The NBA GM Survey is one that often gets over-hyped annually at this time of the year, mainly due to everyone looking ahead to the new year and looking for any reason to talk about the upcoming season. More often than not, the survey is just that — a survey of what GM’s think might happen during the new year and what their takeaways are from the offseason that just concluded.
With that said, some interesting things typically come out of the survey of league executives, and that is the case once again with the 2022-23 edition. Notably when it comes to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who received some love and recognition throughout the survey after coming off a successful 2021-22 campaign that saw a return to the playoffs and a re-ignition of life and energy within the organization and its fan base.
Overall, league executives agree with what many believe after the Wolves experienced one of the busiest offseasons since the Jimmy Butler trade — Minnesota should be a good team. But just how high do they believe the Timberwolves can fly? And what other Wolves-related nuggets were also noted in the annual survey?
Let’s look at some key takeaways from the survey for the Wolves.
As for how front offices in the NBA view Minnesota this year, they believe the Wolves will continue to improve after a busy offseason.
Minnesota came in tied with the Dallas Mavericks for sixth in the Western Conference standings, according to executives. Minnesota received 3% of third-place votes and 7% of fourth-place votes.
For a team viewed to have made the best offseason moves, the Wolves tied for second with 17%of votes, coming in behind the Cleveland Cavaliers at 41%.
GM’s also believe Minnesota will be one of the most improved teams from 2021-22, earning 10% of the votes in that category which was headlined by the Los Angeles Clippers with 41% of votes.
When it comes to player-specific recognition in the survey, the Wolves were well-represented in various categories. Here are some of the highlights:
- Rudy Gobert was viewed as the most surprising move of the offseason, grabbing 47% of votes while edging Mitchell in second (43%).
- Gobert was the clear front-runner for the best interior defender in the NBA, earning an impressive 83% of GM votes.
- The Stifle Tower was voted as the second-best acquisition in the NBA that will make the biggest impact on a new team, ranking second (31% of votes) behind Donovan Mitchell (59%), who is now in Cleveland.
- When it comes to the best defensive player in the league, Gobert also appeared on that list, coming in third with 10% of votes. The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo remained atop that list (48%) for the second straight season.
- Anthony Edwards came in tied for second for the player most likely to have a breakout season in 2022-23, receiving 17% of the votes. Gobert also received some votes among GM’s.
- Edwards also ranked third for which player is the most athletic in the NBA, receiving 21% of votes behind the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant (38%) in first and Antetokounmpo (31%) in second.
- Wolves head coach Chris Finch received some love from league executives, coming in second (14% of votes) for which coach runs the best offense. The Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr topped that category with 62% of votes.
Although you have to take the annual GM Survey with a grain of salt since it’s simply just a polling of how front offices believe the offseason went and how they believe things will go in the upcoming year.
Regardless, GM’s throughout the NBA believe the Wolves will continue to build upon a successful 2021-22 campaign, and like the steps taken by the team in general as well as the talent on the roster this season.
How will all of that play out? Well, we’re about to soon find out.