Lakers' LeBron James Gets Fewer Votes Than Last Year for Best IQ in NBA App GM Survey

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 4, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a break in the action during the first half with Sacramento Kings at Crypto.com Arena on October 3, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

NBA general managers voted LeBron James as having the best basketball IQ in the league, but there is less consensus compared to a year ago.

Last year, a survey of GMs gave James 53 percent of the vote for the highest basketball IQ, per John Schuhmann of NBA.com. In this year's survey, only 45 percent of GMs voted for LeBron in the same question.

The big change was the rise of Nikola Jokic, who went from earning seven percent ahead of last season to 24 percent of votes going into 2022-23.

The two players are definitely heading in different directions in their careers.

Jokic won his second straight MVP award last season, averaging 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. Even without elite athleticism, the center is often in complete control of the game while remaining extremely efficient.

His 15.2 win shares were easily the best in the NBA last season, per Basketball Reference.

James, meanwhile, is coming off an injury-filled season in which the Los Angeles Lakers even missed the play-in tournament with a 33-49 record. He did average an impressive 30.3 points per game when on the court, although he didn't qualify for the scoring title after playing just 56 games.

The 37-year-old also averaged just 6.2 assists per game last year, down from 7.8 the year before and 10.2 in 2019-20 when he led the league.

General managers know he still has an elite basketball IQ, but now there are others close to his level.

Chris Paul (14 percent), Stephen Curry (10 percent) and Luka Doncic (seven percent) also received votes for the highest IQ in the league.