For eight years running, GMs League-wide have filled out a detailed NBA.com survey. Consisting of 60 questions, ranging from team oriented to player oriented questions, the League’s 30 GMs weighed in on how they see things shaking out this upcoming season. As of late yesterday afternoon, this year’s results have been sorted and posted.
Not allowed to vote for the team they work for or the players on their squad, GMs agreed, overwhelmingly so, that the Lakers will win the Finals and that LeBron will repeat as MVP. Having correctly chosen L.A. and Bron last year (as Lang did in his ’08-09 NBA season preview), there’s no reason to think they won’t be right again this season. Of course, they also predicted that Andrew Bynum was the “most likely to have a breakout season” last survey, so don’t buy what they’re selling too blindly.
While the answers mainly adhere to last season’s, there are a few subtle and not so subtle changes that are notable. First off, last season 66.7 percent of GMs said that Kobe Bryant “forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments.” One year and a ring later, Kobe has fallen behind LeBron, earning just 23.2 percent of tallied votes. Notable as well, Dwight Howard earned 46.4 percent as “best defensive player in the NBA,” labeling him as GMs favorite defender. Last season KG was No. 1 in that category, holding over 44 percent of all votes. Of greatest note, last year the percentage of GMs that picked Derrick Rose to win ROY was less than the total of GMs who chose Mike Beasley, Greg Oden, OJ Mayo, Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph or Russell Westbrook to win the award. Not the best news for this year’s favorite, Blake Griffin.
As a whole, some of these predictions are mad obvious and foregone conclusions; others seem to show GMs thinking outside the box. Either way, read the predictions; question ‘em; decide whether you like or dislike ‘em. In nine months time, we’ll be able to tell just how smart, omniscient and clairvoyant NBA GMs really are.