It is not yet time for the NBA to hand out its official awards, but that doesn’t mean others are not ready to do so.
ProBasketballTalk.com named its Executive of the Year and the award went to the Phoenix Suns’ Ryan McDonough.
As far as upsets go, this isn’t exactly one.
The panel of Kurt Helin, Brett Pollakoff and Dan Feldman explained their choice.
I don’t think Ryan McDonough meant for his team to be this good, he kind of lucked into it. However he made two brilliant moves that gave this team core pieces — trading for Eric Bledsoe and hiring Jeff Hornacek — while still stockpiling picks and keeping the team in a good position with the salary cap to add free agents.
Stockpiled draft picks and acquired Eric Bledsoe and other low-salary players that had the team in contention for a playoff spot all season long, when it was widely assumed that the Suns would suffer a fate similar to that of the Sixers. Phoenix has cap space and plenty of picks moving forward to expedite the rebuilding process, and McDonough put it all into place.
Not only did McDonough build an excellent team by acquiring players of the scrap heap, he added multiple future first-round picks in the process. And he nailed a coaching hire, choosing Jeff Hornacek. This was elite general managing.
McDonough helped reshape a roster that nearly doubled its win total from the previous season, and came frustratingly close to earning a Western Conference playoff spot.