NBA 2018-19 GM Survey: Warriors Win Title, Lakers' LeBron James Wins MVP

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  (L-R) Kevin Durant #35, Draymond Green #23, Stephen Curry #30, Klay Thompson #11, and DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors pose for a group picture during the Golden State Warriors media day on September 24, 2018 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are projected to win their third consecutive NBA championship by an overwhelming majority of the league's general managers.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents in the 17th annual GM survey picked the Dubs to capture another title, per John Schuhmann of NBA.com.

LeBron James, who joined the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, was the most popular choice to win Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 season at 30 percent. He's followed by the Warriors' Kevin Durant (27 percent), New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis (17 percent) and Houston Rockets' James Harden (10 percent), who won the award last season.

The general managers selected the Boston Celtics as the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics also tied the Rockets for second in NBA title voting.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks was the GMs' preferred choice to start their franchise with if given the choice of any player.

Here's the look at the No. 1 answer to the question of best player at each position:

PG: Stephen Curry (Warriors)

SG: James Harden (Rockets)

SF: LeBron James (Lakers)

PF: Anthony Davis (Pelicans)

C: Anthony Davis (Pelicans; top choice at both frontcourt spots)

While the Lakers received widespread props for their strong offseason, highlighted by the addition of James, the Indiana Pacers' signing of guard Tyreke Evans was chosen as the most underrated move. DeMarcus Cousins to the Warriors was voted most surprising.

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray was the GMs' choice for breakout player, while Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks is favored by the group to win Rookie of the Year honors.

Other notable selections include the Celtics' Brad Stevens as best head coach, the Los Angeles Clippers' Lou Williams as the best player off the bench and a tie between Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and new Toronto Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard as best defender.

James won the general managers' vote in numerous individual categories beyond MVP, including forcing opponents to make the most adjustments, best passer, best leader, most versatile and highest basketball IQ.

But despite all the changes around the league and upgrades by championship hopefuls, the GMs believe the Warriors are far and away the team to beat heading into the new season.

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