Nuggets make mark in annual NBA general manager survey

Denver teammates Faried, Iguodala, Lawson among those receiving votes
by Aaron Lopez
Nuggets.com

The NBA released its annual GM survey this week, and the Nuggets were prominently mentioned in several categories.

The league’s 30 general managers responded to 57 questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans, and offseason moves. The executives were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel.

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried received votes for best offensive rebounder, toughest player and potential breakout player, while swingman Andre Iguodala was lauded for his perimeter defense and breakout potential. Denver coach George Karl received the most votes for running the best offense.

Here are the 15 categories in which the Nuggets received at least one vote (percentages are based on the pool of respondents to each question of the survey, rather than all 30 GMs):

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 Northwest Division?
1. Oklahoma City -- 86.7%
2. Denver -- 10.0%
3. Minnesota -- 3.3%
Last year: Oklahoma City -- 71.4%

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%

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%

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%

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 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%

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 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 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 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%

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%