NBA.com GM Survey Predicts Cleveland Cavaliers & Golden State Warriors to Meet in Third Straight NBA Finals
LeBron James Picked to Win 5th Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award
Warriors Net “Best Overall Offseason Moves,” “Top Individual Player Acquisition” & “Most Surprising Offseason Move” Accolades
NBA General Managers – based on the results of this year’s NBA.com GM survey – predict the Cleveland Cavaliers (96.7%) and Golden State Warriors (96.7%) will meet in a third straight NBA Finals, with the Warriors (69%) tabbed as this year’s title winner. Additionally, Cleveland’s four-time Kia NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James received 46.7% of the MVP vote.
Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook (23.3%) finished second in the MVP voting, followed by back-to-back MVP winner Stephen Curry and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (both tied at 10%), then first-year Warriors forward Kevin Durant (6.7%).
In terms of offseason activity, the Warriors netted top honors for “best overall offseason moves” (83.3%), “best individual player acquisition” (Durant, 80%) and “most surprising move” (Durant, 46.7%).
James was recognized as the NBA’s top small forward (76.8%) for the 11th consecutive year, while Curry (point guard, 63.3%), Harden (shooting guard, 56.7%), Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (power forward, 29%) and DeAndre Jordan of the L.A. Clippers (center, 33.3%) were picked as the best players at their respective positions.
Additionally, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was once again identified as the NBA’s top defender (66.7%) while his coach, Gregg Popovich, received 83.3% of the votes for the league’s best coach and 66.7% of votes as the NBA’s best motivator.
The Minnesota Timberwolves nabbed a pair of individual honors for its young roster on the way to being listed as the league’s most improved team (56.7%). Last year’s Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns received 48.3% of the votes for the player General Managers would want to sign and build their roster around, while guard Kris Dunn was a favorite of 46.7% of GMs for 2016-17 Rookie of the Year.
Additional noteworthy 2016-17 NBA.com GM Survey results include:
§ Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers – Active Player Who Would Make Best Coach Someday (27.6%)
§ Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee – Top International Player (27.6%)
§ Ben Simmons, Philadelphia – Best Rookie Projected Five Years From Now (70%)
§ Devin Booker, Phoenix – Breakout Season (31%)
§ Ron Adams, Golden State – Best Assistant Coach (37.9%)
§ Dejounte Murray, San Antonio – Biggest Draft Steal (23.3%)
§ George Hill, Utah – Most Underrated Player Acquisition (24.1)
The complete results of the survey are available at http://www.nba.com/gmsurvey/2016. NBA.com once again surveyed the league’s general managers to gather their responses on the best teams, players, coaches, offseason moves and more prior to the 2016-17 NBA season. The general managers were not allowed to vote for their own team or personnel.
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