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Is Billy King a lock for Executive of the Year?

Sep 22, 2012, 7:00 PM EDT

Billy King AP

That’s right, I’m doing a prospective Executive of the Year post in September. Training camp doesn’t start for a week. What do you want from me?

Mikhail Prokhorov told reporters this week, via the New York Post:

Prokhorov on the job @bkdefend did retooling the @brooklynnets roster: “I think, I’m sure, I do believe he’ll be the GM of the year.”

via Twitter / TimBontemps: Prokhorov on the job @bkdefend ….

Is this thing a lock? No team will make a greater gain in wins next season. The Timberwolves went up marginally last year so a jump this year is expected but won’t be as dramatic. The Warriors may actually have put together a greater improvement and a smarter long-term roster, but they don’t have the market or starpower that the Nets do. Any other team would be a massive surprise.

So you have to think that King will wind up getting it, just based on team improvement. It’s kind of an odd choice, considering the GMs vote on it, and they all know that long-term the Nets have put a pretty hard ceiling on themselves and it’s not one of a championship. They’ll be great, but it would take moving a massive contract for either an aging or underwhelming player for them to throw in a piece that leads to a championship.

But there’s the other scenario. They just click, and the chemistry makes them an unlikely title contender. I can’t see it happening but God knows that doesn’t mean it can’t come out that way.

And the bigger result may be this: There may be simply no one else who seems like a good choice.

Possible exceptions: Rod Thorn, Masai Ujiri

Note: How amazing would it be if Arron Afflalo jetpacked into a superstar while Glen Davis got himself together and the Magic made a playoff run and Rob Hennigan won? It’s never going to happen, but oh the justice.

Note 2 (Update): If Dwight Howard comes back earlier than expected and the Lakers don’t have any injury issues and they win as many games as is likely. Mitch Kupchak is certainly a strong candidate.

  1. socalgal64 - Sep 22, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    “Possible exceptions: Rod Thorn, Masai Ujiri”

    LOL, because Mitch Kupchak didn’t do a damned thing this summer. Shame on him.

  2. adeedothatswho - Sep 22, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Why not Mitch? Because the Lakers are always great? It’s Mitch.

    • biasedhomer - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM

      It is hands down the Lakers GM. He brings in more talent than King, without adding 300M dollars.

  3. smoothaswilkes - Sep 22, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    We knew the Nets would try to better the team to open the new arena. Nobody thought Steve Nash and Dwight Howard would end up with the Lakers. Then there is Jamison on the bench and keeping Gasol. Oh yeah, what about Hill? Yeah, if you want to talk executive of the year in September, the question is answered with Kupchak. We’ll see how it plays out but, really? Is there any question?

  4. eugenesaxe - Sep 22, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    You have to be trolling us, this isn’t even funny.

  5. kvanhorn87 - Sep 22, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    GM of Atlanta Danny Ferry, hands down.

    • drunkenjunk - Sep 22, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      this, he dumped the albatross and Marvin Williams. Also picked up Lou Williams.

  6. snoopy2014 - Sep 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    “What do you want from me?”

    Some honesty would be nice. Admit you were tired/baked while writing this and completely blanked on Mitch and the Lakers. Lmao at trying to cover up with the “update.” Strong candidate, my a–.

  7. tcclark - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    As A Sixers Fan, I will give up on life (not just the NBA, but life in general) if Billy King is Executive of the Year.

  8. money2long - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    anyone would have to be silly not to acknowledge the work billy king did and give him his due credit. in no effort to malign that however, the lakers have just done more things that many didn’t think would happen.

    yes, while looking at the nets squad of just a year and the one billy king managed to assemble this off season, it is quite the accomplishment, seeing as how this new look team already has the potential to compete for a championship (despite what avery johnson may believe). however, keep in mind, most of the moves he made, while significant, were mostly REsignings. Deron, wallace, humphries and lopez were all a part of that team last year. the lakers however, got players from outside the organization, which is much tougher. and they managed to acquire a FRANCHISE player this summer from a different organization, which is very tough to do.

    all of LA’s moves, even the dwight howard one, came as shocks. even keeping one of their players (pau) was a shock. the maneuvering mictch kupchack did was akin to a chess master. amidst all the question marks surrounding the lakers following two 2 round exits, and a kobe inching closer to retirement, kupchak has managed to put together a team that can compete for a few more years. he literally forced the championship window wider than it was with his smarts.

    winner: mitch kupchack

  9. mojosmagic - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Rodney King has a better chance to win and he’s dead.

  10. 69jaredallen69 - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    KAHN!!!

  11. returnofmeezle - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    tcclark, well spoken

  12. phillyphannn83 - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    agree with tcclark, the turnaround in Brooklyn(if it happens, they haven’t even played a game yet) in no way can be attributed to King. He is the WORST GM in all of sports. He didn’t just all of a sudden figure it out. I’m completely certain there are other execs in the organization that deserve the credit but it surely can’t be King. The guy thought for 10 years that he only needed Allen Iverson, and a bunch of support scrubs(he touted Keith Van Horn as a major signing!) would suffice to win a championship. He has no idea what a “team” consists of.

    • tcclark - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Worst GM in Philadelphia sports history…. and we had Ed Wade

    • dbick - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      Are you trying to tell me you wouldn’t have signed Dalembert to that contract??!!

  13. socalyankeejetfan - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    You Philly sports fans crack me up! You guys are (supposedly) among the most knowledgable sports fans in the country along with NY and Boston sports fans. Yet other than the ’08 Phillies, none of your city pro teams have won diddly squat in 30 years. Red Sox fans are laughing at you! You talk smack about how Billy King ruined your team? Now you have Rod Thorn, who was the architect of the Nets’ early 2000’s run of success, running your team into the ground. I guess karma, as well as paybacks, are both truly a beyotch!

  14. cmehustle - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Lol wait not Mitch?? Because of course the turnaround from 41-25 (.621 winning percentage) and 3 seed is much better than the turnaround of 22-44 (.333 winning percentage) 12th place in eastern conference. Laker fans kill me man lol…..

  15. borderline1988 - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Kupchak clearly had the most impressive off-season. But let’s be honest, the amount of luxury tax the Lakers will pay is going to be enormous…they’re looking like the Yankees of the NBA. Although, Kupchak didn’t exactly sign Howard or Nash, so it’s not like he just bought out the FA market.

    And what happens if Nash is injured, and Howard walks after next year b/c he doesn’t get the ball enough on offense? Or Howard’s back bothers him the whole year? No one really knows where Howard is with his rehab…
    By next summer, this could be a total disaster.

    This decision will have to be made at the end of the year.

  16. scalfor3 - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    the nets “great” offseason locked themselves into being the hawks: a perennial 4-6 seed that will never be a realistic championship threat. have fun with that

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