The NBA has released their annual GM Survey. It exists primarily to serve as a foil to the rookie survey and the player’s survey. Who knows the game better: the players or the architects? Time will tell, for sure. But for now, the real question is how well is Dennis Lindsey doing? The Utah Jazz boss / General Manager has put together a very solid team. Keeping players he inherited (Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks), incorporating his long-term investments (Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood, Trey lyles), and adding new faces (George Hill, Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw) it seems like his team is poised to return to the NBA Playoffs for the first time since the dark ages.
But that’s what I think. And that seems to be the impression so many NBA writers think. But what about Lindsey’s own peers, the other 29 GMs in the league? Let’s check it out:
NBA General Managers make their 2016-17 season predictions on @NBAcom's Annual GM Survey! https://t.co/u04zn6XS4k pic.twitter.com/yWgyV60Vdp— NBA (@NBA) October 18, 2016
While the Jazz didn’t make it all the way up the mountain of perception (only the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers won votes for which team will win the 2017 NBA Championship), our little team that could did get a number of mentions all throughout.
Utah received 6.7% of the vote for the 3rd best team out West, and 17.9% to be 4th. So a quarter of the NBA thinks the Jazz will be finishing the next 82 games with homecourt in the first round of the playoffs. Overall, though, the team was placed as 6th in the West.
A big part of this Utah surge seems to have been their moves this off-season. Utah was tied with the Indiana Pacers as the team which made the second best overall moves this offseason. (6.7%) George Hill received votes as the one player acquisition that will make the biggest impact, and Hill was listed as the top underrated player acquisition this offseason (24.1%). Boris Diaw also received some votes there too.
Overall, the Jazz were voted 2nd most improved (23.3%), but a distant second to the Minnesota Timberwolves (56.7%).
As for the players, none of the Jazz players were even listed as the top player of their normative 5 position group cohort. Which didn’t soften the blow of none of them being highly regarded enough to either score any MVP votes or even be someone who is going to take a big step this year.
None of the Jazz rookies received any votes for anything, but Rudy Gobert got a few as one of the best international players in the league. Rudy was shut out for any votes in the best defender category; however, he was second place in best interior defender (16.7%) behind DeAndre Jordan (50.0%). As the anchor to what the team is doing, Rudy’s Jazz placed in a tie for 3rd best defensive team in the NBA (10%) with the Warriors and Cavs. Ahead of them were the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics.
None of the Jazz head (Quin Snyder) or assistant coaches won any great praise over the various sections: motivator, in-game adjustments, best offense, etc. But former Jazzman, current Oklahoma City Thunder back-up Ronnie Price was tied for 2nd in which active player will make the best head coach someday (10.3%). #JerrySloanCoachingTree
Last, but not least, the Utah Jazz were voted 5th place in terms of best home court advantage! (5.0%) So give yourself a big hand, Jazz fans!
As always, you can read all of the results here, to see what the GMs thought about everything. But how does this reflect on Dennis Lindsey? Well, the team is on the rise, which is so necessary after falling so far down before he took the job. But this is a league where more and more things go the way of their most marketed star players. The Jazz still do not have any, but have made a number of sneaky moves to be competitive.
Does that mean a title is coming to Utah? Time will tell. I do think Dennis Lindsey has performed miracles and been nothing short of a wizard in his time with the team. I can’t wait to see what epic sorcery he has in store for the team now that they’ll be winning games again. Finally.