#80. 2016–17 NBA Executive of the Year Predictions
The executives that lead NBA teams are in a very important position. They often do the signing, firing, trades, etc, that can make a team better than the rest. The work that they do is often overlooked. But, the NBA recognizes the best executives each year with their executive of the year award.
Sam Presti- Oklahoma City Thunder
Sam Presti did a great job making moves this summer, in spite of Kevin Durant leaving the team. With a former MVP that is under 30 leaving your team, it’s hard for a General Manager to pick up the pieces. He made one of the best trades of the summer in trading Serge Ibaka(who is on a one-year contract) for potential play Victor Oladipo, rookie Domantas Sabonis, and stretch-four Ersan Ilyasova. Just a few weeks after losing MVP forward Kevin Durant, he signed their other star player, Russell Westbrook, to a deal that locks him up for a least another year. Without his efforts, this Thunder team would most likely be wallowing in mediocrity.
Danny Ainge- Boston Celtics
Danny Ainge had a very low-key summer. He didn’t turn those 3 first round draft picks into an all-star caliber player like everybody expected. He didn’t sign Kevin Durant, something that almost nobody expected. What he did do, was very underrated. 3 years ago, he signed young coach Brad Stevens to lead the Celtics. Stevens has quickly established himself as one of the best coaches in the NBA at age 39. This summer he drafted loads of young talent that can be useful either on their roster, or as trade pieces. With the Nets first-rounders for the next 2 years and plenty of assets at his disposal, a blockbuster trade might be the thing that puts him over the top. He signed Al Horford, the second best player in this year’s free agency class, to a deal that’ll put them even higher in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
Bob Myers- Golden State Warriors.
It’ll be hard not to pick Bob Myers for Executive of the Year. His series of draft pick and trades that started the “Strength in Numbers” Warriors team started it. Then, this year, after losing in Game 7 of the Finals after a historic 73–9 record, he signed a former MVP that is under 30. Sure, he had to sacrifice some of the players that helped define that championship Warriors team, but Kevin Durant is an invaluable asset. He wasn’t done there, though. Instead of relaxing after signing the biggest free agent of the year, he signed several veteran players to bolster the Warriors’ bench. Considering he already won this award in 2015, I think he’s due for another victory.