US basketball

Clippers’ Frank voted NBA Executive of the Year

Agence France-Presse
Clippers’ Frank voted NBA Executive of the Year

Kawhi Leonard. Photo from Instagram/@laclippers

Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank brought in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to turn the franchise into an NBA Western Conference contender

Lawrence Frank, who brought in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to spark the Los Angeles Clippers, was named Thursday, October 8 as the NBA Executive of the Year.

In voting by the league’s top team decision-makers, Clippers president of basketball operations Frank had 10 of 29 possible first-place votes and 61 total points, while 4 first-place votes and 41 points went to runner-up Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It was the first top exec award for Frank, who spent nearly 20 years in the NBA coaching ranks before joining the Clippers’ front office in 2016.

Voting was conducted on the basis of games played through the March 11 NBA coronavirus shutdown, through which the Clippers went 44-20 for the second-best record in the Western Conference behind the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers used 29 different starting lineups in 64 games, relying upon depth to secure a playoff spot for the eighth time in 9 seasons.

Frank re-shaped the roster in July 2019 by signing NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Leonard as a free agent and obtaining George in a trade with the Thunder, delivering an instant superstar duo to join an already formidable defensive squad.

Leonard averaged 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists, while George normed 21.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists before the NBA shutdown.

The Clippers ranked 5th in the NBA in defensive play, a 14-spot leap from the 2018-19 campaign.

Frank’s other moves included re-signing starting guard Patrick Beverley, starting center Ivica Zubac, and forward JaMychal Green.

He also added forward Marcus Morris from the New York Knicks in a February trade and signed guard Reggie Jackson after he was waived by Detroit.

Frank was a Clippers assistant coach in 2014, the same year Steve Ballmer took over as owner of the club after Donald Sterling was forced to sell the team. Frank was promoted to vice president of basketball operations in 2016 and given the top job a year later. –

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