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NBA GM survey: how the Sixers fare in the eyes of NBA Front Offices

NBA: Preseason-Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports’s John Schuhmann released the results of a league wide survey of NBA General Managers, which contained questions like:

  • If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?
  • Who is the best international player in the NBA?
  • Which player is the best pure shooter?

The exercise is a fun little way to gauge what Front Offices think about the league, and for our purposes, the 76ers. While we know some NBA GMs to be pretty flawed decision-makers, the survey helps us understand whether or not the Sixers are seen as a threat throughout the league. The following are some of the results regarding Sixers personnel and the team in general.

*There are 30 General Managers in the NBA, so one vote would equal 3% (3.33%).

**General Managers cannot vote for their own team or a player on their team.

Rank the top four teams in the Eastern Conference:

Ten GMs voted the Sixers the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference, while 86% of GMs ranked the Sixers at least 3rd in the East. Not really any surprises regarding the Sixers here, though I’m very surprised to see that one GM voted the Wizards the 2nd best team in the East.

This pretty much lines up with what I expect for Philly: I currently have them finishing 3rd, but wouldn’t be at all shocked if they’re able to outperform Toronto even though the Raptors are typically a good regular season team.

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

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee – 30%

2. Anthony Davis, New Orleans – 23%

3. Kevin Durant, Golden State – 20%

4. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers – 17%

5. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 7%

6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia – 3%

High praise for the Process Incarnate here, as one General Manager would chose Joel Embiid over any player in the league to start a franchise. It’s impossible to know where votes would go if Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Steph Curry were removed, but I’d be curious to see how this shakes out if it concerned only players who are say, 26 and younger (pre-prime). By the way, Karl-Anthony Towns won this category last year, yet didn’t even receive a vote for 2018.

Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2018-19?

1. Jamal Murray, Denver – 20%

2. Brandon Ingram, L.A. Lakers – 10%

Jayson Tatum, Boston – 10%

4. Aaron Gordon, Orlando – 7%

Kyle Kuzma, L.A. Lakers – 7%

Kawhi Leonard, Toronto – 7%

Lauri Markkanen, Chicago – 7%

Dejounte Murray, San Antonio – 7%

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia – 7%

Also receiving votes: Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia; Donovan Mitchell, Utah; Kelly Oubre Jr., Washington; Josh Richardson, Miami; Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas; Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota

Two GMs voted for Ben Simmons as the most likely to breakout. I’d guess part of the reason he received is such a low vote total is because Ben Simmons already broke out. Do the two GMs who voted for Ben expect him to make yet another leap, or were they not impressed with his play last season? It’s encouraging to see that Markelle Fultz also received a vote — I’d be very curious to know which GM gave this bode of confidence, maybe more so than in any other vote in any category for any player.

Who is the best center in the NBA?

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans – 40%

2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia – 33%

3. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota – 7%

A third of the league’s General Managers voted Jo as the best center in the game, and me thinks they were mostly Eastern Conference GMs. Hard not to vote for someone that you have nightmares game planning for.

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

1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio – 47%

2. Steve Kerr, Golden State – 20%

3. Brad Stevens, Boston – 17%

4. Erik Spoelstra, Miami – 7%

Also receiving votes: Brett Brown, Philadelphia; Dwane Casey, Detroit; Doc Rivers, LA Clippers

Coach Brown getting some props here for the culture he’s built with the Sixers. If I had to guess, I’d say R.C. Buford made the vote. Or maybe that’s just some erotic fan fiction. #BrownRC2019

Brown didn’t receive a single vote for Which head coach runs the best offense? nor Which head coach has the best defensive schemes?

Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?

1. Ron Adams, Golden State – 17%

2. Ettore Messina, San Antonio – 13%

3. Dan Burke, Indiana – 7%

Chris Finch, New Orleans – 7%

Adrian Griffin, Toronto – 7%

Jay Larranaga, Boston – 7%

Jay Triano, Charlotte – 7%

Also receiving votes: Jim Boylan; Mike Brown, Golden State; Darren Erman, New Orleans; Tim Grgurich, Detroit; Steve Hetzel, Orlando; Alex Jensen, Utah; Roy Rogers, Houston; Stephen Silas, Charlotte; Ime Udoka, San Antonio; David Vanterpool, Portland; Monty Williams, Philadelphia

Monty Williams got some consideration for this category, and again, I wouldn’t be shocked if it came from the Spurs, as Monty spent last season working in their front office.

Which active player will make the best head coach someday?

1. Chris Paul, Houston – 25%

2. C.J. McCollum, Portland – 7%

Jameer Nelson – 7%

Rajon Rondo, L.A. Lakers – 7%

Garrett Temple, Memphis – 7%

Also receiving votes: Steven Adams, Oklahoma City; J.J. Barea, Dallas; Vince Carter, Atlanta; Mike Conley, Memphis; Jared Dudley, Brooklyn; Manu Ginobili; Jarrett Jack, New Orleans; Kyle Korver, Cleveland; Wesley Matthews, Dallas; T.J. McConnell, Philadelphia; J.J. Redick, Philadelphia; Fred VanVleet, Toronto; Kemba Walker, Charlotte

JJ Redick’s ability to relate to players old and young probably factored into his nod here. But I’m not sure that whoever voted for TJ McConnell knows him well enough. It’s not that I think TJ couldn’t coach the game, he’s just so damn intense — I could see him throwing chairs a la Bob Knight anytime a defensive rotation isn’t executed properly.

Which team is the most fun to watch?

1. Golden State – 60%

2. Boston – 17%

3. Houston – 7%

Philadelphia – 7%

Also receiving votes: Denver, Milwaukee, Utah

On the heels of Zach Lowe releasing his League Pass watch rankings with the Sixers at #1, the Sixers get some love in this survey. I’m not sure how Houston showed up here: great team, terrible watch.

Which team has the most promising young core?

1. Philadelphia – 47%

2. Boston – 33%

3. Chicago – 7%

Phoenix – 7%

Also receiving votes: Denver, Utah

Is there a category that matters any more than this one? The Sixers being voted by nearly half the league’s GMs as the most promising young core is quite hilarious: the guy who made it happened was forced out of the league by NBA owners.

Which player is best at moving without the ball?

1. Klay Thompson, Golden State – 53%

2. J.J. Redick, Philadelphia – 23%

3. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 13%

4. Kyle Korver, Cleveland – 7%

5. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers – 3%

Redick’s ability to get himself open doesn’t go unnoticed.

Which player is the best passer?

1. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers – 50%

2. Chris Paul, Houston – 17%

3. Rajon Rondo, L.A. Lakers – 7%

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia – 7%

John Wall, Washington – 7%

I have a feeling by the time this survery’s results come out next season, Ben will have a larger chunk of the vote than 7%. Bear witness, NBA GMs.

You can find the full results of the survey here, I encourage you to check it out if for nothing more than some midweek reading.

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