It was announced on Thursday that Memphis Grizzlies vice president Zach Kleiman has been voted as the Executive of the Year for the 2021-22 season — and deservedly so. The Cavs’ own Koby Altman finished second in the vote, and if you ask team owner Dan Gilbert, he knows exactly why Altman lost out on the prestigious honor.
According to Gilbert, the injuries the Cavs had to deal with throughout the season played a major role in Altman conceding the title:
“Our own President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman finished tied for second in NBA Executive of the Year. Congratulations to the winner, Memphis Grizzlies GM Zach Kleiman. Our injuries hurt Koby’s chances to win this thing. I believe he will be a top contender again next year,” Gilbert said in his tweet.
Our own President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman finished tied for second in NBA Executive of the Year. Congratulations to the winner, Memphis Grizzlies GM Zach Kleiman. Our injuries hurt Koby's chances to win this thing. I believe he will be a top contender again next year
— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) May 13, 2022
You can’t discredit Kleiman for what he did for the Grizzlies this past season. Memphis was one of the biggest surprise packages this year and despite losing out to the mighty Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of their second-round series on Friday night, there’s no denying that this squad made a tremendous impact on the league this past season.
For their part, the Cavs could have probably progressed in the playoffs had it not been for injuries. This is what Gilbert appears to believe and he thinks that Altman would have had a better chance of winning Executive of the Year if Cleveland was healthier. Early season injuries to Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio were a major blow, as was the injury of All-Star big man Jarrett Allen towards the end of the regular season.
What we can say for sure is that the Cavs will be back next season and as Gilbert said, he expects Altman to be an Executive of the Year contender again next term.