The yearly survey of NBA GM's was released today, and naturally, the Heat and Lakers dominated many of the answers. It makes sense, because those are the two teams that will probably be playing for the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June, with the Thunder being the next most likely.
As for the Bulls, they do show up in several of the questions, with them taking the crown for best defensive team in the NBA. The Bulls got 40.0 percent of the vote in that category, with the Heat and the Celtics following in second and third. In a similar vein, Tom Thibodeau was voted to have the best defensive schemes in the league, taking home 70 percent of the votes in that category. Thibs also got some votes for making the best in-game adjustments, but curiously, he did not receive any for being the best coach in the NBA. Somehow, Erik Spoelstra did. Baffling.
Derrick Rose showed up on the survey in multiple categories. Rose was voted second-best point guard to Chris Paul, second to Russell Westbrook in speed with the ball, and third behind LeBron James and Westbrook in being the most dangerous in the open court. Rose also got votes for being a player that forces other coaches to make the most adjustments. I'd say all pretty fair rankings, especially considering the injury.
Other Bulls showing up were Richard Hamilton (second in best with moving without the ball), Luol Deng (received votes for best with moving without the ball), Taj Gibson (votes in most likely to have a breakout season) and Ron Adams (votes in best assistant coach). Future Bull Nikola Mirotic also got in on the action, as he was voted second-best international player not currently in the NBA.
One glaring omission, at least to me, is the fact that Joakim Noah was not included in the best offensive rebounders list. According to Hoopdata, Noah was fourth in the NBA in offensive rebound rate last season for guys who played over 25 minutes per game.
Finally, 80 percent of the GM's selected the Pacers to win the Central. The Bulls received the other 20 percent. It would not shock me one bit if the Bulls pulled out the division, but I understand why so many would vote Pacers.