The Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Milwaukee Bucks were the most popular choice to win the 2023 NBA championship in an annual survey of the league's general managers.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com provided the full results of the 2022-23 survey Tuesday, which included four teams receiving votes to capture this season's title:
- Milwaukee Bucks: 43 percent
- Golden State Warriors: 25 percent
- Los Angeles Clippers: 21 percent
- Brooklyn Nets: 11 percent
While the Warriors received more votes to be NBA champions, they and the Clippers received 48 percent of the votes each to be Western Conference champions. More voters also had the Clippers finishing second in the conference, with the Warriors instead receiving some votes as the West's fourth-best team.
Here's how the GMs predicted the top four of each conference will shape up:
- East: Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets
- West: Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets
The Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic was named as the most likely regular-season MVP with 48 percent of the vote followed by Antetokounmpo (34 percent). They were also the only two players named when the GMs were asked which player they'd want to start a franchise with—Giannis at 55 percent and Luka at 45 percent.
Based on the top vote-getter in positional voting, here's what the league's top front-office executives believe would be the ideal starting lineup for this season:
- PG: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- SG: Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
- SF: Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
- C: Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic was voted both most likely to win Rookie of the Year honors and the rookie who'll be the best player in five years.
The Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra was selected as the league's best head coach.
Here are some other notable results from this year's GM survey:
- Most Improved Team: Los Angeles Clippers
- Best Defensive Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Best Defensive Team: Boston Celtics
- Most Fun Team to Watch: Golden State Warriors
- Biggest Home-Court Advantage: Toronto Raptors
- Most Promising Young Core: Cleveland Cavaliers
- Most Athletic Player: Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
- Best Pure Shooter: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Best Passer: Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
- Best Leader: Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)
- Highest Basketball IQ: LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
The general managers haven't correctly predicted that season's champion since 2017-18, when 93 percent correctly forecasted a Warriors triumph.
Last year, the two most popular choices were the Nets and Lakers. Brooklyn was swept in the first round of the playoffs and L.A. didn't even qualify for the postseason.
The 2022-23 campaign tips off Oct. 18.