Every year when the NBA season is in full swing, commentators and fans bet who they think will win the major personal titles, and more importantly, bet on the identity of the next champion. In addition, the league annually publishes the results of the survey it conducts among general managers throughout the league, and this year the results are particularly intriguing.
When professional executives across the league were asked who they thought would lift the Larry O’Brien Cup and become the next champion, no less than 72% bet on the constellations of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. In second place is the Los Angeles Lakers, with 17% of the vote, while only 10% chose the reigning champion, the Milwaukee Bucks. By the way, last season 81% bet on the Lakers as the next champion, and no one chose the Bucks.
Aside from identifying the champion, the executives were asked who they thought would populate the top four spots in the East and West at the end of the regular season. In perfecting all the votes, the Nets were selected to finish in first place in the East, followed by the Milwaukee, Miami Heat and Philadelphia Sixers. In the West, the first quartet consists of the Lakers, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.
In the personal awards segment, 37% determined that Kevin Durant would win the MVP title, with Luca Doncic in second place with 33%. Yannis Antocompo completed the top three with 13%, while no voter chose LeBron James and incumbent MVP Nikola Jokic.
One of the most interesting questions posed in the survey is: “If you could pick one player to build a team with, who would it be?”. After a close race, Luka Doncic (43%) defeated Yannis Antokompo (40%). However, the Greek overcame the Slovenian as “the best international player in the league”. When asked who is the player who makes rival coaches make the most adjustments, Stephen Kerry (27%) was in first place with Durant following with 20%.
A number of teams have made far.reaching changes this summer, but executives have determined that the team that made the best moves is the Miami Heat, which won 47 percent of the vote. Kyle Laurie, who came to the Florida from the Toronto Raptors, was named the acquisition player to make the biggest impact on his team with 77% of the vote, 60% more than second.place finisher Russell Westbrook who moved to the Lakers.
The executives have determined that the second pick in the last draft, Jaylen Green of the Houston Rockets, will win the rookie title this season, but rather the third.round pick, Owen Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers), will be the best player from the last draft in five years. Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons, who was selected first in the draft, came in second in both categories.
The title of best coach in the league was won by Eric Spolstra of Miami (55%), while Phoenix Suns player Chris Paul was selected as the active player who will become the best coach in the future.