Frank helped orchestrate the offseason signing of Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder that set up NBA title expectations for the franchise. The Clippers finished second in the Western Conference before suffering a second-round upset to the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs.
The team parted with head coach Doc Rivers in the aftermath of the disappointing finish.
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti finished second in voting, followed by Miami Heat president Pat Riley.
Pat Riley finishes third in Executive of Year balloting. Award goes to Clippers' Lawrence Frank, with Thunder's Sam Presti second. The voting: pic.twitter.com/3NMnQLhA3R— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) October 8, 2020
Frank oversaw NBA power shift
Leonard left the Toronto Raptors with the intent of signing with the Clippers last offseason. But, according to Rivers, Leonard told him and owner Steve Ballmer that the team wasn’t good enough and needed to add another top talent alongside him. Leonard identified George as a target, according to Rivers.
The Clippers put together a historic package that included five first-round draft picks to obtain George from the Thunder and ensure that Leonard would sign.
Presti, Riley recognized for shrewd moves, success
The Thunder also dealt Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for aging veteran Chris Paul, signaling a rebuild in Oklahoma City. The Thunder were one of the league’s biggest surprises this season, finishing in fifth place in the West before pushing the Rockets to a seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs.
Oklahoma City’s on-court success combined with its haul of future assets led to Presti’s recognition from voters.
En route to the NBA Finals, Riley’s Heat arranged a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers and saw the emergence of Bam Adebayo from raw talent into an NBA All-Star in his third season after being selected with the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
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