Memphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman won the NBA’s annual Executive of the Year award, the league announced Thursday. The 33-year-old is the youngest winner in the award’s 50-year history.
Kleiman received 16 of 29 first-place votes from a panel of his peers.
Koby Altman of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Arturas Karnisovas of the Chicago Bulls tied for second place. Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones and Miami Heat president Pat Riley tied for fourth place.
The Grizzlies finished the regular season with a 56-26 record, second only to the Phoenix Suns. Memphis earned its no. 2 seed in the Western Conference bracket after narrowly making the playoffs last season.
Kleiman built much of his roster through the draft. His selections since assuming the lead executive role in April 2019 include Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke, Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman. Morant won this year’s Most Improved Player of the Year award and gifted his trophy to Bane, who finished fifth in the voting.
Kleiman’s most significant transaction in the past calendar year was swapping Jonas Valanciunas for Steven Adams, who started 75 games at center for Memphis. The Grizzlies also signed Defensive Player of the Year finalist Jaren Jackson Jr. to a four-year, $105 million rookie contract extension this past October.
Memphis currently trails the third-seeded Golden State Warriors 3-2 in the Western Conference semifinals.
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