Each year NBA.com does a survey of the league’s general managers, focusing on which team will win the NBA championship and which player will be awarded with the MVP. Nothing too surprising came from the poll this year: The Golden State Warriors were the popular choice to win the title while LeBron James was chosen as the most likely to take home the individual award.
93% of GMs chose the Warriors to repeat as NBA champions. The team was the popular choice last season too, with 69% saying the Warriors will win the championship. Before the 2015-2016 season, 53% chose the Cleveland Cavaliers as champions. The majority were right in both occasions.
James, a four-time MVP, is the popular choice for GMs before each season, including last year, when Russell Westbrook took home the award. It’s no surprise that James remains the constant favorite for the award. This season, with Isaiah Thomas out until 2018, James might have more to do and put himself in a position to win the award for the first time since 2013.
Other interesting tidbits from the survey:
- James isn’t just the MVP favorite. He was chosen as the best passer, best leader and most difficult player to plan for
- Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the most popular pick for ‘player to build a franchise around’, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Lonzo Ball is the favorite to win rookie of the year, with 69% picking him
- The signing that will make the most impact this season according to the general managers is Carmelo Anthony joining the Oklahoma City Thunder, followed by Paul Millsap signing with the Denver Nuggets