NBA GM survey released, Lakers voted as favorite to repeat

LeBron James, Anthony Davis
Photo: NBA/Twitter

Defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are the clear cut favorites to win it all again in the 19th annual NBA GM survey.

In the survey, 81 percent of the general managers picked the Lakers to win the championship in 2021, which is the third-highest rate in the history of the survey behind the Golden State Warriors in 2017-2018 (93%) and 2018-2019 (87%).

The GMs responded to 33 different questions about the best teams, players, coaches and offseason moves.

They also weren’t allowed to vote for their own team or personnel.

Percentages are based on the pool of answers to a particular question, rather than all 30 GMs’ response.

Here are some of the survey questions and answers:

A. Predictions

Which team will win the 2020 NBA Finals?

  1. Los Angeles Lakers – 81%
  2. Los Angeles Clippers – 11%

Also receiving votes: Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat

Rank the top four teams in the Eastern Conference:

  1. Milwaukee Bucks – 35% total
  2. Brooklyn Nets – 24% total
  3. Miami Heat – 21% total
  4. Boston Celtics – 11% total
  5. Philadelphia 76ers – 6% total
  6. Toronto Raptors – 2% total
  7. Indiana Pacers – 0% total

Rank the top four teams in the Western Conference:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers – 38% total
  2. Los Angeles Clippers – 28% total
  3. Denver Nuggets – 19% total
  4. Dallas Mavericks – 6% total
  5. Portland Trail Blazers – 4% total
  6. Utah Jazz – 4% total
  7. Golden State Warriors – 1% total
  8. Phoenix Suns – 0% total

B. PLAYERS

Who will win the 2020-21 Kia MVP?

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks – 32%
  2. Luka Doncic, Mavericks – 21%
  3. Anthony Davis, Lakers – 18%
  4. LeBron James, Lakers – 18%
  5. Kevin Durant, Nets – 7%
  6. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets – 4%

Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2020-21?

1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder – 15%
Michael Porter Jr., Nuggets – 15%
3. De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings – 12%
4. Devin Booker, Suns – 8%
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans – 8%
Also receiving votes: Deandre Ayton, Suns; Bol Bol, Nuggets; Mikal Bridges, Suns; Luka Doncic, Mavericks; Kevin Durant, Nets; Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets; Tyler Herro, Heat; Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls

Who is the best international player in the NBA?

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks –68%
  2. Luka Doncic, Mavericks – 29%
  3. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets – 4%

C. OFFSEASON MOVES

Which team made the best overall moves this offseason?

1. Lakers – 37%
2. Suns – 22%
3. Thunder – 15%
4. Atlanta Hawks – 7%
Bucks – 7%
76ers – 7%
7. Trail Blazers – 4%

Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact?

  1. Chris Paul, Suns – 44%
  2. Jrue Holiday, Bucks – 33%
  3. Serge Ibaka, Clippers – 7%

Also receiving votes: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Hawks; Kevin Durant, Nets; Gordon Hayward, Hornets; Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards

What was the most surprising move of the offseason?

  1. Gordon Hayward to the Hornets – 54%
  2. John Wall-Russell Westbrook trade – 18%
  3. Jerami Grant to the Detroit Pistons – 11%
  4. Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers – 7%

Also receiving votes: Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka leaving the Raptors; Jrue Holiday to the Bucks; Chris Paul to the Suns

D. ROOKIES & INTERNATIONAL

Who will win the 2020-21 Kia Rookie of the Year?

  1. LaMelo Ball, Hornets – 39%
  2. James Wiseman, Warriors – 29%
  3. Obi Toppin, New York Knicks – 18%
  4. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves – 7%

Also receiving votes: Deni Avdija, Wizards; Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers

Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft?

1. Tyrese Haliburton (12), Kings – 43%
2. Saddiq Bey (19), Pistons – 11%
3. Kira Lewis Jr. (13), Pelicans – 7%
Tyrese Maxey (21), 76ers – 7%
Obi Toppin (8), Knicks – 7%

Also receiving votes: Precious Achiuwa (20), Heat; Cole Anthony (15), Orlando Magic; Vernon Carey Jr. (32), Hornets; Theo Maledon (34), Thunder; Skylar Mays (50), Hawks

E. COACHES

Who is the best head coach in the NBA?

1. Erik Spoelstra, Heat – 46%
2. Nick Nurse, Raptors – 18%
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs – 18%
4. Brad Stevens, Celtics – 11%

Also receiving votes: Rick Carlisle, Mavericks; Steve Kerr, Warriors

F. MISCELLANEOUS

Which team has the most promising young core?

1. Pelicans – 41%
2. Memphis Grizzlies – 22%
3. Hawks – 11%
Celtics – 11%
Nuggets – 11%
6. Mavericks – 4%

What’s the biggest pandemic-related challenge facing your team this season?

1. Travel (protocols and safety on the road) – 21%
2. Staying healthy – 18%
3. Compliance and responsibility – 7%
Lack of fans – 7%
Lack of group interaction – 7%
Mental health – 7%
Unpredictability – 7%

Also receiving votes: Impact on standings from games missed, Lack of continuity and practice time, Limits on personnel, Managing family, Quick transition from the offseason, Relocation, Soft tissue injuries