Portland was one of five teams to receive a vote for which team will win the 2020 NBA championship. Only 3% of general managers believe that the Blazers will win the West, and none predict a second- or third-place finish. 11% predicted a fourth-place finish.
Likely influenced by last season’s playoffs, GMs ranked Portland as the fifth-most fun team to watch and as having the fourth-best homecourt advantage. Division rival Denver won both categories.
Another season of exceeding expectations earned Damian Lillard the title of best leader in the NBA, according to GMs around the league. He received 41% of the votes; Stephen Curry placed second with 37%. The same two led the list of best point guards in the league with Curry earning 90% of the votes and Lillard receiving 7%. They were also two of the players GMs would choose to take a shot with the game on the line. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson tied with Lillard for second at 11% of votes and Curry won with 44%.
Lillard also received votes for toughest player in the NBA and who will win MVP.
Rest of the team
General managers ranked CJ McCollum as the fifth-best player at moving without the ball in his hands. He also got a vote for player who’d turn into the best coach after retiring.
Zach Collins got a vote for player most likely to have a breakout season; De’Aaron Fox won the category with 19% of the votes.
Like in the rookie survey, Blazers rookie Nassir Little received a vote for steal of the draft.
Although Terry Stotts didn’t crack the list of top coaches in the NBA according to GMs, he tied for second with Mike Budenholzer and Mike D’Antoni for coach with the best offense. Steve Kerr won the category.
Stotts also received a vote for which coach is the best motivator/manager of people.
Nate Tibbetts tied with four others for best assistant coach in the league, earning 7% of votes. Former Blazers assistant coach David Vanterpool tied with two other coaches at 11% for best assistant.
You can read the rest of the GM survey here.