The Lakers are the sexy new girl on the block, the latest super team to land the disgruntled star of another franchise, the team everybody says can challenge the Miami Heat for an NBA title.
But NBA GMs still think the Heat get the ring. And LeBron gets another MVP.
The NBA conducts an annual survey of the 30 general managers around the league for their predictions on the upcoming season. In case you forgot, last year they predicted Miami would beat Oklahoma City in the finals. These guys generally know their stuff.
This season 70 percent of them think the Miami Heat will win the NBA title. The Lakers come in second at 23.3 percent, the Thunder got two votes (6.6 percent).
But those GMs generally think the Lakers make it to the finals, with 60 percent of GMs picking them. The Thunder are second at 36.7 percent and there was one vote for the Denver Nuggets.
As for the division winners, the GMs like Boston (66.7 percent), Indiana (80 percent over a Bulls side without Derrick Rose that still got 20 percent of the vote), Miami (96.7 percent, I’d love to know who the one GM voting for Atlanta was), San Antonio (96.7 percent, one vote for Memphis), Oklahoma City (86.7 percent) and the Los Angeles Lakers (96.7 percent, one vote for the Clippers).
As for MVP, the GMs like LeBron James (66.7 percent) over Kevin Durant (30 percent) with one lone vote for Carmelo Anthony. And I checked, Isiah Thomas doesn’t still have a vote so not sure who the ‘Melo vote was from.
LeBron landed on the top of a bunch of other lists — if you cold start a team from scratch who would you take (80 percent), which player forces a team to make the most adjustments (50 percent), Best small forward in the NBA (73.3 percent).
As for winner of Rookie of the Year, the GMs like top pick Anthony Davis of New Orleans, he got 76.7 percent of the vote, with Portland’s Damian Lillard second with 20 percent. Austin Rivers was third with one vote, and if you made me guess it was Danny Ainge voting to make Doc Rivers happy.
The GMs took Boston’s Jared Sullinger as the sleeper rookie pick. And they think Dirk Nowitzki remains the best international player in the game. Which is pretty hard to argue.