It was announced early Wednesday morning that R.C. Buford, general manager for the San Antonio Spurs, would be named NBA Executive of the Year for the first time in his career. Buford brought in one of the most productive free-agents, Marco Belinelli, who averaged 11.4 points, 2.2 assists, and 2.8 rebounds coming off of the bench.
Ryan McDonough of the Phoenix Suns came in second (5-first place votes) and Neil Olshey of the Portland Trail Blazers came in a close third (5-first place votes).
Last year’s winner, Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors, came in fourth place, trading away Rudy Gay who is owed closed to $20 million this year.
To round out the top five, Pat Riley of the Miami Heat, came in fifth, bringing in Michael Beasley and Greg Oden.
While Beasley and Oden were big flops for the Heat, Riley has always been one of the better executives in the league, especially when he brought in LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
NBA executives are one of the most under-appreciated pieces to a team, so it’s always good that there’s a reward for their hard work.