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It’s official: Denver’s Masai Ujiri named Executive of the Year

May 9, 2013, 2:16 PM EDT

Masai Ujiri Getty Images

We told you this was coming and now it is official:

Denver’s GM Masai Ujiri has been named NBA Executive of the Year in a vote of his peers.

Gary Sacks of the Los Angeles Clippers came in second, Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets finished third.

Ujiri was the guy who walked into the Nuggets job just as Carmelo Anthony was forcing his way out of Denver. Ujiri handled that about as well as could be done — he got a big package of players in return (Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, JaVale McGee) and then made some smart secondary trades such as turning Felton into Andre Miller and using a first round pick as part of the Andre Iguodala deal.

The result is a young, rebuilt team that won a franchise record 57 games and looks like a team on the rise — and we mean team, there are no ball dominating superstars on the roster.

Ujiri got 8 first place votes and finished well ahead of the pack with 59 points. The next six finishers in the race were all clustered between 28 and 23 points (in order of finish): the Clippers’ Sacks; the Rockets’ Morey; The Knicks’ Glen Grunwald; the Heat’s Pat Riley; and the Warriors Bob Meyers.

Rob Hennigan got one first place vote for his handling of the Dwight Howard disaster, Kevin O’Conner of Utah got a couple second place votes, and Billy King of Brooklyn got two seconds and one third.

  1. adzs - May 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    And boy did he deserve it great job putting together this team now all he needs to do is find or draft a 3 point shooter (Kyle Korver anyone?) and i genuinely think the Nuggets can make a deepm playoff run next year, especially if they can keep hold of Iguadala

    • 4thquartermagic - May 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Don’t sleep on the development of Evan Fournier either. He’s a sharpshooter himself and just needs time to adjust to the speed of the NBA playoff game.

  2. hartdaddy - May 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Man the Nuggets certainly are getting a lot of praise for a roster that failed to get out of the first round AGAIN! But wait, isn’t this award handed out to the GM who’s managed put together a pretty solid roster in impressive fashion? But didn’t George Karl just get Coach of the year for leading a “non all star caliber” roster to 50+ plus wins? But if Karl’s roster wasn’t worth a damn, how can their GM be awarded for putting together this roster of “nobodies” with no talent whatsoever? I’m confused…

  3. acdc363 - May 9, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Nuggets blew me away this year! Well deserved award!

    • moseskkim - May 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      i feel like it was moreys award from the beginning. look at the signings of asik and lin. both very questionable and risky at the time but are great, especially asik. Harden was the biggest and it was a risk as well. extends him with a max contract and he turns out to be a superstar. trade for t-rob, get beverley who looks like a player. along with harden, the biggest accomplishment is having cap space for a max player. they make the playoffs, compete well against 1st seed (albeit a team without westbrook). it wasnt even close in my opinion.

      2nd, i would do orlando magic guy. u get nik vucevic (great rebounder, great talent), moe harkless who looks dang good and has loads of potential, afflalo who can score 18 ppg, then for redick who they didnt want to pay for, they get a potential star in tobias harris. talk about turning a hopeless boring team into a team that can contend for playoffs in the near future with nelson, harkless, afflalo, harris, big baby, vucevic. i love the job he did and im not even a magic fan.

      next would be knicks, nuggets, warriors, clippers in no particular order

  4. 4thquartermagic - May 9, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Masai has the midas touch and his moves have all been great.

    Melo trade (which he did not want to make but had to make)
    Getting Corey Brewer for basically nothing.
    Nene for McGee
    Iguodala acquisition
    Drafting Kenneth Faried
    Drafting Evan Fournier

    Masai, you are the Nuggets MVP.

    • moseskkim - May 9, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      executive of the year, not last couple years. so the iggy, drafting fournier are the only acquisitions that u mentioned that were good.

      • 4thquartermagic - May 9, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        I’ll give you that but I’d wager that the award took his entire 3 year tenure into consideration.

        What’s unique about this award is that only his peers (other GM’s) vote on it. So regardless of how everyone else feels, I reckon that the voters have more credible opinions on who is deserving.

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