The annual NBA GM Survey is a chance for teams to see where they stand among the 30 top executives. For the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s been an annual source of bulletin board material, often finding themselves lower than they would like in the rankings.
On Tuesday morning, the 2021-22 edition of the survey was released, with the Lakers finding their names all over. LeBron James was a frequent sighting, while Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Frank Vogel may have felt disrespected by some of the results.
In total, the Lakers still project to do quite well according to the general managers, so let’s see where they fell as a team in this year’s rankings.
Receiving 7% of the vote, the Lakers tied for fifth in the category of most fun team to watch. The Brooklyn Nets won that category with 30% of the vote. Despite significant personnel changes, GMs still see the Lakers as a top defensive team. They ranked third in that category, getting 10% of the vote.
L.A. was tied for second in the most improved team category, getting 13% alongside the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers also finished second place in the best offseason moves ranking. They landed 17% of the vote but lost in a blowout to the 47% of the Miami Heat.
Finally, getting a whopping 80% of the first-place votes, the Lakers are projected to win the Western Conference. The eight playoff teams in order were the Lakers, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, Warriors, L.A. Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks.
However, just 17% of the voters believe the Lakers will win the championship, ranking second to the 72% of the Nets.
Beyond just the GM Survey, it appears that most people see the Nets as runaway favorites, while the Lakers are the clear-cut No. 2 team in basketball. That’s almost certain to motivate those within the Lakers organization.
Rajon Rondo: James ‘has the blueprint’ to win
Very few players know how to win quite like James. He has been to nine of the last 11 NBA Finals and has four championships to show for it. Rajon Rondo recognized this when discussing the Lakers’ championship chances this year.
“He knows what it takes and the caliber of players you need on a team, along with himself, to win championships. So he’s done it, he’s probably the best in our era that’s done it, and I also feel like I have the blueprint as well.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!