Ask any NBA general managers, the Oklahoma City Thunder is a popular pick.
The annual polling of the league’s general managers was released Tuesday and there were some interesting findings.
Here are some of the highlights:
• The Thunder were picked by 36.7 percent to win the Western Conference. The Spurs came in first at 40 percent.
• The Thunder were picked by 96.6 percent to win the Northwest Division, up from 86.7 percent last year.
• Kevin Durant was picked by 24.1 percent to win the league’s MVP. LeBron James of Miami was picked by 69 percent.
• Guard Reggie Jackson was picked by 6.9 percent to most likely have a breakout season. Anthony Davis of New Orelans was the top pick at 27.8 percent.
• Oddly, the Thunder received votes for the team which made the best overall moves in the offseason. Oklahoma City signed Derek Fisher and Ryan Gomes, but lost guard Kevin Martin to free agency.
• Apparently at least one GM voted for Andre Roberson to win rookie of the year. • Center Steven Adams was ranked as the fourth-best steal of the draft. Boston’s Kelly Olynyk was the top pick.
• Serge Ibaka got votes for being the best defensive player in the league and the Thunder received votes for being the best defensive team in the league. Chicago was the pick by 43 percent of general managers as the best defensive team.
• Greg Popovich was the top pick for best manager/motivator. Scott Brooks of the Thunder also received votes.
• Derek Fisher was named by 13.8 percent as the active player who will make the best coach in the future. Chauncey Billups of Detroit was the top pick. Chris Paul and Shane Battier were also ahead of Fisher.
• Oklahoma City, behind Golden State and the Clippers, was named the most-fun team to watch.
• The Thunder fans got some love. OKC was named the team with the best home court advantage.
• Russell Westbrook was picked as the second-most athletic player in the league behind LeBron James.
• Kevin Durant was picked over Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James as the player you would most want to take a shot with the game on the line.