I think we can all agree that the Miami Heat are going to be a pretty great team. Maybe even historically great. They’ve got two of the best players in the league, a perfect third banana in Chris Bosh and a supporting cast that fills a lot of roles. Put all those things together and it’s obvious that the Heat will at least challenge for an NBA title this year.

However, if you listen to the NBA’s GMs, they’ll tell you that most of them aren’t betting on Miami this season. NBA.com ran a few polls of these decision makers and found some not-so-shocking results.

Which team will win the 2011 NBA Finals?
Los Angeles Lakers — 63%
Miami Heat — 33.3%
Boston Celtics — 3.7%

Surprising? Not surprising? I’d vote the latter. The Lakers, as you may have heard, are two-time defending NBA champions. This summer, they replaced Jordan Farmar, Adam Morrison and Josh Powell with Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff. They’re going to be very, very good. Three-peat good, possibly. The only thing that really surprises me about this poll is that the Orlando Magic didn’t get a single vote. That’s a team that made the Finals two seasons ago and is pretty stacked. You’d think someone would make that choice. Nonetheless, Lakers as NBA champions is a pretty safe decision. Good work on that front, GMs.

They also weighed in on the MVP race.

Who will win the 2010-11 MVP?
Kevin Durant — 66.7%
Kobe Bryant — 25.9%
Also receiving votes: Dwight Howard, LeBron James

Yep, standard operating procedure, it seems. With LeBron James becoming a fraction less important by linking up with some other big-time ballers, the ball is in Kevin Durant’s court this season. He finished second in MVP voting last year, so bumping him up a spot makes sense. 2-for-2 thus far.

The last category we’ll look at should be a big one for GMs, considering it’s kind of the basis for their jobs. You’ll see what I mean.

If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?
Kevin Durant — 55.6%
LeBron James — 25.9%
Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard — 7.4%
Dwyane Wade — 3.7%

Really, GMs? You can’t be serious. I know everyone loves Kevin Durant — myself included, because he is very great — but LeBron James is 25 years old, has a body that can only be harmed at the right elbow and is a two-time MVP. He is far and away the NBA’s most complete player, and he’s only 25. That is very young. He might be arrogant, selfish and very good at finding t-shirts that say how great he is, but he is also an unfathomably dominant basketball player which is what actually matters when it comes to building a team. Then again, 7.4 percent of you guys would choose to build an NBA team around a 32-year-old shooting guard who has started a slow, but steady, decline over the past few years. C’mon, guys.

Of course, it’s highly likely that not one GM actually filled out this survey, instead handing it to an assistant to fill out. Nonetheless, pretty solid choices even if they kind of screwed up that last question.

Comments (18)

  1. “he is also an unfathomably dominant basketball player which is what actually matters when it comes to building a team.”

    Because as we’ve learned in the past decade from the Spurs, Celtics, and Lakers (both their successes and their failures), having the most dominant player is all that matters, and personality/chemistry issues never play a part. :)

    I’d rather have Durant – who is quiet, personable, dedicated, hard-working, beloved by his teammates, and four years younger. Oh, and also fully capable of averaging 31/6/6 a night. Yes, in a pure basketball sense, LeBron’s the better choice, but I think the odds are better that you could build a championship dynasty around someone like Durant, since you have to operate under the assumption that you won’t be able to put together a ridiculous uberteam like Miami.

  2. Slightly misleading article title, and you missed “ly” in “highly likely” on the second to last sentence.

    Just sayin’

  3. I understand the Durant argument, but you don’t pick players because they get along with everyone else. LeBron’s better and that’s important when building a team. Not to mention, LeBron’s a far better defensive player than Durant. I’d much rather chill with KD, though.

  4. read the title……read until the last paragraph then when the lebron love fest and kobe hate began i had to check who wrote it since Skeets and Tas don’t piss on kobe so it read post by Trey Kerby it never ends plus slow and steady decline please he average 27 ppg 5rbs 5assts and 1.6 stls yea thats a decline if i ever saw one plus that shooting guard averaged 30 ppg 5 rbs and 6 asst the last 3 playoffs years so yeah i would no disrespect kobe like that plus isn’t it weird that they would pick a 32 yr old SG than a 28 yr Dwayne Wade you know why injuries same with the question on who would they have Lebron or Durant i would take durant cause i wouldn’t wanna deal with lebron backstage antics when i could get wins plus good behavior from durant …. I thought lebron lovefest wouldn’t travel but i still can’t believe TBJ hired you of all people seriously when skeets left BDL and you started writing it sucked so much that it was like why is he still here like i’m write now writing a novella but i digress the jokes suck you suck you biased hillbilly bitch go wack off to brad miller love child

  5. who pissed in hawng’s kobe flakes this morning?

  6. Trey – I’ll give you the defensive argument. If LeBron would develop a low-post game, he’d also be unquestionably the most dangerous offensive force in basketball (he already probably is, but it’d be inarguable). He’s incredible and if I had to pick a player to win this year, he’s my choice, attitude or no attitude. I think though you get ten-to-twelve years of MVP potential and championship potential out of KD and only five-to-seven out of LeBron (and about 3 out of Kobe if you’re lucky).

    Either way, as Pat Riley and Sam Presti well know, if one of those two guys is your cornerstone, you’re not in a bad place.

    Hwang Mi-ri – http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/10/11/

  7. since when is saying “32 year old shoothng guard” pissing on someone? or is it the slow steady decline comment, because that’s basically a fact, you can’t possibly think that present day kobe is at the same level as the kobe from a couple of years ago.

    i agree that lebron is the best player out of that list, and i would choose him to start a franchise if i wanted to sell my soul for just a championship. but if i didn’t want to deal with all the drama that james and his people bring to the table and still have a really good chance to win, then durant hands down. Maybe the GM’s had that in mind when deciding who they would want.

  8. oh and trey how could you have not already posted something about byron scott’s hilarious nazi tie. that picture has lols written all over it

  9. How is KD capable of averaging 6 asts per night?

  10. Byron Scott’s tie is scary!!

  11. [...] not quite ready to claim the crown of the best small forward in the league just yet, but around half of the GMs in the NBA would choose him to build their franchise around if they could pick anyon…. As the youngest scoring champion in NBA history, there’s really no telling what Kevin [...]

  12. Um…shouldn’t every GM pick their own team to win the finals? The season hasn’t even started!

  13. - Hillbilly , “Go wack off to Brad miller…..Bwhahhahh hahaha

  14. Not too sure about this one. While LeBron James is a great basketball player, he’s also a terrible leader. We’ve seen that the guy cannot handle being patient, and those that are willing to stick by their team after some bumps are those that win titles.

    Now, we can talk about LeBron being un-smart for leaving Cleveland. We can also talk about him being a total douchebag for leaving a city in ruins as he takes billions of dollars of revenue with him, while putting on the largest charade in the history of all sports, embarassing hundreds of thousands of Cavaliers’ fans. But the fact is that LeBron James cannot lead a team, deep into the playoffs. That should be considered. Look back at his performance late in the second-round series against the Boston Celtics last year. Because he felt his team could actually lose the series, he kind of did not care anymore. Sad.

    If we all hit a little bump in the road and decided we all wanted to get traded to the Miami Heat, the world wouldn’t have very many successful people.

  15. I am trying to wack off to Brad Miller. It just isn’t working. What am I doing wrong?

  16. [...] the goal for himself. That’s out of character. However, as we learned yesterday, NBA GMs made him their preseason pick for Most Valuable Player. What’s he think of that?“I mean, it’s cool but it [...]

  17. LeBron always struck me as the best n°2 guy there could be… So I think the GM’s choice and his going to Miami both made sense…

    But the question is kinda flawed: how do you build a team after that?
    Do you get D-Leaguers? If so I’d take LeBron just because of his ability to do everything
    Do you get 1 or 2 all-stars? if so I’d take Howard, ‘cuz it’s easier to find great scorers who are OK defenders than to find great defenders who are useful on O… He’s a great guy to have to complement if you can get another star…
    If it’s in the middle, I’d take Durant, because you kinda get the best scorer in the game, and you complement him with good role-players (kinda like OKC right now, but with a better center and maybe a lesser PG)

    And yeah, it’s stupid to want to build a team around a 32-year old.

    It’s not so much about LeBron’s attitude, it has to do with Durant’s… I mean: his love of the game and profesionnalism must be communicative, I have a feeling that it must help others to develop…

    I mean, look at it this way:
    -LeBron spends the whole practice crushing you, then goes home to keep practicing on his private court.
    -Kobe does about the same, except he stays at the team’s practice facility… He just looks so frightening with his weird game-face on that you just don’t dare ask him for advice.
    -Howard is funny through the whole thing, and you know you’ll never see him as someone you could ask serious questions to and get serious answers.
    -Garnett, Pierce and Allen are all freaky in their own way (intense, stabbed and a weird voice, OCD)
    -Then, there are the exemplary but easy to approach leaders: Durant, Nash, Duncan… I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting some, but I have a feeling (and just a feeling) that these guys can be the reason their teammates always seem to surpass expectations (Marion, Westbrook, Ibaka, Diaw, Dragic, Parker, Hill (both), ….). Richard Jefferson is the obvious exception.

  18. [...] one of the best players in the NBA which continually endears him to people. NBA GMs picked him as their choice to win MVP this season, and they also choose him as the young player they’d want to build a team around despite the [...]

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