Every year NBA.com surveys the general managers of each team to get an idea of how the NBA's key decision makers view the league. Most times, these surveys come and go and there isn't much to talk about with the Wizards, but thanks to last year's playoff run, things have changed. Here's what we can conclude about how NBA GMs feel about this year's Wizards, based on the survey.
GMs think the Wizards are the third best team in the Eastern Conference
The Wizards received one vote (3.7 percent) from GMs when asked who will win the Eastern Conference. They were the only team to receive a vote other than the Cavaliers (70.4 percent) and Bulls (25.9 percent). If we had to guess, the lone vote for the Wizards winning the East probably came from Chicago, since they can't vote for themselves and because of this.
Additionally, the Wizards were voted as the clear favorites to win the Southeast Division, racking up 59.3 percent of the vote, ahead of Miami (29.6 percent), Atlanta (7.4 percent) and Charlotte (3.7 percent). While it's a little troubling to see that it's a four-team race for the top spot, at least the Wizards appear to have established themselves as the team to be beat.
GMs are starting to come around on John Wall (a little bit)
Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose all received votes for being the best point guard in the game, but no one gave a vote to John Wall. So while he still has some work to do on that front, he's getting more respect in other areas. He tied Russell Westbrook for "Which player is the fastest with the ball?" and received at least one vote for "Which player is the most dangerous in the open floor?"
Oddly, the player who led the NBA in total assists didn't receive a single vote for "Which player is the best passer?"
GMs really like Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal's breakout performance in the playoffs left quite an impression on the NBA. He finished second in voting for "Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2014-15?" trailing only Anthony Davis and beating out Andre Drummond. He also received a vote for "Which player is best at moving without the ball?"
Don Newman might be on some head coaching short lists soon
When GMs were surveyed on "Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?" at least one GM put down Wizards assistant coach Don Newman's name. Since we know the vote couldn't have come from Ernie Grunfeld, odds are, it came from someone he had ties with back in his days under Gregg Poppovich with the Spurs. Even if the vote didn't come from the Spurs, with the way Spurs executives have been hired away to other teams, there's a growing web of teams that are familiar with his coaching style. If the Wizards continue to improve, it won't take long for him to start being mentioned as a candidate somewhere.