John Schuhmann's annual GM survey is a sign that the season is nigh, and the latest edition was released Tuesday via NBA.com. The survey covers a spectrum of issues and tells us about how the people in positions of power see the league.
The Blazers didn't get a whole lot of love, but they didn't inspire a whole lot of hate either. The conclusion from the survey is that the league expects the Blazers to be pretty good, but not much more than that.
A full 27.9 percent of NBA GM's predict the Blazers will finish either third (10.0%) or fourth (17.9%) in the Western Conference this season. The folks in charge of NBA teams think the Blazers will be better than the Utah Jazz, who were predicted by Las Vegas to have more wins than the Blazers. However, the experts do not think the Blazers will be the best team in the Northwest Division. That honor belongs to Russell Westbrook and the recently spurned Oklahoma City Thunder, who were picked by 35.3 percent of GM's to finish either third (6.7%) or fourth (28.6%) in the West.
The Blazers had little mention elsewhere in the survey.
Their tandem of guards did not receive votes for the league's best shooting guard or point guard. Neither were mentioned in the conversation of "Best Pure Shooter."
After the signing of Al-Farouq Aminu received votes in last season's survey for "Most Underrated Player Acquisition," neither of the additions in the summer of 2016 (Evan Turner, Festus Ezeli) received the same recognition.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts' received votes as the coach who runs the league's best offense. Perhaps that played a part in the Blazers being named one of the best teams to watch. Unsurprisingly, 93.3% of the voters picked the Golden State Warriors as the most fun team to watch in the league, but the Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers were the only other two teams to receive votes.
The Blazers coaching staff got a little more love in the survey as well, with assistant coach David Vanterpool receiving votes for the "NBA's Best Assistant Coach."
CJ McCollum received votes for the "Player Most Likely To Have Breakout Season" after winning the NBA's Most Improved Player award last season.
The Blazers finished 6th in the league when it came to the best "Home Court Advantage," receiving 3.3% of votes from the league's GM's.