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GM Survey: LeBron and Heat the faves, but look out for L.A.

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com
Posted Oct 22, 2012 11:20 AM

In his ninth season in the NBA, LeBron James got his ring. Now, how many more can he get?

At least one, if you ask the league's general managers. Despite major moves made by the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat are still the prohibitive favorites to win their second straight title, according to NBA.com's 11th annual GM Survey. And James is clearly head and shoulders above every other player in the league.

All 30 GMs responded to 57 different questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans, and offseason moves. General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to each question of the survey, rather than all 30 GMs.

Predictions | Players | Offseason Moves | Rookies & International | Defense | Coaches | Misc.

PREDICTIONS

Which team will win the 2013 NBA Finals?

1. Miami -- 70.0%
2. L.A. Lakers -- 23.3%
3. Oklahoma City -- 6.7%

Last year: Miami -- 74.1%

Which team will win the Eastern Conference?

1. Miami -- 96.7%
2. Boston -- 3.3%

Last year: Miami -- 96.3%

Which team will win the Western Conference?

1. L.A. Lakers -- 60.0%
2. Oklahoma City -- 36.7%
3. Denver -- 3.3%

Last year: Oklahoma City -- 67.9%

Which team will win the Atlantic Division?

1. Boston -- 66.7%
2. Brooklyn and New York -- 13.3%
4. Philadelphia -- 6.7%

Last year: Boston -- 64.3%

Which team will win the Central Division?

1. Indiana -- 80%
2. Chicago -- 20%
Last year: Chicago -- 96.4%

Which team will win the Southeast Division?

1. Miami -- 96.7%
2. Atlanta -- 3.3%

Last year: Miami --96.3%

Which team will win the Southwest Division?

1. San Antonio -- 96.7%
2. Memphis -- 3.3%

Last year: San Antonio -- 63.6%

Which team will win the Northwest Division?

1. Oklahoma City -- 86.7%
2. Denver -- 10.0%
3. Minnesota -- 3.3%

Last year: Oklahoma City -- 71.4%

Which team will win the Pacific Division?

1. L.A. Lakers -- 96.7%
2. L.A. Clippers -- 3.3%

Last year: L.A. Lakers -- 77.8%

PLAYERS

Who will win the 2012-13 MVP?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 66.7%
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 30.0%
3. Carmelo Anthony, New York -- 3.3%

Last year: Kevin Durant -- 66.7%

If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 80.0%
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 16.7%
3. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers -- 3.3%

Last year: Kevin Durant, LeBron James -- 37.0%

Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 50.0%
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 20.0%
3. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers -- 16.7%
4. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas; Derrick Rose, Chicago

Last year: Dwight Howard -- 29.6%

Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2012-13?

1. Klay Thompson, Golden State -- 13.3%
2. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland, and Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio -- 10.0%
4. Paul George, Indiana, and James Harden, Oklahoma City -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Nicolas Batum, Portland; Alec Burks, Utah; DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento; Stephen Curry, Golden State; Kenneth Faried, Denver; Taj Gibson, Chicago; Eric Gordon, New Orleans; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers; Gordon Hayward, Utah; Andre Iguodala, Denver; DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers; Ty Lawson, Denver; JaVale McGee, Denver; Josh Selby, Memphis; Evan Turner, Philadelphia; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

Last year: James Harden -- 21.4%

Who is the best point guard in the NBA?

1. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 69.0%
2. Derrick Rose, Chicago -- 20.7%
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 6.9%
4. Tony Parker, San Antonio -- 3.4%

Last year: Derrick Rose -- 59.3%

Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA?

1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 66.7%
2. Dwyane Wade, Miami -- 23.3%

Also receiving votes: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; James Harden, Oklahoma City

Last year: Kobe Bryant -- 55.6%

Who is the best small forward in the NBA?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 73.3%
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 26.7%

Last year: LeBron James -- 77.8%

Who is the best power forward in the NBA?

1. Kevin Love, Minnesota -- 30.0%
2. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas -- 23.3%
3. LeBron James, Miami -- 16.7%
4. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland -- 10.0%
5. Kevin Garnett, Boston, and Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Tim Duncan, San Antonio; Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers

Last year: Dirk Nowitzki -- 41.4%

Who is the best center in the NBA?

1. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers -- 93.3%
2. Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia -- 6.7%

Last year: Dwight Howard -- 96.3

OFFSEASON MOVES

Which team made the best overall moves this offseason?

1. L.A. Lakers -- 86.2%
2. Brooklyn -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Atlanta, Golden State

Last year: L.A. Clippers -- 85.2%

Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact?

1. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers -- 70.0%
2. Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers -- 20.0%

Also receiving votes: Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia; Joe Johnson, Brooklyn; Deron Williams, Brooklyn

Last year: Chris Paul - 100%

What was the most underrated player acquisition?

1. Andre Iguodala, Denver -- 16.7%
2. Jason Terry, Boston -- 13.3%
3. Courtney Lee, Boston -- 10.0%
4. Ryan Anderson, New Orleans, Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota, Brandon Roy, Minnesota, Lou Williams, Atlanta -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Ray Allen, Miami; Marcus Camby, New York; Gerald Green, Indiana; Grant Hill, L.A. Clippers; Chris Kaman, Dallas; Kyle Lowry, Toronto; O.J. Mayo, Dallas; Darko Milicic, Boston; Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers; Alexey Shved, Minnesota

Last year: Brandon Bass, David West -- 15.4%

Which team will be most improved in 2012-13?

1. Brooklyn -- 62.1%
2. L.A. Lakers, Minnesota -- 10.3%
4. New Orleans -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Denver, Golden State, Milwaukee

Last year: L.A. Clippers -- 66.7%

What was the most surprising move of the offseason?

1. Steve Nash to the Lakers -- 39.3%
2. Bynum/Howard/Iguodala trade -- 17.9%
3. Knicks not matching Jeremy Lin offer -- 14.3%
4. Ray Allen to Miami, Joe Johnson to Brooklyn -- 10.7%

Also receiving votes: Jeff Green's contract, Luis Scola amnestied by Houston

Last year: Chris Paul to the Clippers -- 33.3%

ROOKIES & INTERNATIONAL

Who will win 2012-13 Rookie of the Year?

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 76.7%
2. Damian Lillard, Portland -- 20.0%
3. Austin Rivers, New Orleans -- 3.3%

Last year: Kyrie Irving -- 63.0%

Which rookie will be the best player in five years?

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 86.7%
2. Bradley Beal, Washington -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Damian Lillard, Portland; Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto

Last year: Kyrie Irving -- 51.9%

Which rookie is the most athletic?

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 40.0%
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte -- 16.7%
3. Andre Drummond, Detroit -- 13.3%
4. Terrence Ross, Toronto -- 10.0%
5. Perry Jones, Oklahoma City -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Quincy Acy, Toronto; Terrence Jones, Houston; Thomas Robinson, Sacramento; Dion Waiters, Cleveland

Last year: Derrick Williams -- 32.1%

Which rookie is most likely to be a "sleeper" success?

1. Jared Sullinger, Boston -- 17.2%
2. Maurice Harkless, Orlando, Andrew Nicholson, Orlando -- 13.8%
4. Jae Crowder, Dallas, Damian Lillard, Portland -- 10.3%
6. Terrence Jones, Houston -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Jared Cunningham, Dallas; Andre Drummond, Detroit; Evan Fournier, Denver; John Jenkins, Atlanta; Perry Jones, Oklahoma City; Doron Lamb, Milwaukee; Donatas Motiejunas, Houston; Terrence Ross, Toronto

Last year: Norris Cole -- 44.0%

Who is the best international player in the NBA?

1. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas -- 72.4%
2. Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers -- 10.3%

Also receiving votes: Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City; Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota; Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers; Tony Parker, San Antonio

Last year: Dirk Nowitzki -- 96.4%

Which international player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2012-13?

1. Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto -- 17.2%
2. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota -- 13.8%
3. Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota -- 13.8%
4. Goran Dragic, Phoenix, Danilo Gallinari, Denver, Donatas Motiejunas, Houston, Kevin Seraphin, Washington, Alexey Shved, Minnesota, Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Christian Eyenga, Orlando; Evan Fournier, Denver; Enes Kanter, Utah; Tiago Splitter, San Antonio; Jan Vesely, Washington

Last year: Ricky Rubio -- 37.0%

Who is the best international player NOT in the NBA?

1. Juan Carlos Navarro -- 34.6%
2. Nikola Mirotic -- 11.5%
3. Dimitris Diamantidis, Rudy Fernandez, Bo McCalebb, Dario Saric -- 7.7%

Also receiving votes: Nenad Krstic, Milan Macvan, Vassilis Spanoulis, Milos Teodosic, Ante Tomic, Fran Vazquez

Last year: Jonas Valanciunas -- 36.0%

DEFENSE

Who is the best defensive player in the NBA?

1. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers -- 60.0%
2. LeBron James, Miami -- 16.7%
3. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City -- 13.3%

Also receiving votes: Tyson Chandler, New York; Kevin Garnett, Boston; Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City

Last year: Dwight Howard -- 76.9%

Who is the best perimeter defender in the NBA?

1. Tony Allen, Memphis -- 33.3%
2. LeBron James, Miami -- 26.7%
3. Avery Bradley, Boston, Andre Iguodala, Denver, Rajon Rondo, Boston, Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers; Eric Gordon, New Orleans; Dahntay Jones, Dallas; Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers

Last year: Tony Allen -- 26.9%

Who is the best interior defender in the NBA?

1. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers -- 66.7%
2. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City -- 16.7%
3. Tyson Chandler, New York -- 10.0%

Also receiving votes: Anthony Davis, New Orleans; Kevin Garnett, Boston

Last year: Dwight Howard -- 88.9%

Which is the best defensive team in the NBA?

1. Chicago -- 40.0%
2. Miami -- 26.7%
3. Boston -- 23.3%
4. L.A. Lakers -- 6.7%
5. San Antonio -- 3.3%

Last year: Chicago -- 66.7%

COACHES

Who is the best head coach in the NBA?

1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 80.0%
2. Doc Rivers, Boston -- 13.3%

Also receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Minnesota; Erik Spoelstra, Miami

Last year: Gregg Popovich -- 42.3%

Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?

1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 60.0%
2. Doc Rivers, Boston -- 40.0%

Last year: Gregg Popovich -- 42.9%

Which head coach makes the best in-game adjustments?

1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 40.0%
2. Rick Carlisle, Dallas -- 20.0%
3. Doug Collins, Philadelphia -- 13.3%
4. Rick Adelman, Minnesota -- 6.7%
5. George Karl, Denver -- 6.7%
6. Doc Rivers, Boston -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Mike Brown, L.A. Lakers; Tom Thibodeau, Chicago

Last year: Gregg Popovich -- 35.7%

Which head coach runs the best offense?

1. George Karl, Denver -- 31.0%
2. Rick Adelman, Minnesota, Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 27.6%
4. Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City, Alvin Gentry, Phoenix -- 6.9%

Last year: George Karl -- 22.2%

Which head coach has the best defensive schemes?

1. Tom Thibodeau, Chicago -- 70.0%
2. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 10.0%
3. Mike Brown, L.A. Lakers, Rick Carlisle, Dallas -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Doc Rivers, Boston; Erik Spoelstra, Miami

Last year: Tom Thibodeau -- 61.5%

Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?

1. Brian Shaw, Indiana -- 23.3%
2. Mike Budenholzer, San Antonio -- 20.0%
3. Steve Clifford, L.A. Lakers, Mike Malone, Golden State -- 10.0%
5. Maurice Cheeks, Oklahoma City, Jay Triano, Portland -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Ron Adams, Chicago; Kenny Atkinson, Atlanta; Brett Brown, San Antonio; Michael Curry, Philadelphia; Darren Erman, Golden State; Armond Hill, Boston; Elston Turner, Phoenix

Last year: Mike Malone -- 29.2%

Which active player will make the best head coach someday?

1. Chauncey Billups, L.A. Clippers -- 20.7%
2. Shane Battier, Miami -- 17.2%
3. Derek Fisher -- 13.8%
4. Jason Kidd, New York, Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers -- 10.3%
6. Grant Hill, L.A. Clippers, Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Ray Allen, Miami; Luke Walton, Cleveland; Charles Jenkins, Golden State; Earl Watson, Utah

Last year: Derek Fisher -- 25.9%

MISCELLANEOUS

Which team is the most fun to watch?

1. Oklahoma City -- 30.0%
2. Miami -- 26.7%
3. Denver -- 16.7%
4. Golden State -- 6.7%, L.A. Clippers -- 6.7%, San Antonio -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: L.A. Lakers, New York

Last year: Miami -- 33.3%

Which team has the best home-court advantage?

1. Oklahoma City -- 70.0%
2. Miami -- 10.0%, Utah -- 10.0%

Also receiving votes: Denver, L.A. Lakers, Portland

Last year: Oklahoma City -- 44.4%

Which player is the most athletic?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 62.1%
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 20.7%
3. Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers -- 13.8%
4. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 3.4%

Last year: LeBron James -- 46.2%

Which player is the best pure shooter?

1. Ray Allen, Miami -- 56.7%
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 20.0%
3. Steve Novak, New York -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: James Harden, Oklahoma City; Kyle Korver, Atlanta; Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers; Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas; Klay Thompson, Golden State

Last year: Ray Allen -- 85.7%

Which player is the fastest with the ball?

1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 36.7%
2. Derrick Rose, Chicago -- 23.3%
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 13.3%
4. Ty Lawson, Denver -- 6.7%, John Wall, Washington -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Aaron Brooks, Sacramento; Darren Collison, Dallas; LeBron James, Miami; Tony Parker, San Antonio

Last year: Derrick Rose -- 57.7%

Which player is best at moving without the ball?

1. Ray Allen, Miami -- 56.7%
2. Richard Hamilton, Chicago -- 10.0%
3. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio -- 6.7%, Kyle Korver, Atlanta -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Luol Deng, Chicago; Marc Gasol, Memphis; James Harden, Oklahoma City; Paul Pierce, Boston; J.J. Redick, Orlando; Klay Thompson, Golden State

Last year: Ray Allen -- 67.9%

Which player is the best at getting his own shot?

1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 40.0%
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 30.0%
3. LeBron James, Miami -- 16.7%
4. Carmelo Anthony, New York -- 6.7%, Dwyane Wade, Miami -- 6.7%

Last year: Kobe Bryant -- 35.7%

Which player is the best offensive rebounder?

1. Kevin Love, Minnesota -- 53.3%
2. Kenneth Faried, Denver -- 16.7%
3. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento -- 6.7%, dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Tyson Chandler, New York; Reggie Evans, Brooklyn; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers; Kris Humphries, Brooklyn; Zach Randolph, Memphis

Last year: Kevin Love -- 64.3%

Which player is the best passer?

1. Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers -- 58.6%
2. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 27.6%
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 6.9%, Deron Williams, Brooklyn -- 6.9%

Last year: Chris Paul -- 40.7%

Which player is the most dangerous in the open floor?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 60.0%
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 23.3%
3. Derrick Rose, Chicago -- 10.0%
4. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 6.7%

Last year: LeBron James -- 53.8%

Which player is the best finisher?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 66.7%
2. Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers -- 10.0%, Dwyane Wade, Miami -- 10.0%

Also receiving votes: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Tyreke Evans, Sacramento; James Harden, Oklahoma City; Josh Smith, Atlanta

Last year: LeBron James -- 42.3%

Which player makes the most of limited natural ability?

1. Kevin Love, Minnesota -- 34.5%
2. Shane Battier, Miami -- 10.3%
3. Marc Gasol, Memphis -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Ryan Anderson, New Orleans; Matt Bonner, San Antonio; Nick Collison, Oklahoma City; Roy Hibbert, Indiana; Jared Dudley, Phoenix; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Danny Green, San Antonio; Chuck Hayes, Sacramento; Kris Humphries, Brooklyn; Paul Millsap, Utah; Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers; Steve Novak, New York; Luis Scola, Phoenix; Anderson Varejao, Cleveland

Last year: Kevin Love -- 26.9%

Who is the toughest player in the NBA?

1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 26.7%
2. Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers -- 10.0%
3. Reggie Evans, Brooklyn -- 6.7%, Kenneth Faried, Denver -- 6.7%, Kevin Garnett, Boston -- 6.7%, LeBron James, Miami -- 6.7%, Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Eric Bledsoe, L.A. Clippers; Tim Duncan, San Antonio; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Marcin Gortat, Phoenix; Zaza Pachulia, Atlanta; Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers; Zach Randolph, Memphis; Anderson Varejao, Cleveland; David West, Indiana

Last year: Kobe Bryant -- 32.1%

Which player is the best leader?

1. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 27.6%
2. Kevin Garnett, Boston -- 20.7%
3. Chauncey Billups, L.A. Clippers -- 10.3%, Tim Duncan, San Antonio -- 10.3%, LeBron James, Miami -- 10.3%, Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers -- 10.3%

Also receiving votes: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Jason Kidd, New York

Last year: Chris Paul -- 25.0%

Which player has the best basketball IQ?

1. Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers -- 27.6%
2. Tim Duncan, San Antonio -- 13.8%, LeBron James, Miami -- 13.8%, Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 13.8%
5. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 10.3%
6. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Chauncey Billups, L.A. Clippers; Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers; Jason Kidd, New York; Rajon Rondo, Boston

Last year: Steve Nash -- 28.6%

Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?

1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 46.7%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 40.0%
3. Carmelo Anthony, New York -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Chauncey Billups, L.A. Clippers; LeBron James, Miami

Last year: Kobe Bryant -- 48.1%

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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