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Billy King - Executive of the Year Candidate

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Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Fran Blinebury of lists his top five candidates for executive of the year and puts Billy King right after Daryl Morey of the Rockets, who came away with the big prize of the off-season, Dwight Howard.

Blinebury admires King's risk-taking. Even with the support of Mikhail Prokhorov, he has to hand it to King.

"It takes considerable nerve for King to bet it all on the hope that a 37-year-old Kevin Garnett, 35-year-old Paul Pierce, 35-year-old Jason Terry and a rookie head coach in Jason Kidd can take down the two-time defending champs from Miami along with the rest of what has become a strengthened Eastern Conference lineup."

Of course, in the process, King didn't acquire a single contract that runs more than two years and dumped the team's worst contract --Gerald Wallace's with $30 million left over three. He did give up three picks and agreed to swap another, but he now has a shot at a title and, notes Blinebury, " jumped the Nets over the Knicks as the headlining team in New York, which is signficant."

Blinebury also raves about the Andrei Kirilenko signing...

"To get Andrei Kirilenko to walk away from a guaranteed $10 million to sign a cut-rate deal was probably the second-best move of the entire NBA offseason, trailing only Dwight Howard’s move to Houston. Kirilenko adds a tough defender and a slashing finisher..."

Behing Morey and King, Blinebury lists Chris Grant of the Cavaliers, Joe Dumars of the Pistons and Dell Demps of the Pelicans.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the Hang Time Blog at, John Schuhmann takes out the calculator and figures which teams came away from the off-season with the most continuity. It's certainly not the Nets. With only eight returning players, the Nets rank 21st in continuity, losing players who accounted for nearly 40 percent of the team's minutes last year.