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2022 PBT Awards: Executive of the Year

Chicago Bulls executive Arturas Karnisovas

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 19: Vice president of basketball operations of the Chicago Bulls, Arturas Karnisovas, poses for a photo on August 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Chris Ramirez/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Kurt Helin

1. Arturas Karnisovas (Bulls)

2. Zachary Kleiman (Grizzlies)

3. Pat Riley (Heat)

This award is voted on by the league’s other GM/presidents (not the media) and traditionally goes to the guy who made the boldest swing in the summer that paid off later. The boldest swings this year — Rob Pelinka with the Lakers, Daryl Morey with the 76ers — didn’t exactly pay off (yet for Philly, to be fair). However, the moves Arturas Karnisovas made in Chicago — bringing in DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso — have been part of a major transformation of this roster since the 2020 trade deadline. And it worked well, until injuries brought the Bulls defense down to earth the second half of the season. Still, this is a franchise is a much better place than it had been, and there is something to build on — and for fans to hope for — in the Windy City now.

Dan Feldman

1. Arturas Karnisovas (Bulls)

2. Tommy Sheppard (Wizards)

3. Kevin Pritchard (Pacers)

Arturas Karnisovas landed a haul last offseason that lifted the Bulls (45-33) from their several-year, post-Jimmy Butler rut – DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. The most-panned of those acquisitions – including by me – DeRozan has been awesome and will likely land on MVP ballots. Ball and Caruso played well before getting hurt and should still contribute positively in future seasons. Though his big moves were impressive enough, Karnisovas also deserves credit for handling Lauri Markkanen’s restricted free agency and drafting immediate contributor Ayo Dosunmu in the second round.

The Wizards (34-44) aren’t in great shape, but they’d be far worse off if Tommy Sheppard didn’t trade Russell Westbrook for a package of solid/lower-paid contributors. Washington also dealt a couple other expensive players who weren’t fitting, Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, for Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis has played like a star when healthy – a good swing for a franchise stuck like the Wizards. Plus, Sheppard’s strong communication has Washington positioned to re-sign Bradley Beal. Probably.

After a fairly quiet offseason throughout the league, Pacers executive Kevin Pritchard cracks my ballot for a couple in-season trades – poaching Tyrese Haliburton from the Kings for Domantas Sabonis and nabbing a first-round pick and a couple reasonably valuable second-rounders for Caris LeVert. Indiana gets valuable long-term assets without necessarily undergoing a dreaded rebuild, though could continue into a larger teardown in the offseason.