Denver's Masai Ujiri wins 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year award
Denver Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is the recipient of the 2012-13 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award, the NBA announced today.
Ujiri was instrumental in assembling an ensemble cast – nine players averaged between 8.0 and 16.7 points and Denver’s bench ranked second overall in scoring (41.3 ppg) – that finished with the league’s fourth-best record (57-25, .695) and secured the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Denver’s league-best 38-3 (.927) mark at Pepsi Center tied for the 14th best home mark in league history.
Over the summer, Ujiri augmented Denver’s roster by acquiring Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia in a four-team, 12-player deal, and he re-signed JaVale McGee and Andre Miller. Since joining the Nuggets front office prior to the 2010-11 season, Ujiri has drafted Kenneth Faried (No. 22 overall in 2011), and in addition to Iguodala, McGee and Miller, has acquired Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari and Kosta Koufos via trades.
With those players comprising the bulk of the roster, the Nuggets opened the 2012-13 campaign as the NBA’s third-youngest team with an average age of 24.9 years. Despite their youth, the Nuggets compiled two of the seven longest winning streaks in the NBA in 2012-13, including a franchise-best-tying 15 straight wins (Feb. 23-March 23). Additionally, according to NBA.com/Stats, Denver was a Western Conference-best 24-4 (.857) after the All-Star break.
Ujiri, who spent three years with the Toronto Raptors before joining the Nuggets, was named to his current position on Aug. 27, 2010. He worked for the Nuggets organization as a scout from 2003-07, and served as the team’s director of international scouting during the 2006-07 season.
Ujiri totaled 59 points and received eight first-place votes from a panel of his fellow team basketball executives throughout the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Gary Sacks finished second with 28 points (three first-place votes) votes and the Houston Rockets’ Daryl Morey and the New York Knicks’ Glen Grunwald finished tied for third with 25 points (four first-place votes). Executives were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.