Every year, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann conducts a survey of all 30 NBA GMs that features questions about the upcoming season. The description of the 2016-17 survey:
The GMs responded to 48 different questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans, and offseason moves. General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to that particular question, rather than all 30 GMs.
Unsurprisingly, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers dominate much of this year’s survey. Both teams are loaded with star talent and are overwhelming favorites to reach the NBA Finals for a third straight season.
But how did the Bulls fare?
Also unsurprisingly, not all that well. We’ve already seen plenty of negative projections for the new-look Bulls, and the league’s GMs also don’t seem to think Chicago will be all that good this season. While the Bulls did get 3.6 percent of the vote for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, they finished ninth overall in the East rankings, just outside the playoffs and behind teams like the Pistons, Hawks, Hornets and Wizards. The Cavaliers, Raptors, Celtics and Pacers made up the top four.
There weren’t too many other Bulls appearances throughout the rest of the survey. Dwyane Wade got votes in a few categories, including 43.3 percent of the vote for most surprising move of the offseason, behind only Kevin Durant’s decision to head to Golden State. Wade also got 3.3 percent of the vote for best shooting guard...which is kind of stunning. He also received votes for best leader and best player moving without the ball.
As for other Bulls, Jimmy Butler (best perimeter defender, toughest player), Rajon Rondo (best passer) and Denzel Valentine (biggest draft steal) received some votes, but none of them finished in the top three of those respective categories.
So, yeah, nothing too exciting to see here. People don’t expect much out of the Bulls this year, and while I don’t blame them, I still do expect to see this team make the playoffs.