Olshey insists the contract wasn't an issue, that Sterling -- with whom he held a good relationship -- would have matched Portland's figure if the owner had gotten the chance.
"The money was a wash," Olshey says. "It wasn't about that. It was really about that proactively, Paul and Larry and the (Blazers) organization were willing to make a commitment to me. Once Portland came in, (Sterling) was willing to put any resources together. The financial part of it wasn't an issue.
Not everyone holds such a high opinion of Olshey.
One L.A.-based reporter calls him "a liar" who undermined coach Vinny Del Negro and had to be convinced to trade for Paul because guard Eric Gordon -- a centerpiece in the deal with the Hornets -- "is going to be an All-Star."