Survey Showdown: Rookies vs. General Managers

Did the GM's or rookies see him coming? LOS ANGELES CA - NOVEMBER 21: Jeremy Lin #7 of the Golden State Warriors drives ahead of Devin Ebanks #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 21 2010 in Los Angeles California. The Lakers won 117-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

For the past several years, the NBA has done pre-season surveys of the incoming rookies and the GMs. I thought it would be fun to look at the questions that were posed to both and see which group had better judgement. Clearly, the men whose job it is to make judgements about talent and have mountains of data at their disposal should know better than a bunch of not-even-always-twenty-something rookies, right? Then again, "No one knows the rookies, though, like the rookies themselves." (link) Let's see. Join me after the jump.

I couldn't find the 2008-2009 or 2011-12 rookie surveys (maybe they skipped it), so I'll be looking at three seasons here.

2007-2008

Who will be the Rookie of the Year?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

Kevin Durant

53.5

Kevin Durant

92.6

2

Greg Oden

11.6

Al Horford

3.7

3

Corey Brewer

4.7

Rodney Stuckey

3.7

4

Jeff Green

4.7

5

Acie Law

4.7

6

Al Thornton

4.7

Both got this right, although way too many rookies voted for bad players. The GM survey took place after Oden got hurt, though, so we might discount this one a bit.

Which rookie will be the best in 5 years/Play in the most All-Star games?

(Slightly different questions asked to each group, but these were the most similar.)

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

Kevin Durant

55.8

Kevin Durant

74.1

2

Greg Oden

32.6

Greg Oden

22.2

3

Others

11.6

Rodney Stuckey

3.7

GM's did somewhat better here. The GM who voted for Stuckey is obviously no longer working in the NBA.

Which player is the most athletic?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

Al Thornton

31.8

Al Thornton

23.1

2

Nick Young

15.9

Kevin Durant

19.2

3

Sean Williams

9.1

Mike Conley

11.5

4

Julian Wright

9.1

D.J. Strawberry

7.7

5

Thaddeus Young

9.1

Sean Williams

7.7

This one is puzzling. GM's got the better player at #2, but Nick Young *is* arguably more athletic. Just doesn't use it like KD does. Hmm.

Which rookie is being the most overlooked/biggest sleeper?

(Once again, similar but slightly different questions being asked.)

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

Nick Young

15.8

Rodney Stuckey

29.6

2

Al Thornton

10.5

Marco Belinelli

18.5

3

Aaron Brooks

7.9

Jared Dudley

11.1

4

Jared Dudley

7.9

Gabe Pruitt

7.4

5

Jeff Green

7.9

Luis Scola

7.4

6

Al Thornton

7.4

I guess I have to go with the GM's on this one, but they didn't really get it "right". Notice the absence of Joakim Noah, Thaddeus Young, Wilson Chandler, Arron Afflalo, Carl Landry, and Marc Gasol. I guess sleepers are really sleepers for a reason.

2009-2010

Who will win the Rookie of the Year?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

Blake Griffin

54.8

Blake Griffin

79.3

2

Jonny Flynn

12.9

Jonny Flynn

10.3

3

James Harden

12.9

Tyreke Evans

6.9

4

Stephen Curry

6.5

Stephen Curry

3.4

Of course, Blake got injured so this one doesn't mean too much. Props to the rookies for having Harden on their radar. Both sides whiffed on Jonny Flynn.

Which rookie will have the best career/be the best in 5 years?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

Blake Griffin

20.6

Blake Griffin

65.5

2

Jonny Flynn

11.8

Tyreke Evans

10.3

3

James Harden

11.8

James Harden

10.3

Looks like the GM's score a clear victory here. Jonny Flynn. #smh

Which rookie is being the most overlooked/sleeper success?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

DeJuan Blair

15.6

James Harden

11.1

2

Toney Douglas

9.4

Brandon Jennings

11.1

3

Jrue Holiday

9.4

Ty Lawson

11.1

4

DaJuan Summers

9.4

Rodrigue Beaubois

7.4

5

Sam Young

9.4

DeJuan Blair

7.4

6

Taylor Griffin

6.3

Austin Daye

7.4

7

James Johnson

6.3

Jodie Meeks

7.4

8

Ty Lawson

6.3

Terrence Williams

7.4

Ok, either the GM's killed it by picking Harden, or the rookies were like, "Uh, dude, Harden was picked 3rd. How is he a sleeper?" I'm kind of leaning toward the latter.

Which rookie is the most athletic?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

DeMar DeRozan

47.1

Blake Griffin

42.9

2

Terrence Williams

20.6

DeMar DeRozan

32.1

3

Blake Griffin

14.7

Terrence Williams

10.7

4

Jonny Flynn

5.9

Brandon Jennings

7.1

5

Sam Young

5.9

Interesting once again that this question has significantly different responses. My guess is that the rookies look at this as "most athletic period" whereas the GM's read it "most athletic for their size/position". I can't really disagree with either side.

2010-2011

Which player will win Rookie of the Year?

ROOKIES

GM

Player

%

Player

%

John Wall

38.5

John Wall

67.9

Blake Griffin

23.1

Blake Griffin

28.6

DeMarcus Cousins

12.8

Wesley Johnson

3.6

Wesley Johnson

7.7

Well, a few more GM's picked Blake Griffin, but this is pretty much a push.

Which rookie will have the best career/be best in 5 years?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

John Wall

23.7

John Wall

67.9

2

DeMarcus Cousins

13.2

DeMarcus Cousins

10.7

3

Blake Griffin

13.2

Blake Griffin

10.7

4

Derrick Favors

10.5

Derrick Favors

7.1

5

Evan Turner

7.9

Evan Turner

3.6

6

Wesley Johnson

5.3

7

Greg Monroe

5.3

8

Larry Sanders

5.3

Well, it looks like both sides might miss on this prediction, as Blake Griffin almost immediately vaulted to the top of the class. You never know what might happen down the road, though. I wonder if some smart GM (one of the 3 that voted for Griffin) could have made the steal of the decade before the season started. Clearly, he was undervalued at the time.

Which rookie is being the most overlooked/sleeper?

ROOKIES

GM

RANK

Player

%

Player

%

1

Lance Stephenson

17.9

Luke Harangody

11.1

2

Luke Babbitt

10.3

Patrick Patterson

11.1

3

Devin Ebanks

7.7

Derrick Favors

7.4

4

Jeremy Lin

6.4

Paul George

7.4

5

Craig Brackins

5.1

Damion James

7.4

6

Paul George

5.1

Greg Monroe

7.4

7

Jordan Crawford

3.8

Rookies picked Jeremy Lin!!! And Landry Fields also was listed under "others receiving votes" on the rookie survey.

Ok, other than that, Luke Harangody? Devin Ebanks? Damion James? Neither side should be bragging here. How is Derrick Favors a "sleeper"? No GM voted for Fields.

Conclusion

Did the GM's perform obviously and significantly better than the rookies? Um, not really. I was expecting more. Oh, who am I fooling - no I didn't. I'm sure you didn't either.

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