Daryl Morey's moves to shape Houston closer to being a title contender have not gone unnoticed.
On Thursday, as Denver's Masai Ujiri became the first African-born GM to win NBA Executive of the Year, Morey finished third in the voting.
Morey received four first-place votes, one second-place vote, and two third-place votes.
It was a season of change for the Rockets. Only Chandler Parsons and Greg Smith remain from the 2012 roster. Morey made offseason splashes in signing Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. The Asik find was of particular note given that the big man played backup minutes in Chicago, yet Morey had the intuition to see Asik was worth a starter's contract, which Asik more than fulfilled. As for Lin, Morey showed how much he wanted him with an offer the Knicks were unable to match.
Then, after drafting three first rounders, including Terrence Jones, Morey made even bigger waves by acquiring his superstar, James Harden, who was a sixth man in Oklahoma City. Harden lived up to superstar billing, finishing fifth in the league in scoring and eighth in MVP voting.
Morey wasn't finished. At the trade deadline, he traded his top two power forwards but gained top-five pick Thomas Robinson and Francisco Garcia in the trades.
Other moves proving fruitful included the signings of Carlos Delfino late in the offseason and then Patrick Beverley from Russia. Delfino became the team's top scorer off the bench. Beverley became a key spark with his on-ball defense and hustle.
Houston finished the season 45-37 and took the Thunder to six games before bowing out.
What's even better for Red Nation fans is that Morey has shaped the Rockets into having enough cap room for still another linchpin in the team's quest for a title.
Name Team 1st-place votes 2nd-place votes 3rd-place votes Total
Masai Ujiri Nuggets 8 6 1 59
Gary Sacks Clippers 3 4 1 28
Daryl Morey Rockets 4 1 2 25
Glen Grunwald Knicks 2 4 3 25
R.C. Buford Spurs 4 1 1 24
Pat Riley Heat 4 1 1 24
Bob Myers Warriors 1 4 6 23
Sam Presti Thunder 1 1 4 12
Danny Ferry Hawks 1 1 -- 8
Rob Hennigan Magic 1 -- 2 7
Billy King Nets -- 2 1 7
Donnie Walsh Pacers -- 1 4 7
Kevin O'Connor Jazz -- 2 -- 6
Jason Levien Grizzlies 1 -- -- 5
John Hammond Bucks -- 1 1 4
Dell Demps Pelicans -- -- 1 1
Gar Forman Bulls -- -- 1 1