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NBA General Managers Survey





| Oct. 25, 2006

LeBron JamesFor the third consecutive season, NBA general managers predict the San Antonio Spurs will win The Finals in 2007, and for the first time the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James will win the MVP award, according to respondents of the Fifth Annual GM Survey.

The exclusive survey, providing fans with an inside look into the minds of NBA decision-makers on the 2006-07 NBA season, revealed that 43 percent of GMs believe the Spurs will win The Finals. The Dallas Mavericks received 29 percent of the GMs vote and the Miami Heat received only 14 percent of the vote to repeat as NBA Champions. In last year’s GM Survey, 77 percent of GMs selected the Spurs to win The Finals.

For the first time in the GM Survey, the Cavaliers’ James (79 percent) was selected by GMs as the best small forward in the league, while last year’s best small forward pick, the Houston Rockets’ Tracy McGrady, did not receive any votes. Reigning two-time MVP Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns (96 percent) was picked by GMs as the best point guard, while the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (71 percent) topped the Heat’s Dwyane Wade (21 percent) as the best shooting guard in the league. More than 57 percent of GMs selected the Spurs’ Duncan as the best power forward and the Heat’s Shaquille O’Neal (75 percent) as the best center. This marks the fifth consecutive year GMs have selected Bryant, Duncan and O’Neal as the best at their position.

For the fifth consecutive year, Bryant was also selected by GMs (74 percent) as the player they want taking a shot with the game on the line, and the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki was once again viewed as the best international player in the NBA (89 percent).

James, selected by 39 percent of GMs to win the 2006-07 MVP award, was also picked by 71 percent of GMs as the top player they would sign to start an NBA franchise, the best finisher (30 percent) and the most athletic player in the league (37 percent).


1. Which team will win NBA Finals 2007?
San Antonio 43%
Dallas Mavericks 29%
Miami Heat 14%
Others receiving votes: Minnesota, Phoenix, Orlando

2. Which team will win the Eastern Conference?
Miami Heat 71%
Detroit Pistons 21%
Others receiving votes: Chicago, Orlando

3. Which team will win the Western Conference?
San Antonio Spurs 50%
Dallas Mavericks 39%
Other receiving votes: Phoenix, Minnesota

4. Which team will win the Atlantic Division?
New Jersey Nets 93%
Boston Celtics 4%
Philadelphia 76ers 4%

5. Which team will win the Central Division?
Detroit Pistons 50%
Chicago Bulls 36%
Cleveland Cavaliers 14%

6. Which team will win the Southeast Division?
Miami Heat 93%
Orlando Magic 4%
Washington Wizards 4%

7. Which team will win the Southwest Division?
Dallas Mavericks 57%
San Antonio Spurs 43%

8. Which team will win the Northwest Division?
Denver Nuggets 71%
Utah Jazz 18%
Minnesota Timberwolves 7%
Seattle SuperSonics 4%

9. Which team will win the Pacific Division?
Phoenix Suns 89%
Others receiving votes: LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Sacramento


1. Who will win the 2006-07 MVP?
LeBron James 39%
Dwyane Wade 29%
Dirk Nowitzki 18%
Others receiving votes: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett

2. If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?
LeBron James 71%
Dwyane Wade 11%
Others receiving votes: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard

3. Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments?
Shaquille O'Neal 43%
Kobe Bryant 21%
LeBron James 11%
Dirk Nowitzki 11%
Others receiving votes: Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Dwyane Wade

4. Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2006-07?
Dwight Howard 32%
Eddy Curry 7%
Kevin Martin 7%
Marvin Williams 7%
Others receiving votes: Baron Davis, Danny Granger, Devin Harris, Joe Johnson, Nenad Krstic, Jameer Nelson, Emeka Okafor, Chris Paul, Mickael Pietrus, Josh Smith, Gerald Wallace, Hakim Warrick

5. Who is the best point guard in the NBA?
Steve Nash 96%
Jason Kidd 4%

6. Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA?
Kobe Bryant 71%
Dwyane Wade 21%
Tracy McGrady 4%
Michael Redd 4%

7. Who is the best small forward in the NBA?
LeBron James 79%
Carmelo Anthony 7%
Others receiving votes: Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion

8. Who is the best power forward in the NBA?
Tim Duncan 57%
Dirk Nowitzki 25%
Kevin Garnett 14%
Amare Stoudemire 4%

9. Who is the best center in the NBA?
Shaquille O'Neal 75%
Tim Duncan 18%
Others receiving votes: Dwight Howard, Yao Ming

*10. What is the best basketball website in the world? (Other than 98%
Others receiving votes: *OK, we made this question up. It wasn't really asked. Smart general managers would agree, of course. Just keeping you on your toes.


1. Which team made the best moves overall?
Chicago Bulls 61%
NO/Oklahoma City Hornets 29%
Others receiving votes: Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors

2. Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact?
Ben Wallace 79%
T.J. Ford 7%
Others receiving votes: Shane Battier, Mike James, Ronald Murray, Peja Stojakovic

3. What was the most underrated player acquisition?
Shane Battier 25%
P.J. Brown 14%
Jackie Butler 7%
Speedy Claxton 7%

4. Which team will be most improved in 2006-07?
Houston Rockets 26%
Orlando Magic 15%
Golden State Warriors 11%
New York Knicks 11%
Toronto Raptors 11%
Others receiving votes: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans/ Oklahoma City Hornets, Seattle SuperSonics, Utah Jazz

5. What was the most surprising move of the offseason?
Ben Wallace 41%
Peja Stojakovic 30%
T.J. Ford – Charlie Villanueva trade 7%

6. What was the least surprising move of the offseason?
Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade 20%
Larry Brown out in New York 15%
Al Harrington 10%
Ben Wallace 10%


1. Who will win the 2006-07 Rookie of the Year?
Brandon Roy 44%
Adam Morrison 26%
Randy Foye 15%
Others receiving votes: Andrea Bargnani, Shelden Williams


2. Which rookie will be the best player in five years?
Andrea Bargnani 22%
Tyrus Thomas 22%
Randy Foye 19%
Brandon Roy 11%
Others receiving votes: LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Adam Morrison, Shelden Williams

3. Which international rookie is most ready to contribute this season?
Andrea Bargnani 41%
Jorge Garbajosa 41%
Thabo Sefolosha 19%

4. Which rookie is most likely to be a “sleeper” success?
Rajon Rondo 25%
Thabo Sefolosha 14%
Randy Foye 11%
Others receiving votes: Maurice Ager, Hilton Armstrong, Ronnie Brewer, Rodney Carney, Yakhouba Diawara, Jordan Farmar, Jorge Garbajosa, Rudy Gay, Steve Novak, Brandon Roy, Mouhamed Sene, Craig Smith


1. Who is the best defensive player in the NBA?
Ben Wallace 32%
Ron Artest 29%
Bruce Bowen 25%
Kobe Bryant 11%
Alonzo Mourning 4%

2. Who is the best perimeter defender in the NBA?
Bruce Bowen 39%
Ron Artest 25%
Kobe Bryant 25%
Raja Bell 11%
Others receiving votes: Andrei Kirilenko, Ruben Patterson, Tayshaun Prince, Earl Watson

3. Who is the best interior defender in the NBA?
Ben Wallace 64%
Tim Duncan 18%
Alonzo Mourning 7%
Others receiving votes: Andrei Kirilenko, Shaquille O’Neal, Darko Milicic


1. Who is the best international player in the NBA?
Dirk Nowitzki 89%
Steve Nash 7%
Manu Ginobili 4%

2. Which international player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2006-07?
Darko Milicic 29%
Nenad Krstic 18%
Jorge Garbajosa 7%

3. Who is the best international player NOT in the NBA?
Theodoros Papaloukas 38%
Juan Carlos Navarro 17%
Luis Scola 17%
Tiago Splitter 13%
Others receiving votes: Marco Belinelli, Rudy Fernandez, Robertas Javtokas, Ricky Rubio


1. Who is the best head coach in the NBA?
Pat Riley 44%
Gregg Popovich 26%
Phil Jackson 19%
Others receiving votes: Scott Skiles, Jerry Sloan

2. Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?
Pat Riley 50%
Avery Johnson 23%
Phil Jackson 15%
Others receiving votes: Mike D’Antoni, Gregg Popovich

3. Which head coach makes the best in-game adjustments?
Gregg Popovich 23%
Pat Riley 23%
Scott Skiles 15%
Others receiving votes: Rick Carlisle, Mike D’Antoni, Phil Jackson, George Karl, Don Nelson, Jerry Sloan, Jeff Van Gundy

4. Which head coach is the best in the last two minutes of a close game?
Pat Riley 31%
Gregg Popovich 15%
Phil Jackson 12%
Others receiving votes: Rick Carlisle, Mike D’Antoni, Mike Fratello, George Karl, Don Nelson, Doc Rivers, Scott Skiles, Jerry Sloan, Jeff Van Gundy

5. Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?
Del Harris 23%
Mark Iavaroni 19%
Phil Johnson 15%
Others receiving votes: P.J. Carlesimo, Larry Drew, Tim Grgurich, Terry Porter, Ron Rothstein, Eric Spoelstra, Tom Thibodeaux, Tex Winter, Randy Wittman

6. Which active player will make the best head coach someday?
Steve Nash 23%
Eric Snow 19%
Shane Battier 12%
Others receiving votes: Darrell Armstrong, Bruce Bowen, P.J. Brown, Kobe Bryant, Kirk Hinrich, Lindsey Hunter, Anthony Johnson, Jason Kidd, Brevin Knight, Chris Paul, Jacque Vaughn


1. Which team will be the most fun to watch?
Phoenix Suns 74%
Dallas Mavericks 7%
Golden State Warriors 7%
Others receiving votes: New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs

2. Which team has the best home-court advantage?
Sacramento Kings 37%
Detroit Pistons 26%
Dallas Mavericks 11%
Others receiving votes: Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, New Orleans/ Oklahoma City Hornets, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz

3. Which player is the most athletic?
LeBron James 37%
Vince Carter 15%
Josh Smith 11%
Others receiving votes: Kobe Bryant, Gerald Green, Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, Shawn Marion, Tyrus Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Gerald Wallace

4. Which player is the best pure shooter?
Ray Allen 74%
Peja Stojakovic 11%
Others receiving votes: Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Redd, J.J. Redick

5. Which player is the fastest with the ball?
Allen Iverson 22%
Tony Parker 15%
Leandro Barbosa 11%
T.J. Ford 11%
Steve Nash 11%
Chris Paul 11%
Others receiving votes: Gilbert Arenas, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd

6. Which player is best at moving without the ball?
Richard Hamilton 63%
Peja Stojakovic 22%
Others receiving votes: Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Manu Ginobili, Shawn Marion

7. Which player is the best at getting his own shot?
Kobe Bryant 70%
Dwyane Wade 11%
Others receiving votes: Gilbert Arenas, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Dirk Nowitzki

8. Which player is the best offensive rebounder?
Ben Wallace 33%
Jeff Foster 15%
Dwight Howard 15%
Others receiving votes: Elton Brand, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion, Zaza Pachulia, Josh Smith, Anderson Varejao

9. Which player is the best passer?
Steve Nash 82%
Jason Kidd 7%
Others receiving votes: Tracy McGrady, Chris Paul, Jamal Tinsley

10. Which player is the best in the open court?
Steve Nash 26%
LeBron James 19%
Dwyane Wade 19%
Kobe Bryant 18%
Others receiving votes: Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Arroyo, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion

11. Who is the best finisher?
LeBron James 30%
Dwyane Wade 30%
Kobe Bryant 15%
Others receiving votes: Gilbert Arenas, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Stephon Marbury, Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire

12. Which player does the most with least?
Steve Nash 15%
Ben Wallace 15%
Bruce Bowen 8%
Brad Miller 8%
Andres Nocioni 8%
Others receiving votes: Mike Bibby, Chauncey Billups, Earl Boykins, Brian Cardinal, Sam Cassell, Adrian Griffin, Udonis Haslem, Kirk Hinrich, Eduardo Najera, Jameer Nelson, Bo Outlaw, Tayshaun Prince, Darius Songalia

13. Who is the toughest player in the NBA?
Ben Wallace 30%
Ron Artest 19%
Shaquille O’Neal 11%
Others receiving votes: Kobe Bryant, Reggie Evans, Manu Ginobili, Udonis Haslem, Allen Iverson, Andres Nocioni, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade

14. Which player is the best leader?
Steve Nash 41%
Shaquille O’Neal 19%
Jason Kidd 15%
Others receiving votes: Chauncey Billups, Sam Cassell, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett

15. Which player in the NBA would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?
Kobe Bryant 74%
Dwyane Wade 15%
Others receiving votes: Carmelo Anthony, Gilbert Arenas, Chauncey Billups

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