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NBA.com GM Survey Predicts LeBron James to Win Fifth Kia NBA MVP Award; 13-Time NBA All-Star Tops a Survey-Best Seven Categories

Golden State Warriors Tabbed to Win Third NBA Title in Four Years

Oklahoma City Thunder Recognized for “Best Overall Offseason Moves” by NBA GMs;
Thunder Forward Paul George Selected “Most Impactful Player Acquisition”

NBA General Managers – based on the results of this year’s NBA.com GM survey – predict Cleveland’s LeBron James (50%) to win his fifth Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Including MVP, the 13-time NBA All-Star topped a survey-best seven categories – Best Small Forward (61%), Best Leader (43%), Most Versatile (55%), Best Basketball IQ (64%), Best Passer (36%) and Player Who Forces the Most Coaches Adjustments (48%).

Additionally, general managers predicted the Golden State Warriors (category-record 93% of the vote) to win this year’s NBA Championship, while the Warriors (97%) and Cleveland Cavaliers (86%) are tabbed to meet for a fourth straight NBA Finals. 

Golden State’s Kevin Durant (29%) – the 2013-14 Kia NBA MVP – finished second in the MVP voting, followed by San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (11%), Houston’s James Harden (7%) and two-time Warriors MVP Stephen Curry (4%).

Following one of the NBA’s most exciting and active summers, 43% of NBA GM’s recognized the Oklahoma City Thunder as having made the Best Overall Moves this offseason, followed by the Boston Celtics (25%), Minnesota Timberwolves (14%) and Houston Rockets (11%).

Oklahoma City’s Paul George (59%) was identified as the Most Impactful Offseason Acquisition, followed by Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler (17%), Houston’s Chris Paul (10%) and Boston’s Kyrie Irving (7%).

The Celtics-Cavaliers trade (45%) was selected the Most Surprising Offseason Move, while the Denver Nuggets’ signing of Paul Millsap (24%) was voted Most Underrated Offseason Acquisition.

Minnesota’s rising star Karl-Anthony Towns (29%) was recognized as the league’s Best Center (28%) while also earning the title of Most Likely to Have a Breakout Season (21%). The third-year player also repeated as category leader for Player GMs Would Start a Franchise With, earning 29% of the vote. 

San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich netted three categories – Best Coach (82%), Best Manager of People (62%) and Best Defensive Schemes (41%). San Antonio’s Leonard repeated as Best Defensive Player (62%) and Best Perimeter Defender (72%).

Leonard, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams split the Toughest Player category, each earning 14% of the vote.

Additional noteworthy 2017-18 NBA.com GM Survey results include: 

  • Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City – Most Athletic (62%)
  • Lonzo Ball, L.A. Lakers – Kia NBA Rookie of the Year (62%)
  • John Wall, Washington – Fastest with the Ball (48%)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee – Top International Player (69%)
  • Rudy Gobert, Utah – Best Interior Defender (66%)
  • Dennis Smith, Jr., Dallas – Biggest NBA Draft Steal (37%)
  • Anthony Davis, New Orleans – Best Power Forward (41%)

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 2017-18 NBA season. The general managers were not allowed to vote for their own team or personnel. The complete results of the survey – compiled by John Schuhmann – are available at www.nba.com/gmsurvey/2017.

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