One of the preseason’s most fun traditions just dropped: The annual NBA GM survey. Every time this year, the league surveys all 30 GMs, asking them a series of questions about the best players and teams in the league.
It’s a fun glimpse into how the people who run the teams view things, even if there are always a handful of highly suspect answers. Not surprisingly, the Warriors - who have won three of the last four titles, and, when healthy, will start a reigning All-Star at all five positions - fared incredibly well on the survey, including in the most important category: Who will win it all.
Here are all the areas where the Warriors appeared. As a reminder, GMs cannot vote for their own team, or players on their own team.
Who will win the Finals?
Just as was the case last year, the Warriors dominated this category, securing 86% of the vote. The other four votes (which include Bob Myers’) were split between the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics.
Which are the top teams in the West
Not surprisingly, the Warriors also did very well in this category, with 90% of GMs ranking them as the West’s best team, and 7% deeming them second-best.
Who will win MVP?
As predictions were made by media members this offseason, Steph Curry became a popular choice to return to the MVP podium. However, NBA GMs see Kevin Durant as the more likely candidate.
27% of GMs selected Durant as most likely to win MVP, trailing only LeBron James. Curry, however, did receive one vote.
If you were starting a franchise and could pick any player, who would it be?
NBA GMs are apparently fond of proven veterans. Of the top five finishers in this category, three are at least 30-years old, including Durant, who finished third with 20% of the vote, and Curry, who finished fifth with 7% of the vote.
Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments?
I expected Curry to finish better in this category, but perhaps coaches have given up on making adjustments for him. He finished third, with 10% of the vote, trailing LeBron James and James Harden. Durant was fourth with 7% of the vote.
Who is the best point guard?
Not surprisingly, Curry won this category. More surprising is that he didn’t dominate it, as he received just 57% of the vote, which seems very low.
Who is the best shooting guard?
Klay Thompson gets in the action here, finishing second to Harden with 10% of the vote.
Who is the best small forward?
GMs chose Durant second here, with 40% of the vote. James was the winner in this category.
Who is the best power forward?
With positions becoming harder and harder to define, Durant again makes the list, finishing third with 17% of the vote.
Who is the best center?
Despite his Achilles injury, DeMarcus Cousins received a vote in this category.
What was the most underrated player acquisition?
While Cousins’ free agency decision may have irked a lot of people, some GMs apparently thought it went under the radar from an impact perspective. The move finished sixth, with 7% of the vote.
What was the most surprising offseason move?
Cousins’ choice to join the Warriors was the top choice here, earning 35% of the vote.
Who is the best defensive player?
Former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green saw his first votes in this category, where he finished third with 17% of the vote. Kevin Durant also received a vote.
Who is the best perimeter defender?
Green finished in a tie for second here, with 7% of the vote. Thompson also received a vote.
Who is the best interior defender?
Green showed off his defensive versatility by earning a vote here as well.
Who is the most versatile?
Speaking of versatility, Green unsurprisingly won this category, with 53% of the vote.
Which team is best defensively?
The Warriors defense has taken a step backwards lately, but they’re still very, very good. They finished third in this category, with 17% of the vote.
Who is the best head coach?
Steve Kerr is highly respected, but this isn’t news to anyone. He finished third, with 7% of the vote.
Which coach is the best manager and motivator?
While Kerr is blessed to have an abundance of talent on his team, managing stars isn’t always easy. He finished second, behind his good friend Gregg Popovich, with 20% of the vote.
Which coach runs the best offense?
The Warriors offense is historically great, and it’s not just because of the players. Kerr won this category with 40% of the vote.
Which coach has the best defensive schemes?
Kerr again garnered votes, finishing fourth with 7% of the vote.
Who is the best assistant coach?
Always at or near the top of this list, Ron Adams was the winner this year, with 17% of the vote. Mike Brown also received a vote.
Which team is most fun to watch?
Stars are fun, and the Warriors have a lot of them. They won this category with 60% of the vote.
Which team has the best home-court advantage?
It will be interesting to see what the crowd is like at the Chase Center in the 2019-20 season. For now, though, the Warriors get to enjoy one last season at Oracle Arena, with the best crowd in the NBA. They won this category, with 50% of GMs giving the Warriors their vote.
Which player is the best pure shooter?
This category was as close to a clean sweep as possible for the Warriors. To no one’s surprise, Curry won, with 73% of the vote. Thompson also collected 20% of the vote, while Durant earned a vote as well.
The only non-Warrior to earn a vote was Devin Booker, and that vote came from Myers. No GM who was allowed to vote for a Warrior voted for anyone other than a Warrior.
Which player is best at off-ball movement?
To me, there are few things in the NBA as amazing to watch as Thompson moving without the ball. NBA GMs apparently agree, as he won this category with 53% of the vote. Curry finished third, with 13% of the vote.
Which player is the best passer?
He’s not just a shooter! Curry received a vote here.
Which bench player has the biggest impact?
Forget the injuries and coasting through the season. Andre Iguodala is still an absurdly good player; he finished third in this category, with 10% of the vote.
Who is the toughest player?
Come on down, Dray. The Warriors do-everything forward finished fourth, with 10% of the vote.
Who is the best leader?
On a team full of leaders, Curry shines bright here, as 23% of GMs voted for him, good for third in the category.
Who is the most versatile player?
The Warriors are a versatile team, with versatile players. Durant finished third here, with 13% of the vote, while Green finished fourth with one vote.
Who has the best basketball IQ?
Curry received a well-deserved vote here.
Who would you want shooting with the game on the line?
Apparently GMs see the Warriors as very clutch. Durant won this category, with 40% of the vote, and Curry was the runner-up, with 27%. Not bad at all!
And there we have it. That’s a lot of categories. NBA GMs think very highly of the Warriors, not that this should surprise anyone.