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Knicks president Leon Rose finished 4th in NBA Executive of the Year voting

Don Leon is rising through the ranks.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Many skeptics laughed when former agent Leon Rose took over the New York Knicks’ front office in February 2020. I must admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the move. But it’s hard to argue with the results so far. Under the first full season of Rose’s stewardship, the Knicks went from a league-wide laughingstock to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Apparently, the rest of the league has taken notice. Rose finished fourth in the NBA Executive of the Year vote, three spots ahead of the winner, Phoenix Suns GM James Jones. Rose received one first-place vote.

Some might argue that Rose hasn’t done that much since taking over — after all, the roster remained largely unchanged from the 2019-20 club. But Rose did hire Coach of the Year-winner Tom Thibodeau, drafted Immanuel Quickley (voted second-team All-Rookie, and absolutely should have been first-team), traded for Sixth Man candidate Derrick Rose early in the season, and brought in solid frontcourt contributors Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson.

Congratulations, Don Leon. Derrick Rose mentioned that the prez has some big moves planned for this summer. Let’s hope those plans go as well (or better) than what we’ve seen thus far.