LeBron James addresses the media for the first time since signing with the Lakers in July at the UCLA Health Training Facility in El Segundo, Calf. (Photo by Ryan Young/Los Angeles Lakers)
NBA General Managers – based on the results of this year’s NBA.com GM survey – named LeBron James the favorite to be this year’s Kia NBA MVP. A survey-record nine candidates were identified for this year’s Kia NBA MVP with James leading all vote getters (30% of votes), followed by Golden State’s Kevin Durant, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Houston’s reigning Kia NBA MVP James Harden, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
James was also named the NBA’s Most Impactful Offseason Addition (garnering 97% of votes), on the way to the Los Angeles Lakers amassing the Best Collection of Offseason Moves (70%) and being recognized as the NBA’s Most Improved Team (80%). In all, James topped a survey-best seven categories – Kia NBA MVP, Best Basketball IQ (70%), Best Small Forward (57%), Best Passer (50%), Best Leader (30%), Most Versatile (63%), Player Who Forces the Most Coaches Adjustments (60%) and Most Impactful Offseason Addition (97%).
Additionally, general managers forecast the Golden State Warriors (87%) to win their third consecutive NBA Championship, while the Boston Celtics (90%) and the Warriors (90%) are picked to meet in this year’s NBA Finals.
Boston’s Brad Stevens (47%) netted Best Coach – breaking Gregg Popovich’s string of seven straight years leading the category – along with being recognized for making the Best In-Game Adjustments (53%). Popovich (47%) repeated as the NBA’s Best Motivator.
Additional noteworthy 2018-19 NBA.com GM Survey results include:
- Philadelphia 76ers – Most Promising Young Core (47%)
- Kevin Durant, Golden State – Clutch Shooter (40%)
- Rudy Gobert, Utah – Best Defender (37%) and Best Interior Defender (80%)
- Luka Doncic, Dallas – Kia NBA Rookie of the Year (43%)
- DeMarcus Cousins to Golden State – Most Surprising Offseason Move (35%)
- Jamal Murray, Denver – Breakout Player (20%)
- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City – Fastest with the Ball (50%)
- Utah Jazz – Best Defensive Team (45%)
NBA.com once again surveyed the league’s general managers to gather their responses on the best teams, players, coaches, offseason moves and more prior to the 2018-19 NBA season. The general managers were not allowed to vote for their own team or personnel. The complete results of the survey – compiled by John Schuhmann – are available at www.nba.com/gmsurvey/2018.