Tag: Executive of the Year

Billy King

Is Billy King a lock for Executive of the Year?


That’s right, I’m doing a prospective Executive of the Year post in September. Training camp doesn’t start for a week. What do you want from me?

Mikhail Prokhorov told reporters this week, via the New York Post:

Prokhorov on the job @bkdefend did retooling the @brooklynnets roster: “I think, I’m sure, I do believe he’ll be the GM of the year.”

via Twitter / TimBontemps: Prokhorov on the job @bkdefend ….

Is this thing a lock? No team will make a greater gain in wins next season. The Timberwolves went up marginally last year so a jump this year is expected but won’t be as dramatic. The Warriors may actually have put together a greater improvement and a smarter long-term roster, but they don’t have the market or starpower that the Nets do. Any other team would be a massive surprise.

So you have to think that King will wind up getting it, just based on team improvement. It’s kind of an odd choice, considering the GMs vote on it, and they all know that long-term the Nets have put a pretty hard ceiling on themselves and it’s not one of a championship. They’ll be great, but it would take moving a massive contract for either an aging or underwhelming player for them to throw in a piece that leads to a championship.

But there’s the other scenario. They just click, and the chemistry makes them an unlikely title contender. I can’t see it happening but God knows that doesn’t mean it can’t come out that way.

And the bigger result may be this: There may be simply no one else who seems like a good choice.

Possible exceptions: Rod Thorn, Masai Ujiri

Note: How amazing would it be if Arron Afflalo jetpacked into a superstar while Glen Davis got himself together and the Magic made a playoff run and Rob Hennigan won? It’s never going to happen, but oh the justice.

Note 2 (Update): If Dwight Howard comes back earlier than expected and the Lakers don’t have any injury issues and they win as many games as is likely. Mitch Kupchak is certainly a strong candidate.

Winderman: Hammond as Executive of the Year because less is more

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The press release from the NBA that accompanied Saturday’s announcement of Bucks General Manager John Hammond as Executive of the Year was noteworthy for what it didn’t mention.

In announcing Hammond as winner of the award, the release cited the drafting of Brandon Jennings, the selection of coach Scott Skiles, the addition of veterans Carlos Delfino, John Salmons, Jerry Stackhouse and Kurt Thomas, as well as the re-signing of Ersan Ilyasova.

But nowhere were two of Hammond’s most significant moves mentioned.

Or make that non-moves.

He didn’t re-sign Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions last summer, declined to get caught up in any bidding war to retain those two free agents last summer.

More to the point, he refused to overpay.

Then consider the electorate for the award.

Unlike MVP, Rookie of the Year or most of the major awards, this was not a media poll (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Unlike the All-NBA and All-Rookie teams, this was not an election by coaches.

No, this was league executives voting for one of their own.

And they just might have made the process a referendum against foolish spending.

Detroit’s Joe Dumars, who added Villanueva (and Ben Gordon), did not receive a single vote. Neither did the Timberwolves’ David Kahn, who added Sessions.

Instead, the practical and prudent Sam Presti finished second in the balloting.

With the league bursting with cap cash, there certainly will be more Dumars types out there this summer, spending because they can, much to the delight of David Lee, Rudy Gay, Carlos Boozer and others.

But the lesson from Hammond is one that should not be overlooked or understated.

Less, in his case, produced more.

Those at the July 1 starting gate should consider it a reality check.

Then again, perhaps Saturday’s announcement was a sign of what’s not to come.
Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.