Royce Young and Zach Harper of CBSSports.com both select Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey as their pick for the NBA's Executive of the Year at midseason.
Young: The Blazers finished last season on 13 straight losses and it was largely because they had zero depth. Olshey addressed the issues in the offseason and shored up the starting five with a shrewd move: Acquiring Robin Lopez for nothing. Now LaMarcus Aldridge is talking about staying, and the team is winning.
Harper: This team had three goals in the offseason: 1) make sure LaMarcus Aldridge is happy, 2) find a big man to put next to Aldridge, and 3) acquire a bench that is productive and doesn't include Sasha Pavlovic. Olshey did those things and the end result has been one of the best surprise stories of the season. The Blazers' bench hasn't blown away the competition by any means but they're also not historically bad. They get enough of the job done to give a relatively rested starting lineup a chance to win games. And Robin Lopez's presence next to Aldridge is everything that JJ Hickson couldn't be last season.
Matt Moore opted for Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts was also Harper's pick for Coach of the Year.
The full midseason awards discussion can be found right here.
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-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter