HOUSTON — Elgin Baylor, NBA executive of the year?
"I've had some people mention it to me, the award, but I've never really thought about it," the longtime Clipper general manager said. "We need to wait and see what happens before you start getting into all of that. Let's get into the playoffs and do something in the playoffs. That's what I'm thinking about."
In large part because of Baylor's moves, the Clippers are in position to earn their first Western Conference playoff berth in nine seasons.
Baylor acquired point guard Sam Cassell and a lottery-protected first-round pick in August from the Minnesota Timberwolves for guards Marko Jaric and Lionel Chalmers.
Cassell, a co-captain with Elton Brand, is averaging 17.5 points and 6.4 assists. The 13-year veteran has been the most productive player in the trade, considered among the most lopsided of the off-season.
Before the trade deadline, Baylor sent inconsistent forward-center Chris Wilcox to the Seattle SuperSonics for forward Vladimir Radmanovic, whose three-point shooting and strong effort on defense has provided a big boost, players said.
Although Coach Mike Dunleavy also has a major role in decisions, Baylor is the one held accountable.
"Mike and I work well together," Baylor said. "The Cassell trade was a great trade for us, and Radmanovic is a great shooter who really helps us spread the floor.
"I would appreciate it if I was considered [for the award], but getting into the playoffs and making some noise would mean more. That would mean everything."
at New Orleans, 5 PST
Site -- New Orleans Arena.
Radio -- 1150, 830.
Records -- Clippers 39-26, Hornets 31-33.
Record vs. Hornets -- 1-1.
Update -- The Hornets scored an NBA-record-low 16 points March 1 in the second half of an 89-67 loss to the Clippers at Staples Center.