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Spurs’ R.C. Buford wins Executive of the Year, though Trail Blazers’ Neil Olshey gets most first-place votes

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We were split between the Spurs’ R.C. Buford and the Trail Blazers Neil Olshey for Executive of the Year.

Apparently, so were NBA executives.

Buford won the 2016 Executive of the Year despite Olshey getting more first-place votes from their peers.

Here’s the full voting with executive, team (first-place votes, second-place votes, third-place votes, points):

  1. R.C. Buford, San Antonio (9-10-2-77)
  2. Neil Olshey, Portland (10-3-4-63)
  3. Bob Myers, Golden State (5-4-1-38)
  4. Masai Ujiri, Toronto (2-2-2-18)
  5. Rich Cho, Charlotte (1-2-6-17)
  6. Danny Ainge, Boston (1-2-2-13)
  7. David Griffin, Cleveland (0-3-1-10)
  8. Stan Van Gundy, Detroit (0-1-3-6)
  9. Pat Riley, Miami (0-1-3-6)
  10. Sam Presti, Oklahoma City (1-0-0-5)
  11. Sam Hinkie, Philadelphia (0-1-2-5)
  12. Wes Wilcox, Atlanta (0-0-1-1)
  13. John Hammond, Milwaukee (0-0-1-1)
  14. Dennis Lindsey, Utah (0-0-1-1)

Thoughts:

  • R.C. Buford and Neil Olshey had excellent years, as we explained here.
  • Buford, who also won in 2014, is the first two-time winner since Bryan Colangelo (2005 Suns and 2007 Raptors). This can be a funny award.
  • What did Bob Myers do to earn votes this year? Re-sign Draymond Green as a restricted free agent? Lure Anderson Varejao after his buyout? Not trade for Stephen Curry? Myers is an impressive general manager, but this team has been built for a while (as was the case when he won last season). This doesn’t seem to go past simplistic “Warriors are good, so they deserve awards” thinking.
  • I’m not surprised Richard Cho finished highly, but I’m not on board. He made the Hornets better this season, but he did so with a rotation full of expiring contracts. One false step in free agency, and the entire foundation collapses. It could work out for Charlotte if Nicolas Batum and other key free agents re-sign, but I don’t think a first-round exit justifies such an treacherous outlook.
  • An executive from each team votes for this award, so unlike honors where media pick, each voter’s choices aren’t publicly disclosed. The closeness and anonymity of voters opens the door for voting to push an agenda. Do three executives really think Sam Hinkie had a top-three year, or do they just want to throw support to the deposed 76ers general manager? On that note, I’m little surprised Jerry Colangelo didn’t get an honorary vote from the other side of the divide. Does anyone truly believe overseeing the Bucks’ backslide justified a John Hammond vote, or this protesting Jason Kidd’s arrangement?
  • Another curious vote-getter: Wes Wilcox. Mike Budenholzer runs the Hawks’ front office.
  • I wonder whether Phil Jackson is surprised about not getting any votes this year, too.

Marcus Smart announces he recovered, cleared of coronavirus

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Marcus Smart stepped forward and self-identified as having tested positive for the coronavirus. He wasn’t showing any symptoms and went into self-quarantine, and last we heard was doing well.

Sunday, Smart said that two days ago he was cleared and has fully recovered from the virus.

Most importantly, this is excellent news for Smart and his friends and family (and, by extension, the Celtics). His health is the most important thing in this story.

The NBA has asked recovered players to donate plasma because scientists are hoping to use the blood — which has developed immunities — to help create a vaccine or medicine to slow COVID-19. It’s optional, but the league is encouraging players to help.

There have been 10 players and five NBA off-court staff — including Knicks owner James Dolan — who have tested positive for the disease. Fortunately, none of them have shown any advanced symptoms that required hospitalization.

Colorado junior forward Tyler Bey declares for NBA Draft

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University of Colorado forward Tyler Bey has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft:

The junior averaged 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Buffaloes. Bey shot 53% from the field overall and 74.3% at the free throw line.

Bey also extended his range a bit in his third year at Colorado. He knocked down 13-of-31 three-pointers (41.9%) on the season. At just six-foot-seven, he’ll need to be able to score from behind the arc to find a place in the NBA.

Most draft analysts have Bey pegged as an early second-round pick. Some thought he could play his way into the back-end of the first-round with strong pre-draft workouts. With the pre-draft process up in the air, NBA front offices may have to make their decisions based on what they’ve already seen in person and on tape.

Stephon Marbury has arrangement to procure 10 million medical masks for New York

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Former NBA player Stephon Marbury told The New York Post that he’s arranged a deal to deliver 10 million N95 medical masks to New York. These masks are much-needed among healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marbury is having the masks produced at cost in China, where he played the last seven years of his career.

Although Marbury currently lives in Beijing, China, he said “At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn. This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

While growing up, Marbury starred at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and on New York City’s famed playgrounds. After one year at Georgia Tech, Marbury left for the NBA. The high-scoring guard played for five teams during his 13-year NBA career, including his hometown New York Knicks.

After sitting out for two seasons, Marbury signed to play for the Beijing Ducks in 2011. The move was initially seen as a way for Marbury to prove he could still play at an NBA level. Instead, Beijing became home-away-from home for the New Yorker.

Marbury averaged 21.6 points per game in 271 contests spread over seven seasons with the Ducks.

Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung declares for 2020 NBA Draft

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Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung told ESPN Jonathan Givony that he’s declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft.

McClung first came to national prominence when his high school highlights blew up on YouTube:

In his second season at Georgetown, McClung averaged 15.7 points and 1.4 steals per game. A foot injury in late-January kept McClung out of the lineup for nearly a month. He returned for one game in late-February, but played just eight minutes off the Hoyas’ bench.

The six-foot-two guard is known for his deep shooting range and his highlight dunks. McClung’s shot is inconsistent however, as he shot under 40% in each of his first two seasons at Georgetown. McClung’s defense also needs work.

McClung projects to be a point guard in the NBA, due to his size. To make it as a lead guard, he’ll need to work on his ballhandling and playmaking. With those question marks, McClung is seen as a stretch to be drafted in the second round.

McClung stated he’s signing with an NBA/NCAA approved agent. That will allow him to keep his college eligibility as he goes through the pre-draft process.