Executive of the Year – Koby Altman
I had issues with the Larry Nance Jr. trade. The move to trade him for Lauri Markkanen was the right call. I didn’t think they’d run Markkanen at the three, which was a big crux of my issue; why another power forward? With Markkanen playing small forward and doing quite well at the position, Altman’s move looks ingenious. Granted, this is also why Altman deserves the Coach of the Year award because he’s been able to get Markkanen to adapt to his new role; but still, a good trade’s a good trade.
Who would’ve thought Markkanen would’ve been such an asset defensively. He’s outplayed Nance too, putting up a RAPTOR of +1.4 on offense and a +0.4 on defense, with Nance only contributing a +0.1 on offense and a similar +0.4 on defense.
Altman made the right move in getting Markkanen. He also made a stunning trade, a boneheaded steal of a maneuver, fleecing The Timberwolves for Ricky Rubio and only giving up Taurean Prince to get him.
Lastly, there’s not just Evan Mobley but the rest of the rookies he’s drafted. Well, most of them. Collin Sexton will make a great bench compliment alongside Love and Rubio in the future (unless they’re traded or allowed to leave). Isaac Okoro is a great starting option because he can influence the game defensively and not demand touches from better players like Sexton would. Darius Garland may never be All-NBA, but he’s putting up numbers and influencing games. Then there’s Mobley, who if he never gets better as a player, is already good enough to affect games.
Altman deserves the praise because just about all of his moves have worked out; eventually. Even re-signing Love looks smart, just not at the price that he did.