NBA.com released their annual general managers survey on Wednesday, giving fans a unique snapshot of the state of the league entering the 2018-19 season. The 17th annual questionnaire once again asked front office bosses which players are best at certain parts of the game and for their predictions of how this season will transpire.
This year, there weren't a ton of Wizards mentions beyond the usual of John Wall being very fast and good at passing the ball. But sometimes the most telling results involve players being snubbed from a category.
Here are some thoughts on the results, both Wizards and non-Wizards related.
- GMs see Kelly Oubre Jr. as solid candidate to have a breakout year. He received some votes in a category that included 14 total names. Jamal Murray of the Nuggets was first and by a good margin. Oubre is entering a contract year and has improved in each of his first three seasons in the NBA. The Wizards would love for the GMs' prediction to become true.
- The Wizards are projected to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference. That would technically be an improvement from last year, but would amount to a disappointment given the talent they have and the money they have committed. Boston, Toronto and Philly are ahead of them, which is understandable. But Milwaukee and Indiana are teams the Wizards should feel confident they can beat out for a higher playoff seed.
- Wall isn't listed among the top five point guards in the NBA and Bradley Beal isn't included in the top six shooting guards. For Wall, it's a product of an insane amount of talent at his position. For Beal, he is a casualty of GMs apparently not agreeing on positions for some players.
James Harden and Stephen Curry are in both guard categories. Though Curry is a bit of a combo guard, he is the point guard on Golden State and, if he were listed as such, maybe Beal would have earned a spot. For what it's worth, DeMar DeRozan of the Spurs didn't even land in 'also receiving votes' for shooting guards and he was All-NBA last season.
- Wall again leads the way for the Wizards by placing second in the 'fastest with the ball' category behind Russell Westbrook and finishing tied for third among the best passers. Last year, Wall was voted fastest overall. All of that sounds about right. When healthy, Wall is probably the quickest of anyone up and down the court, but he wasn't healthy last season and these things are always going to feature some recency bias.
- Dwight Howard still gets respect as a rim protector. He was in the 'also receiving votes' section of best interior defender, lumped in with Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan. Rudy Gobert was first overall and Anthony Davis was second.
- There was a major change in the question of which player to start a franchise with. Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns was No. 1 last year, but this time didn't even make the list. Giannis Antetokounmpo got the nod with Anthony Davis right behind him. And despite their age, LeBron James and Curry were both ahead of Philly's Joel Embiid.
Towns dropping so far is fascinating to read into because he is one of the NBA's best young players at only 22 years old. What did he do to fall completely off the list? There is a lot of turmoil in Minnesota and perhaps that is affecting how Towns is viewed around the league.
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