The annual general manager survey from the NBA was released on Wednesday and Lakers fans have plenty to be happy about.
62 percent of NBA GM’s (or their interns who are forced to respond to the survey) predicted that Lakers’ point guard Lonzo Ball will win Rookie of the Year. Given his NBA-ready tools and the heavy minutes he will play in LA, it’s no surprise that the second overall pick is one of the favorites to win the coveted award. Ball won the vote by a huge margin as Ben Simmons was picked second with only 24 percent of the vote.
When asked which rookie will have the best career, 14 percent of NBA GM’s chose Ball, tying him with Simmons for fourth. Josh Jackson was the favorite with 24 percent of the vote.
Ball was also given plenty of consideration in a survey of the rookie class.
Ball was not the only Lakers rookie to interest other GM’s, however. Kyle Kuzma received 22 percent of the vote in the “Who will be the biggest steal of the draft?” category, placing him second behind Mavs rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. Kuzma has become a fan favorite after lighting up the Las Vegas Summer League with his hot shooting and continuing that surprise skill during the first two preseason games.
Josh Hart also received votes in the biggest steal question.
The Lakers were also mentioned as one of the teams likely to improve the most. Free agent signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope received votes as the most underrated player acquisition as well as the player most likely to have a breakout year. Brandon Ingram also received consideration as a breakout candidate.