This year's NBA.com GM Survey showed that most executives doubt that an MVP season for LeBron James would be enough for LA Lakers to reach the NBA Finals.
Basketball superstar LeBron James would become the most valuable player (MVP) at the end of the season, but his Los Angeles Lakers will miss the Finals.
That is how the storied franchise would fare in the upcoming 2018-2019 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, according to a recently released survey containing the opinion of 30 team general managers (GMs) in the league.
Since 2006, NBA.com has been conducting an annual survey before the start of the season. This survey asks GMs questions that consist of, but are not limited to, predictions, player rankings, and season outlook.
In its 17th edition, the GM Survey revealed that many executives expect James to win the MVP title. James—also the top favorite from last season—received 30 percent of the total ballots cast. However, the competition is fierce as 2018 Finals MVP Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors follows close at 27 percent.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 3, 2018
The majority of ballots also chose James not only as the second best power forward but also as the best small forward in the league with 57 percent of the votes favoring him. Similar to the earlier ranking, Durant is a close second with 40 percent.
The GMs also voted the Lakers as the team that conducted the best offseason player moves, with James selected as the most impactful amongst all player acquisitions. James arrived in California after leaving his hometown club Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent.
NBA GMs voted LeBron the league's No. 1 player in the following categories:
Forces most adjustments
Best SF (2nd in PF)
Biggest offseason impact
Most Versatile Player
Best Basketball IQ
— Thomas Duffy (@TJDhoops) October 3, 2018
GM's tab LeBron James as the favorite to win MVP — though only with 30% of the vote. James overwhelmingly named the Most Impactful Offseason Addition (97%).
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) October 3, 2018
Even so, the GMs deemed these efforts inadequate for the Lakers to win their first NBA Finals trophy in more than eight years. Worse, the executives did not consider the Lakers to reach the Finals or even to contend for the Western Conference crown. The general managers—the survey showed—believe that both titles belong to Warriors, the reigning champions.
However, the season has not yet started, leaving a long time for James and the Lakers to prove this survey wrong.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 3, 2018
Their journey will start on October 18, when they travel to Oregon to face the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Arena. Interested bettors can place wagers on odds offered by multiple US-friendly online sportsbooks, including BetOnline.ag and Bovada.