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NBA 2022-23 GM Survey results: Who do the executives think will win the championship and the MVP?

While it’s never a sure bet, it’s always interesting to take in the view of the league’s managers when they complete their annual survey.

NBA 2022-23 GM Survey results: Who do the executives think will win the championship and the MVP?
Ron JenkinsAFP

With the 2022-23 NBA reuglar season almost upon us, the league’s managers were as usual polled about who they think will be champions this season. Interesting as always, we break down the takeaways from the survey.

What predictions did NBA managers make about the 2022-23 season?

With opening night featuring two blockbuster games between the 76ers and Celtics in the east and the Lakers and Warriors in the west, it would appear that this coming NBA season is going to start with a bang. Yet, the campaign is long and there are bound to be quite a few twists and turns. With that said, the managers of the NBA were recently surveyed as to how they think this coming season will play out and their responses were most definitely interesting, to say the least. With that said, let’s take a look at the NBA’s annual GM Survey.

#1 - The Milwaukee Bucks are favored as champions in 2022-23

If we’re honest, there are quite a few who believe that, were it not for an injury to Khris Middleton in the first round, the Bucks would have overcome the Celtics in the second and quite likely gone on to win the championship itself. While nothing is ever certain, it’s interesting to note that the Bucks received the lion’s share of the votes when it came to the question of who would be crowned championship this year with 43%. What’s also curious to note, is that with 16 players on the roster returning, it’s pretty clear the franchise believes that narrative as well. In case you’re wondering, the Golden State Warriors were second with 25%, the Clippers with 21% and the Celtics with 11%

#2 - Luka Doncic to named MVP for the first time

With 48% of the vote, it will be interesting to see how the season actually plays out and if the Slovenian star can actually make good on the faith placed in him by the league’s GMs. Giannis came in second with 34%, Joel Embiid with 14% and Steph Curry with 3%. Perhaps the most curious thing about that lineup was the absence of Nikola Jokic who just won his second consecutive MVP this season gone. Indeed, Jokic didn’t even get a vote. To be fair, very few players in history have won three MVP awards in a row. There’s just Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird if you didn’t know. If the Mavericks star manages to win the vote this year, it might just be a case of ‘it’s about time.’ On the other hand, it won’t be a walk in the park with the likes of Giannis and Joel Embiid playing some incredible basketball of late.

#3 - Which player will have the biggest impact in the NBA?

With a host of high-profile moves this offseason, it would have surely been a toss-up as to which one will garner the biggest return on investment. Yet, if we consider the votes of the managers, there was a clear favorite and that was the Cavs newly acquired star, Donovan Mitchell. Indeed, the former Jazz player received an overwhelming 59% of the vote, with former teammate Rudy Gobert coming in at 31%. Behind them, were Jalen Brunson with 7% and PJ Tucker with 3%.

#4 - The NBA team with the most promising young core

In keeping with the aforementioned acquisition of Donovan Mitchell, it was the Cavs with 41% of the vote who came out on top. Indeed, the blockbuster signing of Mitchell appears to be the perfect fit for a team loaded with young talent. Having finished 13th on the league’s scoring list this last season with 25.9 points per game, Mitchell will undoubtedly bring both playmaking and scoring ability to a team that was lacking it last season. This is a team that we can expect to contend for the Eastern Conference title in the very near future. Honorable mention goes to the Grizzlies who came up with 38%, the Pistons with 10% and the Pelicans, Thunder and Magic who all received a few votes.

#5 - Who will be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year?

Given the fact that he received 79% of the vote, one could argue that any future vote from the managers should be taken with a pinch of salt if they get it wrong on the Magic’s Paolo Banchero. It’s worth mentioning that the equally impressive Chet Holmgren - the No. 2 overall pick - has been ruled out for the season through injury, making it a less complicated contest for the former Duke prodigy. Behind Banchero, we’ve also got Keegan Murray with 17% and Jabari Smith with 3%. While Banchero’s skill set can’t be questioned, it will be interesting to see how much the Magic allow him to lead, which will ultimately determine whether he gets the nod or not.

#6 - What about the NBA’s best international player not in the NBA?

Let’s consider for a moment, the fact that the Jazz offloaded Gobert, Mitchell and Bogdanovic in the name of a rebuild, while the Spurs let go of Dejounte Murray. The Thunder seem content to take their chances after losing both Holmgren for the season and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for quite some time due to a knee injury. Why do we mention this? Victor Wembanyama, that’s why. With 45% of the vote the 18-year-old Frenchman is currently projected to be 2023′s No. 1 Draft pick and from the looks of it, there are a collection of teams vying to be the one that gets him. It’s clear that the NBA’s managers have bought into that narrative as well, as they see the potential for super stardom in the young center. Bringing up the rear were Nikola Mirotic with 28%, Vasilije Micic on 21% and then there were Edy Tavares and Sash Vezenkov who both received votes.