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NBA GMs Pick LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the Top Franchise Players

NBA.com released its GM survey results Tuesday and the data is highly amusing. GMs predict that the Heat will beat the Thunder in the Finals. They have Kevin Durant winning regular season MVP over LeBron James. They’re high on Gregg Popovich as a coach, Dwight Howard as a big man and defender, and the Clippers’ offseason. They’re also big on Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio, and Raptors draft pick Jonas Valanciunas. I encourage you to read the entire survey if you’re a basketball fan, but the one item I thought was most noteworthy concerned the franchise player question.

If you were starting a franchise and could sign any player, who would it be?

    T1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City — 37.0%
    T1. LeBron James, Miami — 37.0%

    3. Derrick Rose, Chicago — 14.8%
    4. Dwight Howard, Orlando — 7.4%
    5. Dwyane Wade, Miami — 3.7%

Kevin Durant was number one on the list last season at 55.6%, so either he or LeBron did something to narrow the gap. Maybe it’s that Durant lost in the Conference Finals while the Heat reached the Finals. Or maybe GMs were holding something against LeBron for leaving Cleveland.

Even though James is three years older than Durant, I’d still choose him as my franchise player. He is the best all-around player in the league, and he has a good shot at winning his first title.


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