NBA GM Survey: Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Lakers relatively absent in 2023-24 season

For the past 22 years, before the start of each NBA season, the league’s general managers have polled on a variety of issues to predict the upcoming season. The 22nd edition of the GM survey was released this week in preparation for the start of the 2023-24 campaign. At first glance, it looks like Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and the Los Angeles Lakers have some Billboard material.

The Lakers — and Davis in particular — have been relatively absent from the investigation. There are some glaring omissions — like Davis’ inclusion as a “concurrent vote-getter” for NBA Defensive Player of the Year — and some less obvious but still noteworthy issues.

While the league’s general managers do believe the Lakers will be a formidable team and potential contender, it’s clear from the survey that the league’s top decision-makers believe Los Angeles is behind the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks Teams like the Bucks and Boston Celtics.

Here, we’ll break down every category the Lakers are involved in and explore some possible snubs for Davis and the Lakers as a whole.

2023-24 NBA General Manager Survey Results

Finals and standings predictions

When polled, no general manager believed the Lakers would win the 2023-24 NBA championship. The Celtics and Nuggets each received 33% of the vote, with the Bucks receiving 23%, the Phoenix Suns 7%, and the Los Angeles Clippers (the biggest surprise) 3%.

If all 30 general managers responded, the Celtics and Nuggets would have 10 each, the Bucks seven, the Suns two, and the Clippers one.

The general manager expects the Lakers to finish third in the Western Conference standings, behind favorites the Nuggets and Suns.

Player Category

Davis is listed in the “simultaneous vote” category as the favorite to win MVP. Nikola Jokic (43%) stands out in this category, while Giannis Antetokounmpo (20%) and Jayson Tatum (13%) are also well represented.

No Lakers players were listed in two major categories, including “If you were building a team today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would you draft?” and “Which player forces opposing coaches to make a decision?” The most adjustments?”

LeBron James ranks fourth among the NBA’s best small forwards (13%), behind Tatum (47%), Kevin Durant (20%) and Luka Doncic (17%) ). Davis received no votes in the center or power forward categories, which is a huge snub for a perennial All-NBA talent.

offseason transfers

The Lakers ranked fourth in the best offseason moves category (13%), which is a slight show of respect for the work Rob Pelinka has done in the offseason. The Celtics and Bucks (23%) tied for the top spot in the same trade that sent Damian Lillard to Milwaukee and Jrue Holiday to Boston.

Gabe Vincent received the Most Underrated Acquisition vote, an award won by the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade that landed them veteran guard Marcus Smart. Los Angeles also received votes for Most Improved Team, with the Oklahoma City Thunder unsurprisingly winning the award.

Los Angeles does not have any representatives in the Rookie and International categories.


The defensive category is arguably the Lakers’ biggest snub, as Davis is surprisingly absent from most categories despite being an elite defender in all phases. Davis also received votes for NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

The players who received the majority of votes were Antetokounmpo (40%), Holiday (13%), Draymond Green (10%), Smart (10%), Jaren Jackson Jr. (7%) and Kawhi Leonard (7%).

Davis is tied with Green (13%) for fourth among the best interior defenders, behind Jackson (30%), Rudy Gobert (17%) and Brook Lopez (17%). Davis was completely absent from the Most Versatile Guard selection, but the Lakers also received votes for the All-Defensive Team. The Celtics (47%) won the award convincingly.

The Lakers coaching staff has zero representation of any kind in the coaching category.

Different kinds

The Lakers got votes, but they weren’t one of the major teams in the most interesting team category. The Nuggets (30%) won. The Lakers didn’t get any recognition for having the best home-court advantage and most efficient offense.

They received the most unpredictable votes, and considering James Harden’s current situation, the Philadelphia 76ers deserved to win this award.

James ranks third among the best passers (7%) behind Jokic (67%) and Luka Doncic (17%). He ranked first for best leader (27%) and second for most versatile (28%) and highest IQ (33%).

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