LA Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank has been honored with the NBA Executive of the Year Award, it was announced Thursday.
Frank, who helped orchestrate the franchise’s biggest offseason by signing Kawhi Leonard as a free agent and trading for Paul George in July 2019, received 10 first-place votes and earned 61 points from a panel of NBA team basketball executives.
Oklahoma City Thunder executive vice president/GM Sam Presti finished second, and Miami Heat president Pat Riley was third.
“[Frank] is a passionate, dedicated, and selfless leader,” Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer said in a statement issued by the team. “I am proud of the work he and his group are doing, and thrilled his peers feel the same way. This award is a great tribute to the hard work done by the entire front office, including our General Manager Michael Winger, Assistant GMs Mark Hughes and Trent Redden, and consultant Jerry West. Together, they have worked to develop every facet of our basketball operations department.”
Voting for the award was based on regular-season games played through March 11, when the Clippers were second in the Western Conference with a 44-20 record on the way to earning a playoff berth for the eighth time in nine seasons.
The seeding games, which were played July 30 to Aug. 14 in Orlando as part of the season restart, did not count toward voting for the award.
The Clippers went 49-23 this season and finished second in the Western Conference. They were considered title favorites until losing a 3-1 lead and being stunned by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. Ballmer and head coach Doc Rivers parted ways on Sept. 28, and Frank and the Clippers are now in the process of finding a new head coach.
Frank and his front-office surrounded Leonard and George with a contending roster. They brought back Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac and JaMychal Green last summer and then traded for Marcus Morris before the trade deadline and signed Reggie Jackson in February.
The Clippers’ depth helped them navigate injuries and load management as the team used 29 different starting lineups in 64 games.
The Clippers also have had the last two Sixth Man of the Year Award winners, Montrezl Harrell this season and Lou Williams last season.
Frank was promoted to president of basketball operations in 2017. The former head coach of the New Jersey Nets and Detroit Pistons came to the franchise as an assistant coach in 2014 before moving into the front office as executive vice president of basketball operations in 2016.