The NBA's best rookie will be in San Antonio tonight.
So will the second best.
That's how far Kawhi Leonard has risen. He might not have the stats of others in his draft class, but he's a starter on a contender, and seemingly every night he's efficient and consequential.
All of it is possible because the Spurs understood value and had the nerve to take a risk. Kyrie Irving was drafted first by Cleveland, and all the way down at No. 15, where the talent thins out, Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford targeted a 20 year old and traded a popular player to get him.
It was among their most daring moves, and it should be paramount when their peers honor them with an award they should have received a long time ago.
This year's executive of the year should go to Popo-ford.
Or, is that Buf-ovich?