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The Most Surprising Results From the NBA’s GM Survey

Taking the temperature on all of the big questions from key decision makers (or maybe their assistants) across the league

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This year’s edition of the annual GM survey—in which all 30 general managers vote on a variety of league-defining questions—came out Wednesday, and surprise, surprise: LeBron James is still King. Half of the front-office gurus voted for Bron as their best bet for the season MVP. Last year, it was 46.7 percent of the vote.

But not all of the ballots turned out as expected. (For example, Myles Turner is in here!) Here are most eye-catching responses from the executive census:

John Wall received 3 percent of the vote for best point guard in the NBA

I know what you’re thinking: Three percent of 30 GMs is just one vote. You can come out now, Ernie Grunfeld. But the rules explicitly state that: “General managers [are] not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel.” Who, Ernie aside, would stan for Wall? Danny Ainge, in an effort to fire up Kyrie Irving? (Revenge is an asset.)

Irving did not get any votes, despite three consecutive trips to the Finals and this shot.

Kevin Durant was not voted in the top four for players who force opposing coaches to make the most adjustments

I guess this shot was technically before Koby Altman ascended from assistant GM to the head job in Cleveland —

— but I would hope at least he voted for KD out of respect.

Lonzo did not get 100 percent of the preseason Rookie of the Year ballots

An unignorable slight after the Lakers rookie went 6-0 in scrimmages, sometimes with no starters as teammates. (Lonzo will remember this when he makes his version of Durant’s snub sneakers.) Ball did receive the majority of the vote, with 62 percent, but I wouldn’t be so sure that what these GMs think about this rookie class is absolute, even after their months of intense predraft evaluation. Last year, they voted Kris Dunn for preseason ROY.

Some executives would still pick 32-year-old LeBron James to start a franchise around

The exact survey question, to be clear: If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be? Eighteen percent of the GMs voted for LeBron, who is in the latter half of his prime, and will likely be out of the league in [fist fights my own nostalgia] eight or so years. There’s having a win-now philosophy (I see you, offseason Sam Presti) and then there’s blatantly ignoring the thought process for future success completely.

GMs have unanimously agreed that James Harden is, in fact, a shooting guard again

Harden received 83 percent of the vote for best shooting guard in the league, which at first glance is nice, and on second thought, completely ignores that he played the point all last season. Houston acquiring Chris Paul could’ve automatically shifted Harden back to his natural position in the GMs’ minds, but after averaging 29 points and 11 assists in the playmaking spot, he still got no love (and no votes) in the point guard vote.