The NBA announced today that San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford has been vote NBA Executive of the Year for putting together a team that once again finished first in the Western Conference with a 62-20 record, the best mark in the NBA. This is Buford’s first Executive of the Year award, which is surprising considering the success San Antonio has achieved since Buford was named general manager in 2002.
Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey finished third in the voting behind Buford and Suns first-year general manager Ryan McDonough. Olshey picked up five first-place votes, two second-place votes and three third-place votes to finish with 34 points.
In his second year as Portland’s general manager, Olshey reloaded the roster with a host of savvy, cost-effective trades and free agent signings. He acquired starting center Robin Lopez for second-round draft pick Jeff Withey, a future second-round pick and cash, traded Kostas Papanikolaou, Marko Todorovic and two future second-round picks for second-year forward Thomas Robinson and signed veterans Mo Williams, Dorell Wright and Earl Watson. The result was a 21-win improvement from last season, the fifth seed in the Western Conference and the team advancing to the second-round for the first time in 14 years.