Now that the 2016/17 NBA regular season has come to an end, we’ll be making our picks for the year’s major awards. The Hoops Rumors writing team has weighed in with our picks below, but we also want to know which players, coaches, and executives you think are most deserving of the hardware this season, so jump into the comments section below to share your thoughts.
We’re kicking things off today with the award for Executive of the Year. Here are our selections:
Dana Gauruder: Daryl Morey (Rockets)
The Rockets spent big bucks on free agents and those moves paid off. Eric Gordon stayed healthy for a change and emerged as the second-league scorer and Ryan Anderson filled the role of stretch four. A trade deadline move gave them another valuable piece – Lou Williams – for the playoffs.
Austin Kent: Bob Myers (Warriors)
The Warriors added a top-five player without disrupting their 73-win core. We can try to come up with excuses to give the award to somebody else, but that’s all they are — excuses. The addition of Kevin Durant may have interfered with the team’s flow at the beginning of the season but there’s no denying that the organization is in a better place in the long run. This front office hasn’t made many moves since the summer, but the few moves they’ve made have been smart and calculated. I give them full credit for adding Zaza Pachulia as a bargain bin replacement for Andrew Bogut and recognizing JaVale McGee’s value when other teams failed to.
Chris Crouse: Daryl Morey (Rockets)
Dwight Howard may no longer be the force he was during his prime, but he’s still a top center in the league and losing those types of players are supposed to hurt a franchise. The Rockets didn’t flinch when he left and part of the reason was the presence of Clint Capela. Morey had faith in the young center and that allowed him to use the majority of his resources to upgrade the team’s other positions.
Adding players is only part of the job of GM; knowing what you already have is equally as important. Morey deserves credit for assembling a team of shooters around James Harden, but he wouldn’t have been able to make some of his offseason moves if he didn’t have a great pulse on what he already had in-house. He checks all the Executive of the Year boxes for me.
Arthur Hill: Daryl Morey (Rockets)
After hiring Mike D’Antoni as coach last summer, Morey fully committed to the D’Antoni style of play. The Rockets have favored the 3-pointers and layups philosophy since Morey took over in 2007, but they never had the shooters to make it really work. This year, Morey signed Gordon and Anderson in free agency, then traded for Williams at the deadline. Add in the signing of veteran center Nene to a team-friendly deal, and it’s easy to see what the Rockets increased their win total by 14 games.
Luke Adams: John Hammond (Bucks)
Hammond’s work in free agency last summer wasn’t overly impressive, with lucrative long-term deals for Miles Plumlee and Mirza Teletovic not working out as planned. But newly-added Matthew Dellavedova was a crucial rotation piece in Milwaukee this season, and Hammond did excellent work in other areas.
Landing Tony Snell and Michael Beasley in two offseason trades in exchange for players who weren’t in the Bucks’ long-term plans was deft, as was snagging potential Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon in the second round of the draft and dumping Plumlee’s contract at the deadline. Meanwhile, many observers expected the Bucks to get whatever they could for Greg Monroe in a trade, but Hammond hung onto him and watched as he became one of the league’s most effective bench scorers. He also ignored calls to tank when Jabari Parker went down — that turned out to be the right decision, as the Bucks finished the season on an impressive 20-11 run, climbing to No. 6 in the East.
Who is your pick for Executive of the Year? Share your choices and your thoughts in the comments section below!
April 14: Coach of the Year
April 17: Most Improved Player
April 18: Sixth Man of the Year
April 19: Defensive Player of the Year
April 20: Rookie of the Year
April 21: MVP
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.