According to those most in the know, the NBA’s rich will be even richer after 2014-2015. In a wide-ranging, anonymous survey conducted by NBA.com’s John Schumann, league general managers predict LeBron James to win MVP and the San Antonio Spurs to repeat as champions this season.
The league’s decision-makers also chose conference and division champions, picked basketball’s best at a horde of specific attributes, and offered their take on rookies, coaches, and international players.
Few answers were surprising, beginning with those of James and the Spurs. The four-time actual winner received 67.9 percent of the MVP vote, while reigning honoree Kevin Durant came in second at 21.4 percent. San Antonio, meanwhile, was chosen by 46.2 percent of respondents as the NBA champion. James’ Cleveland Cavaliers received the second largest share of votes at 15.4 percent, while the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, and Oklahoma City Thunder each garnered 11.5 percent.
The GMs agreed with the 2014 draft class by opting for the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jabari Parker as Rookie of the Year and the first-year player who will be the best in five years. Top pick Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves was runner-up in both categories, closing the gap between he and Parker to negligible when it comes to future prospects – his five-year number of 32.1 percent was 3.6 points behind Parker’s.
Interestingly, a leading 53.6 percent of pollsters chose Dirk Nowitzki as the NBA’s best international player after going with second-place vote-getter Tony Parker last year. Dirk’s incredible 2013-2014 renaissance was apparently too tough to ignore despite Parker winning his fourth title.
Guess who won best best coach? You’re right – the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich was awarded a whopping 92.9 percent of votes. Durant enjoyed similar supremacy when GMs were asked which player they’d want taking the last shot with a game on-the-line. The Thunder superstar was named by an overwhelming 76.9 percent of respondents, with James and Kobe Bryant sharing 7.7 percent of tallies in second.
We highly recommend you read Schumann’s survey in full. There might not be a better snapshot of the coming season than prognostications of the league’s decision-makers, and we could certainly all use the refresher as a long NBA summer is finally coming to a close.
What do you think?
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