The best damn general manager in the NBA has won his first Executive of the Year award.
Daryl Morey was given the award Monday night at the NBA’s awards show, taking home the honor against a strong field led by presumed runner-up Danny Ainge. But after the summer blockbuster that landed the Rockets Chris Paul — a move many, if not most, watching the league doubted — and a team that piled up 65 wins, the most in franchise history, Morey could not be denied this year.
The award is unique in the NBA in that it is the only one voted on by the other candidates. The other 29 GMs vote for this award, and they gave it Morey. Like any team-building award, this is not a recognition of one season’s work, but the coronation for years of team-building.
But this summer, Morey did his best work. The Paul trade was a master stroke, a whirlwind of moving parts that saw the Rockets ship out a small army players, including three who weren’t even on the Rockets’ team earlier that week, for the Hall of Fame point guard. He bolstered the defensive, which rose to sixth in the league, with P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute. He picked up Gerald Green midseason, who wound up getting meaningful, useful minutes in the Western Conference Finals.
He did all that, built his team up and up over the years, without ever finishing with a losing record. The man is a genius. He has long deserved the trophy to recognize it, and now he has it. Congrats, Daryl. In Morey We Trust.