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Knicks get some love in the 22nd Annual NBA GM Survey

Nobody trust a GM, but surveys are clickbait!

2023 NBA Summer League All-Access Photo by Tom O’Connor/NBAE via Getty Images

The offseason is gone, the preseason is ongoing, the regular season is coming, and the sweet spot we find ourselves at right in this very moment is the unveiling of the 22nd NBA GM Survey, which the Association published on Tuesday, Oct. 10 to everybody’s delight.

It’s been more than two decades years and thus more than 20 such surveys hitting daylight in the free world, so you must already know the drill.

If you don’t, however, fear nothing as here is a quick explainer: the NBA sends a bunch of letters (emails now, maybe, I haven’t confirmed it) to all of the 30 franchises’ headquarters gently asking their GMs for answers. They can submit as many responses to the 50 questions included in the list as they please, but they must follow one rule: they are not allowed to vote for members of their team, nor for the franchise in team-related questions. That’s it, that’s how this works.

Following those guidelines and after having put together all answers and tallied the votes arranging them in the aforementioned 50 questions, here are all New York Knicks’ mentions for the 2023/24 season.

Eastern Conference Standings

The Knicks ended up ranked fifth overall in the East standings getting no votes for either a first or second-place finish, 17% of all votes placing them in third place, and the largest bunch of GMs (33%) voting them to finish in fourth position among Eastern Conference teams this season.

The combination of all votes received by the Knicks and other franchises moved them down to fifth below the Celtics, Bucks, Cavs, and 76ers in that order, and right above the Heat in sixth.

Head Coach with the Best Defensive Schemes

1. Erik Spoelstra, Miami – 40%
T-2. Taylor Jenkins, Memphis – 13%
T-2. Tom Thibodeau, New York – 13%

Thibs gets the second-most votes, tied with Grizzlies’ head coach Taylor Jenkins as two of the top 3 defensive coaches in the NBA entering the 2024 campaign.

It’s worth noting that Spoelstra got the no. 1 spot in this category as well as getting named the absolute best coach in the Association all things considered.

Best Assistant Coach

1. Jordi Fernandez, Sacramento – 31%
T-2. Terry Stotts, Milwaukee – 10%
T-2. Kevin Young, Phoenix – 10%
T-4. Sam Cassell, Boston – 7%
T-4. Charles Lee, Boston – 7%

Also receiving votes: David Adelman, Denver; Kenny Atkinson, Golden State; Chris DeMarco, Golden State; Darren Erman, New York; David Fizdale, Phoenix; Royal Ivey, Houston; Alex Jensen, Dallas; Chris Quinn, Miami; Jay Triano, Sacramento; Will Weaver, Brooklyn

Knicks’ AC Darren Erman didn’t crack the top five here although this was a fairly spread voting judging by the two ties (at seven and 10 percent respectively) featuring among those listed atop the ranks. There were as many as 15 men receiving votes here and 30 GMs voting (assuming all did), so the difference between ranking anywhere from no. 2 (three votes) to no. 15 is neglectable. Kudos to Erman!

Best Future Head Coach (currently active as a player)

1. Chris Paul, Golden State – 20%
T-2. Mike Conley, Minnesota – 13%
T-2. Garrett Temple, Toronto – 13%
4. T.J. McConnell, Indiana – 10%
T-5. Jrue Holiday, Boston – 7%
T-5. Fred VanVleet, Houston – 7%

Also receiving votes: Jose Alvarado, New Orleans; Desmond Bane, Memphis; Jalen Brunson, New York; Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana; Nikola Jokic, Denver; Tyus Jones, Washington; Patty Mills, Atlanta; Monte Morris, Detroit; Grant Williams, Dallas

Chris Paul won this category last year already but he did so getting 32 percent of all votes instead of only 20 percent. The Knicks seemingly employ a future sideline-maven in Brunson, who received votes from GMs across the league as he’s seen as a great prospective head coach.

Best Home-court Advantage

1. Denver Nuggets – 37%
2. Golden State Warriors – 17%
3. Sacramento Kings – 13%
4. Utah Jazz – 10%
T-5. Boston Celtics – 7%
T-5. New York Knicks – 7%
T-5. Toronto Raptors – 7%
8. Philadelphia 76ers – 3%

This question is presented as is, without getting into details about what makes this or that arena/city/franchise better than others. Could be the altitude (looking at you, Denver), could be the fanbase (looking at us, New Yorkers), could be the court design (definitely not looking at you, Utah)...

Anyway, MSG will always be no. 1 in my heart.

Best Leader

1. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers – 27%
2. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 23%
3. Nikola Jokic, Denver – 17%
T-4. Jimmy Butler, Miami – 7%
T-4. Damian Lillard, Milwaukee – 7%
T-4. Chris Paul, Golden State – 7%

Also receiving votes: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Jalen Brunson, New York; Draymond Green, Golden State; Jrue Holiday, Boston

Another category in which Brunson makes an appearance, and it makes all of the sense after leading the Knicks to the deepest round in the postseason they have reached in a gazillion years. Interestingly, Brunson is also the youngest player among those receiving votes here—12 years younger than LeBron!

Lest Trustworthy GM

T1. All 30 NBA General Managers – 3%

Word is bond. No, it’s really not.

Best international player not in the NBA

1. Nikola Mirotic – 37%
2. Edy Tavares – 27%
3. Alex Sarr – 13%
4. Dzanan Musa – 10%
5. Willy Hernangomez – 7%

Also receiving votes: Juancho Hernangomez, Rokas Jokubaitis

The final category featuring a semi-New York Knick had nothing to do with the NBA. GMs were asked to vote for the best international player doing it overseas and while the top two players were fairly predictable, the little nugget buried in the last line was a pleasing one to find.

Jokubaitis, who entered the NBA in 2021 by way of Oklahoma City before getting traded to New York on draft night, is still plying his trade in Spain as a member of Barcelona of the Liga ACB and Euroleague.

Rokas played with the Knicks Summer League squad the year he got drafted but he has yet to return to America. Last July, Stefan Bondy of the New York Post reached out to Jokubaitis’ agent and was told the guard wouldn’t play for the Knicks in the summer because of international commitments—he was called up by Latvia for the FIBA World Cup—and that he wouldn’t be joining the NBA roster either as “there is no room” for him in it.

Now, go hit the comments section below to point out who got snubbed from those and other categories in the GM Survey and also let all folks know why it is not understandable to have the C’s and the B’s ranked above the Knicks in the East.