The 2023-24 season starts in just under two weeks (just over for Spurs fans), and the annual GM Survey has been released. Not too surprisingly, all votes the Spurs received were with regards to rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama and Hall of Fame head coach Gregg Popovich.
In the “player” category, Wemby came in second with 23% (or 7) of the votes regarding if a team could pick one player to build a franchise around today, who would it be. Nikola Jokic unsurprisingly came in first, but it’s a little interesting seeing Wemby still ahead of other young, proven players who still arguably have their primes ahead of them, such as Luka Doncic and maybe Jayson Tatum. It’s anyone’s guess as two whether that says more about Wemby or them. (Or it might just mean that GMs predict the recent shift back to big men dominating the league will stick around for a while.)
In the “offseason moves” category, he came in tied for fourth at 7% (or 2) of the votes for the player acquisition that will have the biggest impact, behind runaway winner Damian Lillard (Bucks), Jrue Holiday (Celtics), and Bradley Beal (Suns), and tied with Kristaps Porzingis (Celtics) and Fred VanVleet (Rockets).
And of course there’s the “Rookies and International” segment, and that’s where Wemby really shines. He got 50% of the vote to win Rookie of the Year (followed by Scoot Henderson and Chet Holmgren), and a whopping 90% of the vote for rookie who will be the best player in five years. He didn’t get any “international recognition”, such as best international player, but that will likely change with time, and considering the survey shows last year’s winners, here’s a reminder he was voted as the best international player not in the NBA a year ago.
In the “coaches” section, Pop is still getting some love despite his club not being on top of the league for a while now. He came in tied with Steve Kerr with 7% of the votes for best coach in the NBA, behind Eric Spoelstra and Tyronn Lue (?). He also came in fourth with 13% of the vote for best manager/motivator and received one vote for best in-game adjustments. (As an added bonus, Patty Mills received a vote for which active player will make the best coach someday, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that came from Brian Wright.)
Finally, while the Spurs didn’t get any recognition in the “miscellaneous” section (random questions like who you would want taking the final shot), it’s potentially note worthy that they were not on anyone’s minds for questions like best young core, teams that will make the biggest turnaround, player most likely to have a breakout season, etc. It will be interesting to see if they are able to change any minds this season, especially regarding the young core. It will certainly be interesting to revisit this again next year!
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