period of time, veteran Mo Williams will be called on to spell Lillard and play with him in smaller lineups. Capable of creating or running off the ball, Williams' skill set makes him an invaluable member of Portland's revamped second unit, especially with McCollum on the pine.
Portland also made deals to solidify its frontcourt in the form of Robin Lopez, Dorell Wright and Thomas Robinson.
Lopez, acquired in a three-team deal from the New Orleans Pelicans, started all 82 games last season after four years with the Suns and is known for his energy and interior defense.
Robinson, drafted fifth by the Kings in 2012, failed to find consistent playing time with Sacramento and Houston last season, but should thrive in a reserve role playing behind Aldridge.
Wright's outside shooting ability and defensive versatility gives coach Terry Stotts another weapon he was sorely lacking a season ago.
2012-13 Results: 33-49, 4th in Northwest, Missed Playoffs
ADDITIONS: G Earl Watson, G C.J. McCollum, G Mo Williams, G Allen Crabbe, F Dorell Wright, F Thomas Robinson, C Robin Lopez