NBA GM Survey: Jahlil Okafor to Win Rookie of the Year
NBA.com released their annual GM survey, where they asked general managers from around the league to answer a wide range of questions.
While the Sixers, predictably, did not factor into the championship or Most Valuable Player portion of the poll results, the Sixers were well-represented when looking towards the future.
Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor was the favorite to take home Rookie of the Year honors, with 44.8% of the GM’s voting for him. His closest competition came from Karl-Anthony Towns, who received 34.5% of the vote. Towns went #1 overall in the draft.
While Okafor was the favorite to win the award, the results were actually fairly close. 44.8% is the lowest share of the votes a favorite has received in the last six years of survey results, with Jabari Parker (75%), Victor Oladipo (80%), Anthony Davis (76.7%), Kyrie Irving (63%), and John Wall (67.9%) all receiving a higher percentage of the preseason votes in their respective rookie seasons.
Despite selecting Okafor as the favorite to win Rookie of the Year, the league’s GM’s overwhelmingly thought Karl-Anthony Towns was the better long-term prospect, as Towns received 62.1% of the vote in that category. Okafor finished in a three-way tie for second in that category along with Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell, with all receiving 10.3% of the votes.
Okafor, selected by the Sixers at 3rd overall, also received a vote for being the biggest steal in the draft.
Dario Saric, selected by the 76ers 12th overall in the 2014 draft, was voted as the best international player not in the NBA. Saric, who received 28.6% of the votes, just edged out Milos Teodosic’s 21.4%. Saric was at the top of this list last year as well, as his 32% of the vote put him in a tie with Rudy Fernandez.
Finally, Sixers head coach Brett Brown was represented in the survey, as he received a vote for ‘Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people’.
Sixers second year big man Nerlens Noel did not get a vote for either best defensive player or best interior defender.
The survey shouldn’t be looked at as more than a fun exercise, and certainly not something to validate any draft picks, trades, or signings. GM’s have only predicted the Rookie of the Year winner correctly once in the past five preseason surveys, only one GM picked the Warriors to win the title last year, and only two GM’s predicted the Spurs to win the title the previous season.
Predicting the NBA, it turns out, is difficult.