A new NBA season is upon us and as with any season, the best general managers (or rather, everyone) have responded to the traditional poll and tried to predict what it will look like. Champion, MVP and also Rocky of the Year are the standout categories and here are their picks.
Let’s start with the champion. 81 percent of general managers are convinced that the Lakers will win for the second time in a row and in fact this is one of the most unequivocal prophecies in the category over the 19 years of the survey. Only Golden State won more percentages in 2017/18 (93%) and 2018/19 (87%). Who is in second place? The Clippers received 11 percent while Brooklyn and Miami received a number of votes.
We’ll move on to the MVP question. Yannis Antocompo won the title last season and again this time he is the general manager’s favorite with 32% of the vote, which is actually a 20 percent drop from last year. In second place is Luka Doncic with 21, in third place are Lakers stars Anthony Davis and LeBron James, with 18 and the list closes Kevin Durant (7%) and Yannis Antocompo.
And how is it possible without Danny Abdia’s angle? When asked who will win the rookie title this season, the Israeli received a number of votes that were not significant enough to be a fight for the first four. Lamello Bull got 39, James Weissman with 29, Obi Topin 18 and Anthony Edwards got seven percent of the GM votes.
The rest of the results
First in the East: Milwaukee – 64%; Brooklyn – 25%; Miami – 7%; Boston – 4%.
First in the West: Lakers – 86%; Clippers – 11%; Denver – 4%.
If you were to set up a franchise and could sign any NBA player, who would he be: Antocompo – 43%; Doncic – 43%; Anthony Davis – 7%. Also getting votes: LeBron James and Zion Williamson.
The player who makes the coaches make the most adjustments when their team faces him: James Harden – 32%; LeBron – 29%; Steph Kerry – 11%; Antokompo, Doncic and Nikola Jukic 7% each.
Breakthrough of the year: Shea Gilgios Alexander and Michael Porter Jr. 15% each; Diaron Fox – 12%; Devin Booker and Zion Williamson – 8% each.
The best point guard in the league: Ie – 30%; Damian Lillard – 22%; Doncic – 19%; Chris Paul – 15%; LeBron – 11%; Harden – 4%.
The best shooting guard in the league: Harden – 68%; Bradley Bill and Doncic – 11% each; Jimmy Butler – 7%; Morning – 4%.
The best small forward in the league: LeBron – 57%; Kwai Leonard – 25%; Durant – 11%.
The best power forward in the league: Antocompo 46%; LeBron 25%; Anthony Davis 21%; Durant 7%.
The best chin in the league: Yukich – 50%; Davis – 43%; Antocompo – 7%.
The best defensive player in the league: Antocompo – 46%; Davis – 21%; Leonard – 18%; Rudy Gover – 7%. Others received votes: Bam Advio and Jimmy Butler.
The best international player in the NBA: Antocompo – 68%; Doncic – 29%; Yukich – 4%.
The team that did the best steps in the break: Lakers – 37%; Phoenix – 22%; Oklahoma City – 15%; Atlanta, Milwaukee and Philadelphia 7% each; Portland – 4%.
The deal that will make the difference: Chris Paul to Phoenix – 44%; Jero Holiday to Milwaukee – 33%; Serge Ivka for the Clippers 7%. Also received votes: Bogdan Bogdanovich to Atlanta, Durant to Brooklyn (did not play at all last season due to injury), Gordon Hayward to Charlotte, Russell Westbrook to Washington.
The most “underrated” deal: Powder for Clippers – 15%; Stephen Adams to New Orleans and Robert Covington to Portland 11% each; Seth Carrie to Philadelphia – 6%.
The surprising deal of the holiday: Hayward to Charlotte – 54%; The trade of John Wall and Russell Westbrook – 18%; Jeremy Grant to Detroit – 11%; Montreux Harle for the Lakers – 7%. Also getting votes: the departure of Mark Gasol and Serge Ivka from Toronto, Holiday to Milwaukee, Chris Paul to Phoenix.
The best rookie in five years: James Weissman – 36%; Lamello Bull – 25%; Anthony AdWords – 14%; Patrick Williams – 11%; Isak Okuro – 7%. Others received votes: Onyka Okongo and Obi Topin.
The “theft” of the draft: Tyrese Haliberton (12) – 43%; Sadiq Bay (19) – 11%; Kira Lewis Weiss (13), Tyrese Maxi (21) and Obi Topin (8) – 7% each.
The best coach in the NBA: Eric Spolstra (Miami) – 46%; Nick Ners (Toronto) and Greg Popovich (San Antonio) 18% each; Brad Stevens (Boston) – 11%. Also cast: Rick Carlisle (Dallas) and Steve Kerr (Golden State).