Leon Rose of the Knicks should be executive of the year

There are many executives and front office personnel in the NBA who have done a great job building their respective rosters. But Leon Rose of the New York Knicks deserves to win Executive of the Year this year.

The work he has done turning the franchise around since he took over as the Knicks’ president of basketball operations on March 2, 2020. New York, the mecca of basketball, had turned into a laughing stock of the NBA after years of failure.

Previous front offices have attempted quick fixes, trying to profit from veterans who cost too much to acquire. When Rose took over, he began cleaning house and building the foundation where the team is today.

His first order of business was to hire Tom Thibodeau as head coach. Thibodeau has helped change the culture of the franchise, as the 2023-24 NBA season is the third time in four tries that the team will finish above .500 and likely make a playoff appearance.

Rose made a lot of excellent moves, starting with the signing of forward Julius Randle. It was the first splash acquisition, as Rose did a great job of managing the salary cap and amassing assets to help improve the roster.

New York has done an incredible job under Rose’s leadership, unearthing talent at all points in the NBA Draft. Mitchell Robinson and Miles McBride, two key contributors, are both second-round picks. The team has developed players like Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin into players who will help them win now and further improve future prospects.

While some will argue that the NBA Draft has been plagued by some mistakes, as the Knicks have fallen out of the early rounds in recent years and haven’t found any stars, Rose has more than made up for it in free agency. That’s one of the benefits of keeping the salary cap clean, as New York can maneuver in the offseason.

Over the past two offseasons, Rose has hit home runs with former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo. Brunson’s four-year, $104 million deal was cut short at the time, but he went on to become an NBA All-Star and All-NBA caliber player. DiVincenzo is on the verge of breaking the Knicks’ single-season 3-point record, transforming himself into an elite role player.

Finding value in the contracts they awarded is key to Rose’s Executive of the Year resume.

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