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 NBA.com 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.