How New Execs Fared This Summer

The unprecedented head coaching turnover this summer overshadowed the five executives who took over day-to-day basketball operations since the 2012/13 regular season came to a close. Technically, there's six such execs, since the Knicks replaced Glen Grunwald with Steve Mills last week, but Mills hasn't had a chance to make any major moves. So, we'll focus on the five who have as we look back on the debut offseason for the league's new executives:

  • Larry Bird, Pacers: Larry Legend returned to the Pacers after a one-year hiatus, and he jumped right into an active offseason. He re-signed free agent David West, made a trade for Luis Scola that was the centerpiece of the team's bench upgrade, and committed a max extension to Paul George. He's also decided against trading Danny Granger, at least so far, preferring to hold on to Granger's expiring contract as the Pacers eye a title run.
  • Pete D'Alessandro, KingsBen McLemore fell to Sacramento at the No. 7 pick in the draft, but the heavy lifting happened later in the offseason, when D'Alessandro traded former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans for Greivis Vasquez and acquired Carl Landry and Luc Mbah a Moute. The most important decision might have come last month, when D'Alessandro and the Kings signed DeMarcus Cousins to a max extension.
  • Doc Rivers, Clippers: The coach is also in charge of picking the players in Clipperland, but the most significant move the team made may have been acquiring Rivers in the first place, since it helped cinch the re-signing of Chris Paul to a max contract. Rivers reportedly professed affection for Eric Bledsoe, but he OK'd a three-way swap that sent Bledsoe to the Suns and brought J.J. Redick to the Clippers.
  • Flip Saunders, Timberwolves: Former Wolves GM David Kahn was noted for his overemphasis on drafting point guards, and Saunders used another lottery pick on a point guard this summer. The difference is that Saunders traded point guard Trey Burke, the No. 9 overall pick, to the Jazz on draft night for Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, the 14th and 21st selections, respectively. Saunders focused on the wings, adding Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer and re-signing Chase Budinger before locking up restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic for five years.
  • Masai Ujiri, Raptors: Ujiri quickly made his presence felt, trading Andrea Bargnani — whom previous GM Bryan Colangelo had selected No. 1 overall soon after assuming control of the team — to the Knicks. Tyler Hansbrough was the team's most significant offseason acquisition, so other than the Bargnani trade, Ujiri appears content to see how the team he inherited performs this season.
  • Ryan McDonough, Suns: President of basketball operations Lon Babby remains in place, but McDonough had a hand in an offseason in which the team drafted Alex Len fifth overall, acquired Eric Bledsoe, and cut ties with Michael Beasley. There's plenty of work that remains to be done, and the long-term future of trade candidate Marcin Gortat is still unresolved.


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