Do you want hot, insider information on the upcoming NBA season? Then look no further than the collective wisdom from the 18th annual NBA GM Survey, the results of which the league released on Thursday. All 30 current general managers voiced their opinions on a series of questions asked by NBA.com, dropping several nuggets of wisdom that could guide savvy gamblers in early season wagering.
Even an insider’s look at the brand new NBA season isn’t going to be perfect. If it were, then why play the games? But the 30 men who run the league’s teams have some interesting and valuable insights. Last year, the GMs picked Golden State to win the championship. To be specific, 87 percent of the GMs had the Warriors as repeat champs in 2018-19, and none picked the Toronto Raptors to win it all. Right or wrong, how much more inside can you get than the executives who put together the teams, and who make the trades and draft choices?
The NBA execs answered dozens of questions, some of which can be translated into valuable betting information, or at least can confirm your suspicions about what people in the know are thinking.
From the 2019-20 NBA GM Survey
- Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact? Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers 67%
- Which team will be most improved in 2019-20? LA Lakers 38%, Dallas Mavericks 21%
- Which is the best defensive team in the NBA? LA Clippers 52%, Utah Jazz 24%
- Which team has the best home-court advantage? Denver Nuggets 38%, Utah Jazz 24%, Golden State 24%
- Which bench player makes the biggest impact when he enters the game? Lou Williams, LA Clippers 79%
GMs Favor Bucks, Clippers to Win Big
GM wisdom has the LA Clippers as the new league champion, but only by a plurality of 46 percent. The Clippers are followed closely by the Milwaukee Bucks at 36 percent, and the Los Angeles Lakers at 11 percent. Golden State and Portland also picked up votes in the balloting.
There is little doubt among the GMs as to who will win in the Eastern Conference. With 23 of the 30 GMs picking Milwaukee, the Bucks are the runaway favorites. Of those who didn’t pick Milwaukee to win the east, six GMs had them in second place. Philadelphia picked up the only other votes to win the east.
Trailing Milwaukee and Philadelphia, in order, were: Boston, Brooklyn, and Toronto. Indiana, Miami, and Orlando round out the early season favorites to make the playoffs in the East. Last year, the Boston Celtics were picked by 90 percent of GMs to win the east.
Not surprisingly, the LA Clippers are the pick this season to win the west. Two-thirds of the GMs have the Clippers winning the conference, and no GM had the Clippers lower than third in the west.
Denver and the Lakers are solid choices to finish second and third, or visa-versa. Grouped right behind the top three are Utah, Golden State, and Houston. Portland is a curious surprise, getting one vote to win it all, but a handful of votes to miss the playoffs all together.
Who GMs Like for MVP
Last we heard, LeBron James is still in the league. But when it comes to MVP voting this year, King James is just an also-ran.
Giannis Antetokounmpo got 52 percent of the nods to repeat as league MVP. The “Greek Freak” is followed by Stephen Curry of Golden State, Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers, Kawhi Leonard with the LA Clippers, and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.
Also getting at least one vote for MVP were James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Lebron.