The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches

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The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#1 » by Kreamy » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:11 pm

Discuss :D

The Top 5 Executives in the NBA
1. Masai Ujiri, Raptors
Few things are harder to balance in an NBA front office than boldness and caution. And nobody has done that better than Ujiri. He has ascended up the executive ladder with precision—every decision he’s made feels like it has a clear purpose behind it, including the one not to leave Toronto after last season’s success.

Masai not only traded for Kawhi Leonard in the summer of 2018, he also furnished the rest of the team with ideal complementary pieces, created the perfect environment for Kawhi to feel comfortable, and put the franchise in the position to capitalize on its situation and win its first title. Kawhi bolted after one season, but Ujiri stayed, and the Raptors are somehow legitimate East contenders this season, too. With Giannis’s free agency on the horizon and Pascal Siakam only getting better, Masai and the Raptors don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.



The Top 5 Coaches in the NBA
1. Nick Nurse, Raptors
There’s no NBA coach hotter right now than Nurse, which is a pretty funny thing to say about a guy who spent a decade coaching in the British Basketball League. But Nurse managed to grind his way to the top of his profession, eventually leaving England for an assistant coaching gig in the United States Basketball League. He was able to parlay that opportunity into becoming the head coach of the then–D-League’s Iowa Energy in 2007. Six years later, he got the call from Dwane Casey to become an assistant on an NBA bench.

Nurse didn’t waste the long-awaited opportunity. He helped the Raptors reach the playoffs in each of his five years as an assistant. In 2017-18, he became the team’s unofficial offensive coordinator and helped fuel a franchise-best 59 wins behind more pace and space.

When Casey was fired in the offseason for not advancing further in the playoffs, Nurse inherited a strong playoff team—but his tweaks (and the trade for that Kawhi guy) led to newfound success in Toronto. Known as an offensive wizard willing to push even the furthest of boundaries, Nurse helped the Raptors realize their potential, ranking in the top five in both offense and defense in 2018-19, and eventually going on a postseason run for the history books, culminating in the first championship in franchise history.

When Leonard left in the summer, everyone (yes, everyone) assumed the team would take a massive step back. Instead, the Raptors have gone 46-18 this season, earning a .719 winning percentage that’s actually higher than the Raptors’ mark with Kawhi last season. Whether it was unlocking Pascal Siakam, giving Fred VanVleet even more freedom, or discovering gold on the bench like Terence Davis, Nurse has given the rest of the league a new blueprint to work off. His .712 winning percentage is the highest all time of any NBA head coach. That’s a long, long way from the BBL.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#2 » by iamworthy » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:26 pm

Any list about GMs or coaches that doesn't include LeBron or Rich Paul is invalid.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#3 » by Texas Chuck » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:29 pm

iamworthy wrote:Any list about GMs or coaches that doesn't include LeBron or Rich Paul is invalid.


sigh this tired old trope again?

Do star players and agents have tons of power? Of course they do. Are they coaches or GM's? Of course not.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#4 » by Texas Chuck » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:32 pm

Anyway, back to why this was posted --- yeah OP the Raptors have sick leadership. I hope they can keep this together long term like the Spurs managed with Buford and Pop. I would agree that Ujiri is the best in the business, and Nurse belongs in the discussion(He is my clear COY this year, but I still have respect for some of the guys who have done it for longer--Pop,Spo,Doc, Carlisle).

Raptors are proving to be one of the premier franchises in the Association for sure.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#5 » by CIN-C-STAR » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:35 pm

Hard to argue.
Trading for Kawhi AND Gasol was a coup for Toronto, and Nurse was masterful in the playoffs this season -- successfully mixing in aggressive zone concepts with man defense, and successfully blending Kawhi's iso skills with a team-oriented offense.
Kawhi is a great player and all, but really feels like his supporting cast, including the coaching staff, gets short shrift in that title run.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#6 » by iamworthy » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:37 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:
iamworthy wrote:Any list about GMs or coaches that doesn't include LeBron or Rich Paul is invalid.


sigh this tired old trope again?

Do star players and agents have tons of power? Of course they do. Are they coaches or GM's? Of course not.


:lol: Relax.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#7 » by iamworthy » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:44 pm

Sam Presti will be an interesting case going forward. Over the years I've always heard rumbling that troy weaver was doing more than he got credit for.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#8 » by PistolPeteJR » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:45 pm

Legit never thought I’d see the day where my Raps would be getting the respect they (finally, after years of mediocrity) deserve. Happy for ‘em.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#9 » by Duffman100 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:52 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:
Raptors are proving to be one of the premier franchises in the Association for sure.


Never thought I'd see that sentence anywhere ever. ha!
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#10 » by ropjhk » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:02 pm

Imagine if Kawhi stayed. How good would the Raptors be this season?

Then again, maybe Kawhi leaving is what truly makes the Raptors the Spurs of the East.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#11 » by dhsilv2 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:10 pm

Buford not listed. Automatically ignored.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#12 » by mademan » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:13 pm

dhsilv2 wrote:Buford not listed. Automatically ignored.


what have you done for me lately?
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#13 » by BarneyGumble » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:14 pm

Eric Spoelstra? Rick Carlisle? Gregg Popovich? Was this list created in 2013 or something? What has any of these guys done lately?
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#14 » by prefontaine » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:17 pm

How could this list not have anyone from the Warriors? Sure we've just had a **** season (due to injury), but why should that erase the last 5 years of total dominance?
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#15 » by dhsilv2 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:20 pm

mademan wrote:
dhsilv2 wrote:Buford not listed. Automatically ignored.


what have you done for me lately?


Sadly, that was likely their "reasoning".
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#16 » by VDT » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:27 pm

On one hand the recency bias (along with being plain bad a lot of the times) is annoying , on the other hand if they would try to put a list with the actual best coaches/ executives etc the list would stay the same for years as these things dont change on a year to year basis, wo we would have nothing to talk about.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#17 » by MagicBagley18 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:40 pm

Celtics top 5 coach top 5 gm top 5 player under 25...not too shabby
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#18 » by jamaalstar21 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:41 pm

dhsilv2 wrote:
mademan wrote:
dhsilv2 wrote:Buford not listed. Automatically ignored.


what have you done for me lately?


Sadly, that was likely their "reasoning".


Looking at the list it is hard to determine the recency bias. With Lawrence Frank and Sam Presti in the top 5, that's a clear indicator of the work done in the past season. But Daryl Morey is #2, and he's clearly seen better years in terms of home runs (trading Chris Paul all those picks/swaps for a debatable worse player in Westbrook still is a head scratcher to me. Not so much getting Westbrook, but what they agreed to give up to get him).

The Spurs have been on a bad run for a while. Starting with that Pau Gasol contract ... it's been pretty bleak for the Spurs. The Kawhi/Danny Green trade was awful. The whoopsie trading away Davis Bertans to make room for Marcus Morris was a little embarrassing. I like the trio of guards they drafted (Dejounte, White and Lonnie), but that's about it.

Buford/Pop built the most impressive sustained consistency of any franchise in sports. But I don't think not having Buford as a top 5 executive in 2020 is a reason to completely dismiss the ranking.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#19 » by jamaalstar21 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:44 pm

Still crazy to look back that Masai turned Demar and Valanciunas (+Poetl, Delon Wright) into Kawhi and Marc Gasol (and Danny green).

Both trades were absolute fleecings. Val has been good for Memphis and the trade made sense for them, but Gasol was still expected to fetch better value than that.
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Re: The Ringer: Top 5 NBA Executives and Coaches 

Post#20 » by dhsilv2 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:44 pm

jamaalstar21 wrote:
dhsilv2 wrote:
mademan wrote:
what have you done for me lately?


Sadly, that was likely their "reasoning".


Looking at the list it is hard to determine the recency bias. With Lawrence Frank and Sam Presti in the top 5, that's a clear indicator of the work done in the past season. But Daryl Morey is #2, and he's clearly seen better years in terms of home runs (trading Chris Paul all those picks/swaps for a debatable worse player in Westbrook still is a head scratcher to me. Not so much getting Westbrook, but what they agreed to give up to get him).

The Spurs have been on a bad run for a while. Starting with that Pau Gasol contract ... it's been pretty bleak for the Spurs. The Kawhi/Danny Green trade was awful. The whoopsie trading away Davis Bertans to make room for Marcus Morris was a little embarrassing. I like the trio of guards they drafted (Dejounte, White and Lonnie), but that's about it.

Buford/Pop built the most impressive sustained consistency of any franchise in sports. But I don't think not having Buford as a top 5 executive in 2020 is a reason to completely dismiss the ranking.


While I think the spurs have made some bad decisions, given the context of those decisions, I'm not overly negative on them either. Their goal to contend vs rebuild was imo wrong, but given that stated goal their trade grade out fine. They have killed in in the draft. If RC isn't a top 5 guy, I'm sorry but his resume is just too good.

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