NBA commissioner Adam Silver said it was bad for the league that the Warriors and Cavaliers were perceived as overwhelming title favorites.
If so, this won’t help.
In the annual GM survey done by John Schumann of NBA.com, every polled executive picked Golden State or Cleveland as the next champion:
Which team will win the 2017 NBA Finals?
1. Golden State – 69.0%
2. Cleveland – 31.0%
It’s a little jarring to see the result revealed with just two responses. But who else were GMs supposed to pick? The Warriors were great then added Kevin Durant. LeBron James‘ teams have had a stranglehold on the East, and the Cavs are defending champs.
These are the only two reasonable selections.
A few other interesting responses from the survey:
Who will win the 2016-17 MVP?
1. LeBron James, Cleveland – 46.7%
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City – 23.3%
3. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 10.0%
James Harden, Houston – 10.0%
5. Kevin Durant, Golden State – 6.7%
6. Paul George, Indiana – 3.3%
If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?
1. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota – 48.3%
2. Kevin Durant, Golden State – 20.7%
3. LeBron James, Cleveland – 17.2%
Also receiving votes: Stephen Curry, Golden State; Anthony Davis, New Orleans; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
Towns is a fairly startling top pick – especially at such a high percentage. Everyone else named, potentially save Anthony Davis, is better. But the 20-year-old Towns has the age advantage and might be the right choice.
Still, Curry, Durant and Westbrook are relatively young. I’d lean toward a more-proven player who still has plenty left in the tank. Curry would’ve been my choice.
Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2016-17?
1. Devin Booker, Phoenix – 31.0%
2. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota – 13.8%
3. Myles Turner, Indiana – 10.3%
4. D’Angelo Russell, L.A. Lakers – 6.9%
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota – 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit; Anthony Davis, New Orleans; Kevin Durant, Golden State; C.J. McCollum, Portland; Kristaps Porzingis, New York; Terry Rozier, Boston; Dennis Schroder, Atlanta; Marcus Smart, Boston
The Devin Booker hype train keeps rolling.
The Pacers traded Hill for Teague. That these point guards finished 1-2 for this question shows just how intriguing that swap was.