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What NBA GMs are saying about Luka Doncic and the Mavericks

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Take a peek behind the curtain.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

NBA.com has released it’s newest rendition of the annual general manager survey. The purpose is to anonymously poll the brightest minds in the game and gather opinions on championship favorites, MVP candidates and offseason winners. With the Mavericks recently getting themselves back in the playoffs, they’ve gained plenty of attention from front offices.

Dallas voted fourth in the Western Conference standings

The GMs had to rank the top four teams in the Western Conference and the Mavericks didn’t receive a single vote for first place. The Lakers are at the top, with the Clippers, Nuggets and Mavericks behind them in that order. The Mavericks received 4% of votes for second place, 11% of votes for third, and 33% for fourth. Rounding out the rest of the top eight Western Conference teams are Portland, Utah, Golden State and Phoenix.

Luka Doncic receives 21% of votes for MVP Winner

The NBA’s brass goes against Vegas and doesn’t pick Doncic as the most likely MVP winner. Instead, 32% of GMs voted for Giannis Antetokounmpo to win three straight MVPs. There hasn’t been a three-peat MVP since Larry Bird did in 1983-1986. With media voting being a bit unpredictable, it’s tough to see Antetokounmpo winning three straight unless he posts a truly dominant season.

Doncic ties for hypothetical franchise cornerstone

When asked “If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?”, the GMs couldn’t make up their minds. Instead, Antetokounmpo and Doncic each received 43% of the votes. Last season, Giannis received 86% of the votes, so it’s safe to say Doncic is capturing the league’s attention quickly. 35 year old LeBron James also received votes, which was interesting to me (I see you Pelinka).

Luka’s positionless play causes scatters voting

What position do you think Doncic plays? If you have a hard time answering that, you’re not alone. 19% of GMs voted Doncic as the league’s best point guard (the position I would label him as), placing him third behind Steph Curry and Damian Lillard. But, Doncic also received 11% of votes for best shooting guard, putting him in a tie for second with Bradley Beal. It doesn’t end there, he also received some votes as the best small forward. As basketball continues to trend toward positionless play, Doncic is proving to be one of the pioneers.

The Josh Richard-Seth Curry trade gains attention

When asked about which player acquisition was the most underrated, 6% of voters said Philadelphia’s addition of Seth Curry. That made Curry the fourth-most underrated move according to voters. Josh Richard also received votes, but not as many as Curry. Personally, I believe the Mavericks were the winners of the trade as they got a much better two-way player. The Sixers desperately needed shooting to space the floor, so that could be the angle this is being viewed from.

Rick Carlisle’s infamous adjustments receive praise

According to the survey, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is the second best in-game adjustment maker in the league. He received 19% of the votes, putting him just behind the Heat’s Erik Spoelstra who received 26%. Carlisle also received some votes for best overall head coach in the league.

Mavericks’ young core not too exciting

The Mavericks young core — headlined by Doncic, an All-NBA First Team member, and former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis — ranked as only the sixth most promising in the NBA. The Pelicans received 41% of the votes, by far the most. The Grizzlies can in second with 22%, while the Hawks, Celtics and Nuggets shared a three-way tie for third place.

Doncic’s clutch offense not causing worries

When NBA GMs were asked who they would want taking a shot with the game on the line, 11% chose Doncic. It’s a bit surprising given that Doncic shot just 36.1% from the field in clutch situations last season, and just 7-41 (17.1%) on clutch-time three-point attempts. Still, it’s clear Doncic possesses the “it” factor, so you have to imagine it’s only a matter of time before these shots start falling. The favorite answer to this question was, of course, Dame Time Lillard.

If you’d like to read the report in it’s entirety, I will link it here again.