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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Ben DuBose

NBA GM survey: After 2023 offseason, Rockets viewed more favorably by rival execs

Each year, NBA general managers respond to 50 questions from about the best teams, players, coaches, and offseason moves. Respondents cannot vote for their own team or personnel.

After a busy 2023 offseason, which included hiring Ime Udoka as head coach, drafting Amen Thompson at No. 4 overall in the first round, and signing veteran free agents such as Fred VanVleet, the Houston Rockets received higher marks than previous years.

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Here’s a look at the 2023-24 version of the annual GM survey, with information pulled below on questions where the Rockets or a Houston player received votes. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to that particular question, rather than all 30 GMs.

Because respondents cannot vote for their own team, none of the Houston votes came from Rockets general manager Rafael Stone.

Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2023-24?

  • 1. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota: 23%
  • 2. Cade Cunningham, Detroit: 20%
  • 3. Franz Wagner, Orlando: 13%
  • T-4. Paolo Banchero, Orlando: 7%
  • T-4. Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Desmond Bane, Memphis; Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn; Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana; Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City; Kyrie Irving, Dallas; Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota; Evan Mobley, Cleveland; Alperen Sengun, Houston; Zion Williamson, New Orleans

Which team made the best overall moves this offseason?

  • T-1. Boston Celtics:  23%
  • T-1. Milwaukee Bucks: 23%
  • 3. Portland Trail Blazers: 17%
  • 4. Los Angeles Lakers: 13%
  • T-5. Dallas Mavericks: 7%
  • T-5. Houston Rockets: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns

Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact?

  • 1. Damian Lillard, Milwaukee: 47%
  • 2. Jrue Holiday, Boston: 13%
  • 3. Bradley Beal, Phoenix: 10%
  • T-4. Kristaps Porzingis, Boston: 7%
  • T-4. Fred VanVleet, Houston: 7%
  • T-4. Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Dillon Brooks, Houston; Jusuf Nurkic, Phoenix; Marcus Smart, Memphis

What was the most underrated player acquisition?

  • 1. Marcus Smart, Memphis: 17%
  • 2. Grant Williams, Dallas: 14%
  • T-3. Dillon Brooks, Houston: 7%
  • T-3. Bruce Brown, Indiana : 7%
  • T-3. Jusuf Nurkic, Phoenix: 7%
  • T-3. Max Strus, Cleveland: 7%
  • T-3. Fred VanVleet, Houston: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Deandre Ayton, Portland; Miles Bridges, Charlotte; Jrue Holiday, Boston; Tyus Jones, Washington; Jordan Poole, Washington; Kristaps Porzingis, Boston; Dennis Schroder, Toronto; Obi Toppin, Indiana; Sasha Vezenkov, Sacramento; Gabe Vincent, Los Angeles Lakers

Which team will be most improved in 2023-24?

  • 1. Oklahoma City Thunder: 30%
  • 2. Houston Rockets: 23%
  • T-3. Dallas Mavericks: 10%
  • T-3. Detroit Pistons: 10%
  • T-3. Orlando Magic: 10%
  • Also receiving votes: Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Utah Jazz

What was the most surprising move of the offseason?

  • 1. Holiday/Lillard trade: 43%
  • 2. Smart/Porzingis trade: 20%
  • 3. Chris Paul to Golden State: 17%
  • T-4. Bradley Beal to Phoenix: 7%
  • T-4. Bruce Brown to Indiana: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Fred VanVleet to Houston, Grant Williams to Dallas

Which rookie will be the best player in five years?

  • 1. Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio: 90%
  • Also receiving votes: Scoot Henderson, Portland; Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City; Amen Thompson, Houston

Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft?

  • 1. Cam Whitmore (No. 20 overall), Houston: 43%
  • T-2. Keyonte George (No. 16), Utah: 10%
  • T-2. Scoot Henderson (No. 3), Portland: 10%
  • T-2. Jaime Jaquez Jr. (No. 18), Miami: 10%
  • 5. Brandin Podziemski (No. 19), Golden State: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Emoni Bates (No. 49), Cleveland; Leonard Miller (No. 33), Minnesota; Marcus Sasser (No. 25), Detroit; Brice Sensabaugh (No. 28), Utah; Ausar Thompson (No. 5), Detroit; Jordan Walsh (No. 38), Boston

Who is the most versatile defender in the NBA?

  • 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee: 37%
  • 2. Draymond Green, Golden State: 23%
  • 3. Bam Adebayo, Miami: 13%
  • T-4. Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn: 7%
  • T-4. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Dillon Brooks, Houston; Paul George, LA Clippers; Aaron Gordon, Denver; Marcus Smart, Memphis

Which new or relocated head coach will make the biggest impact on his new team?

  • 1. Ime Udoka, Houston: 57%
  • 2. Monty Williams, Detroit: 17%
  • 3. Frank Vogel, Phoenix: 13%
  • T-4. Adrian Griffin, Milwaukee: 7%
  • T-4. Darko Rajakovic, Toronto: 7%

Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?

  • 1. Jordi Fernandez, Sacramento: 31%
  • T-2. Terry Stotts, Milwaukee: 10%
  • T-2. Kevin Young, Phoenix: 10%
  • T-4. Sam Cassell, Boston: 7%
  • T-4. Charles Lee, Boston: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: David Adelman, Denver; Kenny Atkinson, Golden State; Chris DeMarco, Golden State; Darren Erman, New York; David Fizdale, Phoenix; Royal Ivey, Houston; Alex Jensen, Dallas; Chris Quinn, Miami; Jay Triano, Sacramento; Will Weaver, Brooklyn

Which active player will make the best head coach someday?

  • 1. Chris Paul, Golden State: 20%
  • T-2. Mike Conley, Minnesota: 13%
  • T-2. Garrett Temple, Toronto: 13%
  • 4. T.J. McConnell, Indiana: 10%
  • T-5. Jrue Holiday, Boston: 7%
  • T-5. Fred VanVleet, Houston: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Jose Alvarado, New Orleans; Desmond Bane, Memphis; Jalen Brunson, New York; Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana; Nikola Jokic, Denver; Tyus Jones, Washington; Patty Mills, Atlanta; Monte Morris, Detroit; Grant Williams, Dallas

Which team has the most promising young core?

  • 1. Oklahoma City Thunder – 73%
  • 2. Cleveland Cavaliers – 10%
  • 3. Orlando Magic – 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers

Which player is the most athletic?

  • 1. Ja Morant, Memphis: 34%
  • 2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee: 28%
  • 3. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota: 24%
  • 4. Zion Williamson, New Orleans: 7%
  • Also receiving votes: Jalen Green, Houston; Shaedon Sharpe, Portland
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