Today the folks over at NBA.com published results from their 11th annual NBA general manager poll, 57 questions about players, teams, rookies, offseason moves, etc, etc. Because the Wizards are not league favorites like the Heat or Lakers (Miami is the projected champion, knocking off Los Angeles in the finals), neither the team nor the players were on the minds of the GMs when answering the bulk of these questions, except for the following:
Which rookie will be the best player in five years?
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 86.7%
2. Bradley Beal, Washington -- 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Damian Lillard, Portland; Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto
* Beal received no votes in the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year question, but four as a long-term play. I essentially offered the same take here, that Beal's poised demeanor and un-flashy game would not sway voters looking for the next big thing now, but most everything else about his game screams legitmate building block.
Which international player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2012-13?
1. Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto -- 17.2%
2. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota -- 13.8%
3. Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota -- 13.8%
4. Goran Dragic, Phoenix, Danilo Gallinari, Denver, Donatas Motiejunas, Houston, Kevin Seraphin, Washington, Alexey Shved, Minnesota, Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn -- 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Christian Eyenga, Orlando; Evan Fournier, Denver; Enes Kanter, Utah; Tiago Splitter, San Antonio; Jan Vesely, Washington
* During training camp Seraphin mentioned winning the league's Most Improved player award as one of his personal goals. If his growth trajectory from year two to three mirrors the upward trend from his rookie to sophomore campaign, then Seraphin's got a legitimate shot. As for Vesely, not exactly sure what a breakout season would entail, but improving his jumper would go a long, long, long way toward having one. There are signs of improvement, like his Summer League performance or knocking down two clutch free throws in Saturday's win over Milwaukee. (Also woth noting, among non-international players deemed headed for a breakout season, Javale McGee also picked up a vote).
Which player is the fastest with the ball?
1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 36.7%
2. Derrick Rose, Chicago -- 23.3%
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 13.3%
4. Ty Lawson, Denver -- 6.7%, John Wall, Washington -- 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Aaron Brooks, Sacramento; Darren Collison, Dallas; LeBron James, Miami; Tony Parker, San Antonio
*NBA All-Star weekend idea - Line these players up on one end of the court, race to the end other end while dribbling. Make it back and forth of you want. Ready. Set. Go!
Which team will win the Southeast Division?
1. Miami -- 96.7%
2. Atlanta -- 3.3%
*Only stunner here is that one general manager voted for a team other than the Heat. If Wall and Nene each play at least 70 or more games and Josh Smith over does it with the shooting thing in Atlanta now that Joe Johnson has moved on, the Wizards have a shot for second place. First? Um, no.