NBA GMs Vote Lakers As Offseason Winners, Title Favorites

The NBA’s general managers liked the Lakers‘ offseason moves and are bullish on the team’s chances to repeat as champions in 2020/21, as John Schuhmann of writes in his annual survey of the league’s GMs.

An impressive 81% of the responding general managers picked the Lakers to win the championship in 2021, which is the third-highest percentage any team has received since Schuhmann began conducting his annual GM survey 19 years ago. The Clippers ranked second at 11%, while the Nets and Heat received one vote apiece.

Meanwhile, the Lakers (37%) beat out the Suns (22%) and Thunder (15%) in the voting for best offseason roster moves. The Hawks, Bucks, and Sixers each received two votes, while the Trail Blazers got one too.

Here are a few more of the interesting responses from Schuhmann’s GM survey, which is worth checking out in full:

  • The Suns‘ acquisition of Chris Paul (44%) and the Bucks‘ trade for Jrue Holiday (33%) were voted the moves that will have the biggest impact this season. The Clippers‘ signing of Serge Ibaka (15%), the Pelicans‘ deal for Steven Adams (11%), and the Trail Blazers‘ trade for Robert Covington (11%) were the front-runners for the most underrated offseason player acquisition. Gordon Hayward‘s $120MM contract with the Hornets (54%) was voted the most surprising offseason move.
  • While NBA GMs view Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (39%) as the favorite to win Rookie of the Year over Warriors big man James Wiseman (29%), Wiseman received the most votes (36%) among this year’s rookies to be the best player in five years, followed by Ball (25%). Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton, meanwhile, was voted the biggest steal in the 2020 draft (43%).
  • Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic were the top choices as the player GMs would want to start a franchise with today. They each received 43% of the vote, with Lakers stars Anthony Davis and LeBron James and Pelicans youngster Zion Williamson also picking up votes.
  • Speaking of Williamson, he helped the Pelicans receive the nod for the team with the most promising young core (41%). The Grizzlies (22%), Hawks (11%), Celtics (11%), and Nuggets (11%) also got multiple votes.
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39 thoughts on “NBA GMs Vote Lakers As Offseason Winners, Title Favorites

  1. Noel1982

    81 % is about 25 percent to high ! 11 % is just right for clippers and bucks should be at 15 %

  2. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    The move that will have the biggest impact this season is the trade for Christian Wood. He will do far more for Houston than Chris Paul will for Phoenix. And not just this season either, for many years. CP3 managed to stay healthy in OKC, but he is in his twilight years and has little left to offer the Suns before he retires.

    • Noel1982

      He and Ben Simmons will be a nice pick and pop duo that might actually extend that playoff streak rockets and fans evidently treasure!

      • Noel1982

        Or wood and herro might be a solid duo with Duncan Robinson drawing defenders away from them lol

    • Same guy who said Harden and Westbrook would bring Houston a championship. So your pick is just a homer picking a team player.

    • hiflew

      Long term, yes I agree with you. This season, Paul will be far more effective.

    • Otogar

      It’s on the cards that Wood will prove a great acquisition. Yet Houston probably will do worse (or at least not much better) than last year. In that sense, it’s not expectable that Wood will be the most impactful player. On the other hand, Chris Paul can conceivably take Phoenix to the playoffs for the first time in n seasons…

      • x%sure

        The future of Woods is neither on the cards nor in the cards, unless it’s a wildcard.

    • Marty McRae

      When Wiseman turns out to be elite right from the jump, are you going to be ok?

      • hiflew

        When/if Wiseman turns out to be a bust, are you prepared to say he was correct?

    • Tatsumaki

      That would be interesting
      Duncan robinson
      Tyler herro


      2 future first rounders unprotected

  3. hiflew

    I’m sorry, but anyone choosing to start a franchise and having a choice of any NBA player and choosing Zion does not deserve to be an NBA GM. Zion may well end up as a HOF talent, but he’s not anywhere close yet. He has potential, but to choose him over Giannis, Luka, or AD is just crazy. I’d also take Simmons, KAT, Murray, Lillard, Kawhi, and maybe one or two others ahead of him. To be honest, I think Ja would be a better choice right now. Zion has upside, but for a face of the franchise, you need more of a sure thing or else you gamble on needing another franchise face in 2-3 years.

    • Cap & Crunch

      Agree, crazy talk

      IDK- A of folk have lumbered up and down the court like him for long careers and been fine but NONE of them went flying thru the air like him as much as he does per game- I dont think there will ever be No too little risk for Zion till the day he retires. Id have to think I could find 10 players in the Nba right now at least id rather start with

  4. cavsarethebestever42

    Okoro has a high chance of winning ROY, if you watch him play he looks better than anyone thought.

    • Marty McRae

      Wiseman, Haliburton, Avdija and Okoro gotta be the early ROY favorites.

      • hiflew

        I’d throw Saddiq Bey and Devin Vassell into the mix as well. They don’t have the high draft position, but they do have the opportunity to become big time scorers on their team. Call it the “Donovan Mitchell effect.”

        • x%sure

          Mitchell is faster, much better in iso and a better ballhandler. Not sure what the DM Effect is.
          Popovich kept Keldon buried, so he might with skinny Wassell too.
          Bey will have to compete with Jeremi Grant, who signed with Detroit to shoot.
          In several years those players could be keepers.

          • hiflew

            It’s my term for a mid first round pick that just lands in a perfect situation for his skillset to shine. If Donovan Mitchell was drafted some other place, he could still either be bouncing around the G League or out of the league altogether. But the Jazz was a perfect combo of opportunity for the player and having a good surrounding cast as well. I think you might be right on Vassell, but if DeRozan is traded, then the opportunity is there. Plus, Keldon was a low 20s pick. Vassell is an 11 pick. He should have a greater opportunity to play. It’s hard to really tell since it has been so long since the Spurs have had a lottery pick. I believe Bey will quickly take over for Grant, who should have never left his cozy situation in Denver.

  5. The Howler

    Least surprising event: Hayward signing a big contract and then almost immediately getting injured.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Yes Lakers should be favored. But I don’t see a lock here. It won’t be easy to repeat. And the East has a better shot this yr. I just see it more competitive. I thought last yr was going to be competitive. But Bucks not showing up in bubble, Giannis. Heat getting hurt, Celtics getting hurt. Clippers not showing up in bubble. Lakers were most prepared and earned it. Everyone stays healthy I see Lakers, Bucks, Celtics, Clippers, Heat, With Denver, Blazers, Sixers begin a tough out.

    • mlbnyyfan

      I was hoping the Knicks would get Wood but I guess they didn’t want Wood if they drafted Obi. A part of me still thinks Halliburton would of been better for Knicks.

    • Cap & Crunch

      Most def AL

      I like the NBA so so so much better this way being wide open

      Like always it will come down to matchups. I wanna see Por healthy this year in the playoffs, they’ve always had the meat but damn this year it looks like they got some potatoes too-

      East should be a blast this year as well. On paper right now it looks funner than it ever has this century. Its going to be a great season

      I think Pelinka shares your views as well. He knew bringing that same team back wasnt enough to be happy with going in

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      Why should they be favored? People are too lazy and just assume they will be as good as last season. The Lakers defense was the reason they won the title in 2020, but that defense lost a lot of key players and will be far worse with guys like Harrell and Kuzma leading the 2nd unit.

  7. Cap & Crunch

    Not so sure Lakers were the offseason winners if you dont count AD (which we shouldnt-)

    I think Portland and ATL have made more significant strides. Albeit the Lakers didnt have much room to grow up.

    Gasol was a nice nugget, Morris was a steal and the DS trade was probably worth a first but there wasnt much surplus value in KCP Trez and Mathews imo and the latter two fits are still a complete unknown

    Progressions from guys like Caruso THT Kuzma may be overlooked tho for this team – They have got a pretty damn diverse portfolio this year for Vogel to deploy

      • hiflew

        Covington. That was one of the bigger trades of the offseason. Far more significant than Schroder in my opinion.

      • Cap & Crunch

        Covington Hood Melo Derrick Jones Jr Kanter Giles

        They might not have huge standalone values but dem some good potatoes imo. RoCo is a under the radar very good player these days. Add in some luck on health I think they are a tough out for anyone in the league

        • x%sure

          Cov is always under the radar, and offers a lot. Can they make use him though. He may find footing difficult with all of the guard’s freelancing.

  8. RockHard

    How in the world did the Mavs not even make the list for best young core? They must think Lukas and KP are older than they are..

    • Jeff Zanghi

      The Mavs hadnt occurred to me until your comment… but now that I’m thinking about it I’ve got to say youve definitely got a point. I mean as far as young cores go.. Luka and Kristaps has got to be one of the best young duos. I guess technically guys like Tatum and Brown are younger than Kristaps but still… the combo in DAL is definitely worth a vote or two.

    • jobbins

      That’s two players. Not a core. Who else on their team is a young core piece?

  9. hiflew

    I think Haliburton was a steal, but I don’t think Sacramento is the best place for him. The ONE position the Kings have covered is PG with De’Aaron Fox. Most teams had PG covered at draft time, but with a much older player. Phoenix at 10 would have been perfect for him learning behind Chris Paul for a couple of years and then taking over. Unless the Kings are preparing to trade Fox because they can’t resign him, Haliburton is destined to be a back up or a trade chip.

  10. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    Tonight we see how much better the Lakers are with AD and LeBron back in the lineup, right? They were outscored 39-21 in the first quarter. Their defense was the reason for them being so good last season, and a lot of their best defenders are gone. Harrell will give them more point in the 2nd unit, but the Lakers poor defense will prevent them from winning back-to-back titles.

    • Cap & Crunch

      Cmon, your better than judging preseason basketball

      I do think it takes this team time to catch is footing, Januarys going to be spent primarily all on the road

      • El Don

        No he ain’t better than that!
        As a matter of fact he ain’t no better than no nothin’, if you ask me!

  11. Mjm117

    Not mentioned,but also not surprising outside of South Florida, Spo voted as best HC and sweeps are categories.

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