Congratulations to R.C. Buford, who has been named the NBA Executive of the Year after his fantastic season at the Spurs’ helm.
This was a very active season for Buford in terms of roster alterations, and his shrewd visions for improving the franchise lead to the Spurs winning more games this season than they ever had.
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This past offseason, the Spurs brought in big-time free agent acquisition LaMarcus Aldridge. The rationale was that Aldridge would not only help in the short term with his prolific scoring and rebounding ability, but that he along with Kawhi Leonard and some of the younger guys on this roster would help guide the team into a new era after Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker inevitably retire.
The Aldridge signing is looking even better now after the terrific series he’s been having against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The other big free agent signing this past offseason was David West, who famously forfeited millions of dollars from the Indiana Pacers to come to the Spurs for the league minimum.
From an economics perspective this deal was great for the Spurs, and West has had a solid season coming off the bench. Buford was able to utilize the aura of Spurs’ basketball and the winning culture they’ve become known for around the league. Players want to play for this franchise because of its stability, and that starts at the top.
During that same offseason, Buford re-signed Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to large contracts, ensuring that they’d both be apart of the Spurs’ vision of the future.
Buford added even more depth to an already talented roster with the additions of Kevin Martin and Andre Miller during the regular season. Each has been able to contribute to the Spurs’ success despite not getting the amount of playing time each has been accustomed to throughout their distinguished careers.
Buford has now won this award twice in the past three seasons, and it indicates that the front office does everything in its power to construct a roster that can compete for a championship.
Although Neil Olshey of the Portland Trail Blazers received more 1st place votes than Buford, the contest was decided by Buford accumulating more points in the final standings based on having far more 2nd place votes than Olshey.
Either one of those two was worthy of this award. What Olshey has done to rebuild his roster around Damian Lillard after the mass exodus of starters from last year’s team leaving is remarkable.
Buford is a huge reason the Spurs are constantly a championship contender. Every single transaction he had his hand in during this past calendar year has seemed to work out perfectly.
In this ever-changing league landscape, it isn’t enough for an executive to sit back and hope his already talented roster keeps achieving success. The flexibility to tinker with the team and constantly seek improvements even with a contender on hand makes Buford one of the best executives in the league.
His vision of the Spurs is an integral part of the franchise’s success, and with him helping to lead the way, the Spurs will always be a threat to dominate the league.