NBA GMs High On Cavs’ Offseason Moves, Bucks’ Title Chances

The Cavaliers‘ acquisition of Donovan Mitchell made their offseason the most successful of any NBA team, according to the league’s general managers. In his annual survey of the NBA’s top basketball decision-makers, John Schuhmann of NBA.com writes that 41% of the GM respondents picked Cleveland as having made the best offseason moves, while 59% chose the addition of Mitchell as the move that will have the biggest impact.

The Timberwolves and Jazz were on opposite ends of one of the summer’s other blockbuster trades, but the two clubs tied for second (along with the Sixers) in the GM vote for which teams made the best overall offseason moves. Minnesota’s trade for Rudy Gobert was the second-leading vote-getter for the offseason’s most impactful single acquisition, earning 31% of the vote.

The team viewed by the majority of GMs as the title favorite for 2023 didn’t earn any votes for having the best offseason. According to Schuhmann, 43% of the poll respondents picked the Bucks to win next year’s Finals, with GMs apparently betting on continuity in Milwaukee. The Warriors (25%), Clippers (21%), and Celtics (11%) also received votes.

Here are a few more interesting results from Schuhmann’s GM survey, which is worth checking out in full:

  • NBA general managers expect the Clippers – who will have Kawhi Leonard back – to be the most improved team in 2022/23. L.A. received 41% of the vote, with the Cavaliers and Pelicans at 17% apiece.
  • The Celtics‘ trade for Malcolm Brogdon earned the most votes (28%) for the summer’s most underrated acquisition. The Sixers‘ signing of P.J. Tucker and the Clippers‘ addition of John Wall were the runners-up, with 14% each.
  • Asked which team has the most promising young core, NBA GMs overwhelmingly chose the Cavaliers (41%) and Grizzlies (38%). The Pistons (10%) were the only other club to get multiple votes.
  • NBA GMs view Magic forward Paolo Banchero as the best bet to win Rookie of the Year (79%) and also chose him as the 2022 draftee most likely to be the best player in five years (31%), narrowly edging Thunder big man Chet Holmgren (28%). As for the steal of the draft, GMs were split between Pistons big man Jalen Duren and Rockets forward Tari Eason (14% apiece), among many others.
  • Mavericks star Luka Doncic was picked as the favorite to win MVP, earning 48% of the vote from NBA GMs. Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks came in second with 34%.