Patrick Williams, Billy Donovan represent Bulls in annual NBA GM survey

Rob Schaefer
·3 min read

Williams, Donovan represent Bulls in annual GM survey originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The NBA's annual GM survey is out, and the Bulls were lightly represented.

That's unsurprising given the team's track record over the past three seasons. But on a few subjects, familiar names shone through. Here are the highlights:

Billy Donovan

The Bulls' new head coach, who Artūras Karnišovas pivoted hard to pursue after Donovan and the Oklahoma City Thunder parted ways at the expiration of his contract, appeared on more ballots than any Bulls player.

In the category for "new or relocated head coach" most likely to make an impact on their new team, Donovan tied with the New York Knicks' Tom Thibodeau for fifth with eight percent of the vote. Steve Nash (Brooklyn Nets, 28 percent), Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers, 24 percent), Ty Lue (Los Angeles Clippers, 16 percent) and Stan Van Gundy (16 percent, New Orleans Pelicans) all finished in front of them.

Donovan joined Thibodeau and the Los Angeles Lakers' Frank Vogel in the "also received votes" category in the head coach that best manages and motivates their players category. Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat, 32 percent), Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs, 21 percent), Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors, 18 percent), Doc Rivers (76ers, 11 percent) and Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets, seven percent) populated the top five.

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Patrick Williams

The rook has spent training camp and the preseason turning heads for his assured demeanor off the court and steady, spark-filled play on it. Executives around the league are taking notice.

Though Williams did not receive a vote in the most likely to win Rookie of the Year category, he garnered the fourth-highest share of the vote (11 percent) in the question: "Which rookie will be the best player in five years?" James Wiseman (36 percent), LaMelo Ball (25 percent) and Anthony Edwards (14 percent) -- the three players selected ahead of Williams in the 2020 draft -- were the only first-years to place higher. Isaac Okoro (seven percent) finished fifth, which was also his draft slot. Onyeka Okongwu and Obi Toppin also received votes.

Lauri Markkanen, along with a hoard of others, earned the "also received votes" distinction in the player most likely to have a breakout 2020-21 campaign category. Garrett Temple, with seven percent of the vote, tied the Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem for third in the active player that will one day make the best head coach category. Chris Paul (36 percent) and Rajon Rondo (29 percent) finished ahead of them.

The Bulls did not receive a vote for "most promising young core." The top six there: Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks.

Other highlights

Jimmy Butler (14 percent) tied with Marcus Smart for fourth in the toughest player in the NBA vote, finished fourth -- on his own -- with seven percent of the best shooting guard in the NBA vote, and "also received votes" for best defensive player in the NBA.

The Lakers were picked by 81 percent of GMs to repeat as champions, the third-highest consensus for an NBA title pick in the survey's history, trailing only the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18 (93 percent) and 2018-19 (87 percent). Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Dončić led the way in MVP and the best player to start a franchise around voting. LeBron James was voted the league's best small forward, passer and most versatile player, in addition to placing in the MVP and best point guard and power forward votes.

Find the full survey here.

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OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Chicago
--1.5O 224.5
Oklahoma City
-+1.5U 224.5