At times, it is quite easy to overlook all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in the NBA. One rather thankless, and often times underappreciated role in the league is that of a front office executive. These people often take the blame for their teams shortcomings, but are rarely put on the spotlight whenever the team succeeds.

One such avenue to highlight the achievements of front office executives is that of the NBA’s Executive of the Year award, which according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, has Milwaukee Bucks GM Jon Horst and Toronto Raptors team president Masai Ujiri leading the pack as front-runners to bag this year’s recognition.

Milwaukee Bucks GM Jon Horst, who is in only his second season, and Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri are expected to be two of the top candidates. Both oversaw wide-ranging changes to upgrade their teams, changing coaches and core players.

It is without question that both men are deserving of this award considering how well their respective teams have performed this season. Moreover, both the Bucks and the Raptors have made substantial moves this season which has placed them in a position to succeed not only this season, but in the years to come.

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Horst’s Bucks ended the regular season with the league’s best record, and are currently the favorites to win the title behind the defending champs, the Golden State Warriors. Sure, it has a lot to do with the amazing development of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but still, some credit has to be given to Horst, right?

Similarly, Ujiri has been successful in his dealings with the Raptors this season. Initially seen as the bad guy for trading away Toronto’s native son in DeMar DeRozan last summer, the move now appears to be paying dividends for the squad. The acquisition of big man Marc Gasol on the trade deadline also adds another feather to his cap.

Whichever way the vote goes, it would certainly not end in disappointment as these two executives have definitely done wonders for their respective organizations.