The NBA’s annual GM survey is more of a snapshot of the conventional wisdom around the league than a good predictive tool — last season the GMs overwhelmingly picked the Brooklyn Nets to beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals and Kevin Durant as MVP. Didn’t exactly work out that way.
Still, it’s an interesting view into where things stand — and where it stands is a Bucks vs. Warriors NBA Finals. When asked who would win the NBA title, 43% predicted the Bucks, 25% the Warriors, 21% the Clippers and 11% the Celtics (a number that unquestionably fell since the news of Ime Udoka’s suspension came out).
Here’s how the GMs see the top six in each conference, courtesy of Jon Schuhmann and NBA.com who did the survey:
6-T: Mavericks and Timberwolves
Here are some other highlights from the survey:
• Luka Doncic is the betting favorite to win MVP and the choice of the GMs, with 48% of them picking the Dallas star to win the award. Second was Giannis Antetokounmpo (34%) followed by Joel Embiid (14%).
• But ask GMs if they were starting a franchise today and could sign anyone, and they take Antetokounmpo (55%) over Doncic (45%). Those are the only two names on the list.
• Asked the player most likely to have a breakout season and the Cavaliers Evan Mobley led the way with 21% of the vote, followed by Cade Cunningham and Anthony Edwards tied for second (17%).
• The most athletic player in the league? The GMs voted for Ja Morant (38%) over Antetokounmpo (31%) and Anthony Edwards (24%).
• When asked which team had the best offseason, 41% of the GMs picked the Cavaliers, with Donovan Mitchell being named the player changing teams who would have the biggest impact this season.
• The most underrated offseason pickup: Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics, according to the GMs (28%).
• Most surprising move of the offseason for the GMs was Rudy Gobert to Cleveland (47% of the vote), but Mitchell to the Cavaliers was a close second (43%).
• Paolo Banchero is the runaway pick for Rookie of the Year (79%).
• Antetokounmpo was voted the best defensive player in the NBA (45%), with Draymond Green a distant second (24%).
• Gobert, however, was the runaway winner of the best interior defender (83%).
• Best coach in the NBA? Erik Spoelstra led the way with 52% of the vote, followed by Steve Kerr at 22%. The Clippers’ Tyronne Lue, however, won the vote for best in-game adjustments by a coach.
• The Toronto Raptors were voted the team with the best home court advantage (21%), with Boston and Denver tied for second (17%).