The annual GM Survey is out and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has a little bit more motivation coming into the season. After being left out of the Top 5 a season ago, Cousins is ranked as the second best center in the league behind Memphis’ Marc Gasol.
While second place isn’t bad, Cousins is likely to take exception to the margin of victory for the Grizzlies big. Gasol garnered 65.5 percent of the vote, with Cousins grabbing just 13.8 percent. Anthony Davis, Tim Duncan and DeAndre Jordan finished in a three-way tie for third place with 6.9 percent.
Cousins also ranked fifth (3.6 percent) in the NBA behind LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Chris Paul in the category of "Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments?"
Newly acquired point guard Rajon Rondo (7.1 percent) tied with Curry for third place in the “best passer” category, finishing behind Paul and James.
George Karl picked up a few votes in “Which new or relocated coach will make the biggest impact this season?,” finishing just ahead of Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone in fifth place. Veteran Caron Butler drew some consideration for his potential as a future head coach.
Vlade Divac was left out of the rankings for the job he did assembling a new roster, but Marco Belinelli, one of Divac's priced acquisitions, received multiple honorable mentions. The sharp shooting wing picked up votes in the categories of “Which player is best moving without the ball?”, “Which bench player makes the biggest when he enters the game?”, “What was the most underrated player acquisition?” and “Who is the league’s best role player?”
Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein was snubbed from the voting. Not a single GM believes he will be a Rookie of the Year candidate or has a chance to be the best player from the 2015 NBA Draft in five years.
In case you were wondering, James is heavily favored for MVP and Curry, last season’s MVP, is all the way down at No. 5. GMs predict the Cavaliers will win their first title and 86.2 percent of those polled would build a team around Anthony Davis if they had to select one NBA player.