11:03am: Warriors GM Bob Myers has won the NBA’s Executive of the Year award, the league announced. Cavaliers GM David Griffin was a fairly close second, followed by Hawks coach and acting GM Mike Budenholzer, whose nomination over GM Danny Ferry stirred controversy.
Each team can nominate one candidate for the award, and executives vote for the winner from among their ranks. Hoops Rumors learned that there was talk among some executives that they would abstain from voting out of displeasure that they couldn’t vote for Ferry, who’s on a leave of absence after having constructed most of the roster of the 60-win Hawks. However, all 30 executives eligible to vote for the award went ahead and did so. Many around the league felt as though Ferry would have been the clear favorite for the award, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote. However, his absence stemming from the racially charged comments he relayed about 2014 free agent target Luol Deng short-circuited his candidacy.
Myers nonetheless has no shortage of qualifications for the honor, having been at the helm as the Warriors went from perennial lottery participants to a 67-win juggernaut over the past few years. His contributions to the team’s decision against trading Klay Thompson as part of a potential Kevin Love trade last summer and its hiring of new coach Steve Kerr played key roles in the team’s leap from 51 wins last year into an historically great regular season this year. Myers also helped fortify the team’s bench this past summer with the addition of Shaun Livingston on a three-year mid-level deal. Chris Crouse of Hoops Rumors profiled Myers’ Executive of the Year candidacy a couple of weeks ago.
Myers garnered 13 first-place votes, while Griffin collected eight and Budenholzer picked up four. Blazers GM Neil Olshey was the only other executive to receive multiple first-place votes, with two, though he finished sixth in the weighted points system which assigns five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who finished fourth, Bulls GM Gar Forman, who was fifth, and Pistons coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy, in eight place, received one first-place vote each. Executives voted anonymously for the award in contrast to the writers who select many of the other NBA award winners.