Today, NBA.com released the results of its eighth annual survey of the league's general managers. The majority of GMs believe that the Lakers will repeat as NBA champions for the seventh time in their history, and that LeBron James will earn his second straight MVP award.
More than 70 percent of those who responded believe that the Spurs, with the additions of Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess, did the most to improve their team this summer. And even though 17.3 percent believe the Magic made the best moves of the offseason, only 7.1 percent believe Orlando will make a return trip to The Finals.
Below are select results from this year's survey. The full results (60 questions in all) are posted at NBA.com
General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to each question of the survey, rather than all 30 GMs.
Which team will win NBA Finals 2010?
1. L.A. Lakers - 60.7%
2. Boston - 17.9%
3. Cleveland - 17.9%
4. San Antonio - 3.6%
Last year: L.A. Lakers - 46.2%
Which team will win the Eastern Conference?
1. Boston - 50.0%
2. Cleveland - 42.9%
3. Orlando - 7.1%
Last year: Boston - 74.1%
Which team will win the Western Conference?
1. L.A. Lakers - 75.9%
2. San Antonio - 24.1%
Last year: L.A. Lakers - 66.7%
Who will win the 2009-10 MVP?
1. LeBron James, Cleveland - 69.0%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers - 17.2%
3. Dwight Howard, Orlando - 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Tim Duncan, San Antonio; Dwyane Wade, Miami
Last year: LeBron James - 55.6%
Which team made the best overall moves this summer?
1. San Antonio - 71.2%
2. Orlando - 17.3%
Also receiving votes: Cleveland, Toronto, Washington
Last year: Philadelphia - 51.9%
Which team will be most improved in 2009-10?
1. Washington - 48.3%
2. L.A. Clippers - 17.2%
3. Oklahoma City - 13.8%
4. Toronto - 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Boston, Memphis, Minnesota, San Antonio
Last year: Miami, Portland - 25.9%
Who will win the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year?
1. Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers - 79.3%
2. Jonny Flynn, Minnesota - 10.3%
3. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento - 6.9%
4. Stephen Curry, Golden State - 3.4%
Last year: Michael Beasley - 48.1%
Who is the best international player in the NBA?
1. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas - 64.3%
2. Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers - 10.7%
3. Tim Duncan, San Antonio - 7.1%
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio - 7.1%
Steve Nash, Phoenix - 7.1%
6. Tony Parker, San Antonio - 3.6%
Last year: Dirk Nowitzki - 66.7%
Who is the best defensive player in the NBA?
1. Dwight Howard, Orlando - 46.4%
2. Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers - 17.9%
Kevin Garnett, Boston - 17.9%
4. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers - 7.1%
Also receiving votes: Trevor Ariza, Houston; Shane Battier, Houston; Rajon Rondo, Boston
Last year: Kevin Garnett - 44.4%
Who is the best head coach in the NBA?
1. Phil Jackson, L.A. Lakers - 37.0%
2. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio - 33.3%
3. Jerry Sloan, Utah - 18.5%
Also receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Houston; Larry Brown, Charlotte; Stan Van Gundy, Orlando
Last year: Gregg Popovich - 53.8%