Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 10:00 am  |  25 responses

Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri to Win Executive of the Year Award

According to the Denver Post, Masai Ujiri will be awarded as the NBA’s top front-office exec today. Ujiri helped build a Nuggets roster that produced the best regular season in franchise history: “The passionate Ujiri will be rewarded for his work Thursday, when he is named the NBA executive of the year, a source said on Wednesday night. Ujiri, the first African-born general manager in major American sports, put together the Nuggets’ roster, a squad that won 57 games — the most in Denver’s NBA history. In 2010-11, Ujiri’s first season on the job, Carmelo Anthony forced the Nuggets to trade him to New York. Instead of blowing up the roster, Ujiri’s plan was to keep Denver competitive while building with young, affordable players. This season, many of those players on the Nuggets’ revamped roster finished in third place in the Western Conference. Ujiri said last season: ‘I sit in those GM meetings and look across the room — you see Larry Bird, Danny Ainge, all these guys who you’ve read about. Am I in awe? Honestly I am, because of the opportunity life has given me. Am I going to compete against those guys? (Heck) yes. That’s why I am among those 30 guys — to try to be better than them.’”

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  • robb

    now this is an award the Nuggets deserve

  • Caboose

    So how much did Denver bribe every voting sports journalist? Seems odd that a first round exit team has both the best coach and best executive. Kinda counterintuitive isn’t it?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this doesn’t make any sense at all. the executive of the year is supposed to have made moves to make his team better….
    Ujiri avoided making moves, and the team didn’t improve at all.

  • Drig

    WHAT?……wait, WHAT?!?!! BS.

    Candidates :

    1. Mitch – Even though it backfired because of injuries, he atleast went out there and rolled the dice. Plus, he got rid of Bynum and managed to nab Clark.

    2. Magic GM – Whatever his name is, he deserves the award for not becoming the laughing stock of the L when he traded Dwight for what looked like scrubs.

  • RayJr

    These awards are based on the regular season and have nothing to do with what happens in the post season. That’s like saying Lillard shouldn’t have won the ROY because the Trailblazers didn’t make it into the playoffs. If awards are based on how well a team does in the playoffs, then all awards would just go to the team who won the Finals.

  • Redd

    But the playoffs show what the team ultimately is made of however you’re right.

    If anything then, as much as it pains..Woodson should’ve won.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Shoulda been Pat Riley. Honestly

  • The Big Fundamental

    Daryl Morey?

  • Drig

    Hiring Allen is better than getting Howard, Nash, Jamison, Clark for Bynum, Sessions and Josh McRoberts????

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yup. It’s not, “Executive of the Year in theory”
    Dwight is a free agent who was hurt all year, and is now due a max deal.
    Jamison? You think Antawn Jamison was a positive acquisition? May I ask why?
    The Lakers barely made the playoffs. Had no depth. And had the whole coaching debacle.
    No way to even try and justify Kupchak winning COY just because what he did seemed good on paper.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Signing Ray Allen. Adding Chris Anderson. Without losing anyone.

  • Drig

    1. He dumped a solid C who had injury issues for a franchise C without losing anyone else.

    2. Nash is due 21 million dollars. In light of the fact that they wanted to go all out for the 2 year window and the 200 million sponsorship, it’s inconsequential. He upgraded the PG spot over the previous year atleast on paper.

    3. When you consider that Jamison replaced McRoberts, I’d say it’s a very positive acquisition.

    4. LAL barely made the POs because of injuries.

    The team was flawed. Yes, there was no depth in the team. However, that was a carryover from the previous season.

    Barring injuries, tell me how upgrading the C, PG, backup SG and SF positions over the previous season is lesser than adding a backup SG and backup C?

    It’s not Mitch’s fault that the team had so many injuries. He upgraded as many positions as possible IMO. And that’s what he must be judged upon. The team’s performance should only be judged for the COY. Sadly, it isn’t.

    Morey’s another candidate I forgot….

  • spit hot fiyah

    traded for igoudala, signed miller and extended mcgee and ty

  • spit hot fiyah

    also drafted fournier who looked really good for a second

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    First of all, it’s not Executive of the Year on Paper.

    - It’s great that the moves he made seemed like good moves, but that doesn’t mean they actually were.

    “1. He dumped a solid C who had injury issues for a franchise C without losing anyone else.”
    - So? He didn’t do that because he made it happen, he did that because Dwight made it happen. And Dwight wasn’t healthy this year, which is what the award is about anyway.

    2. – Who cares about their TV deal? 21 million dollars is almost a third of the salary cap. And he is locked up for 2 more years, the last of which is a year where LA hopes to have FA money. Which will absolutely backfire if Kobe Bryant doesn’t retire by then. — No matter how much money they make from their TV deal, they still have to abide by the salary cap to add players and improve. Good luck with that.

    3. – You would say that, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a negligible upgrade anyway. Jamison is a god awful defender, like the worst defensive 4 in the world. Offensively he’s an upgrade over McRoberts, but not defensively. And the offense doesn’t outweigh the defense enough to make a big difference. As you should have been able to tell by Antawn being passed over for the starting 4 spot by fugging Earl Clark.

    4. So? They still barely made the playoffs because they had no depth and couldn’t combat injuries. You don’t award an executive who puts his team in that situation as the best executive in the league. Pardon my blunt description, but that is stupid.
    Barring injuries. If you have to say that, then what you are saying doesn’t matter. It’s not a what if award. Other teams experienced injuries (not as many) and still did considerably better than the Lakers.
    *cough* Chicago *cough*
    (because they didn’t sacrifice their depth to improve their starting lineup)
    Morey is a very fair choice. Probably where i would go to actually, now that i think about it more.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Iguodala is a free agent. The team finished EXACTLY where it finished last year. Iguodala was an upgrade over Afflalo as an individual. But it didn’t benefit the team in the end.


    He overpaid Ty, and Overpaid McGee. The team now has 3 non-superstars making over 10 million dollars a year. That’s not a good thing. (4 if Iguodala picks up his 15 million dollar option)

    .Andre Miller was huge, but he gave him 3 years 15 million. Sorry, but that’s not the type of contract I would brag about with a 37 year old Point Guard who is likely to end up a coach before his contract runs out.
    Just doesn’t seem like he improved the team, rather than just kept it in the same exact position.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i didn’t say they were great moves. just wanted to point out that he made some since u said he avoided making them. mcgee might be overpaid (even though he got paid his market value), i think he could be more under-used than over paid.

    and ty is tough, it might turn out to be fair contract, i think that one is a wait and see.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah i meant he avoiding making franchising changing moves. my bad.
    McGee how he is utilized is overpaid. Whether he can be worth it, i think we both know he COULD. but who knows if he will, and they aren’t even attempting to find out.
    ehh, in regards to Ty Lawson, i don’t like paying a one-way player THAT much money. He’s a great offensive player, and perfect for their system. But he is a horrid flaming trainwreck of a defender, and he can’t really be relied upon to make the plays that win games down the stretch, like say a Steve Nash before him, who was a one way player on a huge contract.

  • Caboose

    Personally, my GM of the year is the Warriors, simply because of drafting ability. He picked 3 rookies who are now starting on a playoff team. That’s executive talent.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ehhhhhhhhhh, i had Mark Jackson as coach of the year for this reason.

  • Max


  • Drig

    Steve Nash could run teams better on one leg with a broken nose in his prime when compared to Ty Lawson.

    Exaggerating a bit but dude has the complete offensive game. If the team had a solid defensive C like Noah in his prime along with that team, they’d have won the title IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    What doesn’t make sense is that if you give someone the award for executive of the year it implies they assembled great talent. But you then give a coach the Coach of the Year award for “coaching up” inferior talent. Only they are both from the same team!
    That just ain’t logical people.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    It’s counterintuitive because one award is given for assembling great talent, but the other was given out on the basis of having “coached up” inferior talent. You can’t have both.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i am fully aware how much better Nash was in his prime then Lawson is. That was kind of my point about why I don’t think Lawson is worth it.