NBA.com recently released its 2021/2022 GM survey and there were several surprising results like every other year. In the survey, all 30 NBA general managers answered several questions ranging from this season’s predictions to long-term predictions about players, while assessing teams’ progress during the offseason.
The results of the survey were unveiled anonymously, sparking an interesting conversation in the days leading to the current NBA season. Here is a breakdown of the survey results that NBA fans might find interesting. An interesting fact is that the results of the following survey were very close to a survey published on BigDataBall filled by fans, which is one of the most popular sports data website. BigDataBall is covering football, baseball, basketball, and tennis.
Brooklyn Nets Reign Supreme
NBA general managers voted that the Nets will win in this season’s NBA finals over the LA Lakers. The Nets received 72% of the votes to win the NBA trophy this season, while the reigning champions, the Milwaukee Bucks only got 10% of the votes to take the championship title home. The Bucks returned most of their last season’s rotation this year and they hope to defend their title well.
With the Nets dubbed as the NBA’s best team, the general managers voted that Kevin Durant will claim his second MVP this season after earning 37% of votes. Other players that got the MVP consideration include Stephen Curry (3%), James Harden (7%), Joel Embiid (7%), Giannis Antetokounmpo (13%), and Luca Doncic (33%). Unfortunately, LeBron James didn’t get a single MVP vote following an off-season slight.
Luka Doncic Goes Over Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Best Player
This section of the survey has been dominated by LeBron James for years, but since he was knocked out of the spot, it has become quite interesting in this year’s exercise. Last year, 22-year-old Luca Doncic and 26-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo shared the top spot after receiving 43% of the votes each. However, after claiming his first MVP in his career, Giannis was surpassed by Doncic who got 43% of the votes to become the best player in the future.
Doncic’s domination in this year’s GM votes came as a bit of a surprise, considering Antetokounmpo’s dominant run during the playoffs after his NBA Finals performance. However, Doncic has defied all odds time and again during his three-year career for a player of his age and there’s no denying that the phenom guard is yet to show us his best. Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Zion Williamson, and Kevin Durant also got votes for the title.
NBA’s Best Player at Every Position
The general managers voted for Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the best players in every position. Unfortunately, LeBron missed the list and James had his votes split between three positions. James got 7% of the votes for the point guard, 27% for the best power forward, and 17% for the best small forward. All these votes put together to one position means James will be among the NBA’s best starting five but split among three positions, he might miss out on a spot.
Something similar can be said about Doncic, who claimed 13% of the votes for the best point guard and 10% for the best shooting guard. The runners-up for other positions were Damian Lillard for the point guard, LeBron James for the power forward and small forward, Devin Booker for shooting guard, and Joel Embiid for the center.
Jaren Jackson Jr Will Most Likely Have a Breakout Season
17% of NBA general managers voted Jaren Jackson Jr as the most likely player to have a breakup season this year after the 22-year-old spent most of the last season sidelined while nursing a torn left meniscus. The Grizzlies youngster was great in his sophomore year back in the 2019/2020 season, averaging 17.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. This proved that Jackson is a promising rim protector and scorer.
Jackson only appeared in 11 matches last season and is a crucial piece of the hungry Memphis team, making him a major breakout candidate. However, not many fans would have guessed that he could swing the majority vote from NBA general managers.
Antony Edwards ranked second on the list, getting 13% of the votes, followed by Michael Porter Jr at 10%. Other players on the list included Keldon Johnson, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr, and Ja Morant, all getting 7% of the votes each.
For the second year, the Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra got 55% of the votes as the best NBA head coach this season. Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns got 17%, followed by Utah’s Quin Snyder (14%) and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich at 10%. Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was also considered and got 3% of the votes.
The general managers also voted on individual coaching aspects, which produced different results. The Suns’ head coach Monty Williams was voted as people’s best motivator/ manager, the Jazz’s coach Quin Snyder voted to run the best offense and LA Clippers Coach Tyronn Lue voted for the best in-game adjustments. The New York Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau also ranked to operate the best defense.