Bulls Notes From The 2015-16 NBA GM Survey


NBA.com’s John Schuhmann conducts a survey each season with all 30 NBA general managers and asks them questions about the entire league. Everything from “the best perimeter defender” to “the team most likely to win it all” is on the survey. How did the Chicago Bulls fare on the survey?

When the NBA.com general manager survey is released to the public, you know that the regular season won’t be far behind. Since before the 2006-07 season, a survey has been conducted by NBA.com on various topics throughout the NBA.

For the 2015-16 season survey, NBA.com writer John Schuhmann asked all 30 general managers in the NBA a survey of 51 questions about a number of topics around the game. How did the Chicago Bulls fare in Schuhmann’s survey? Let’s take a look at the results.

Bulls picked to finish second in the East

Screenshot via NBA.com

It’s not shocking that the overwhelming consensus of the NBA GMs think that the Cleveland Cavaliers will take the top seed in the Eastern Conference and win in for the second consecutive season. The Cavs knocked out the Bulls in the second round, then swept the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals last year.

ALSO AT PIPPEN AIN’T EASY: In-Depth Look at the Bulls and Cavaliers Rosters

But, GMs still have confidence in the Bulls to utilize their talent and finish right behind Cleveland as the East’s second-best team. This was an interesting development, as Miami will join the fray in the East if they’re healthy, Washington is still young and talented, and Atlanta is coming off a 60-win season last year.

Bobby Portis finished second behind Miami’s Justise Winslow as the “Biggest Steal of the NBA Draft”

Screenshot via NBA.com

Bobby Portis falling to No. 22 in the 2015 NBA Draft could be one of the best things that’s ever happened to the Chicago Bulls as a franchise. There’s a reason why Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg has said that he and the Bulls front office were “shocked” that Portis was still on the board in the early 20s of this past draft.

Portis was not only the player of the year in college basketball’s Southeastern Conference last season — a conference loaded with talent in 2014-15 — he’s been one of the best rookies during the preseason.

Pau Gasol finished as second-best International player behind his brother, Marc

Screenshot via NBA.com

Stop me when you’ve heard this one before: The Gasol brothers finish at the top of something. In terms of good players and even better people, not many rank higher than the Gasols. Marc’s a little younger than Pau, and at this point in their careers, Marc’s the better player. But, Pau still has the respect of the league (and the world for that matter).

Pau finished second behind Marc as the top International star in the NBA. 2014-15 was a career year for Pau, as he led the league in double-doubles and was even voted as an All-Star Game starter for the Eastern Conference.

Jimmy Butler finished third as the “Best Perimeter Defender” behind Kawhi Leonard and Tony Allen

Screenshot via NBA.com

It’s hard to argue that Jimmy Butler should be ranked ahead of a former NBA Finals MVP and a All-Defensive First Team mainstay. But, the fact that Butler finished third behind Leonard and Allen (in a tie with LeBron James), speaks large volumes to how far he’s come in the game.

Fred Hoiberg finished third in the “New Coach/Relocated Coach” category

Screenshot via NBA.com

Fred Hoiberg finishing in this category behind a reigning NBA championship coach and a two-time NCAA title-winning coach with two of the top 10 players on the planet shouldn’t come as a surprise. Each of these coaches have their work cut out for themselves, but Hoiberg has the talent of a veteran roster and the benefit of playing in the weaker Eastern Conference.

Other notes from the NBA GM Survey:

  • Butler also received votes behind James Harden and Klay Thompson in the “Best Shooting Guard in the NBA” category. Harden ran away with the voting, racking up 79.3% of the votes in the poll.
  • Jim Boylen received votes as the “Best Assistant Coach”. Former Bulls assistant Ron Adams was the leading vote-getter in the category.
  • Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson both received votes in the “bench players that make the biggest impact” category. Last year’s NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala lead the category in voting percentage.
  • Joakim Noah received votes as the “Best Interior Defender” in the NBA, after leading the category in 2014-15 (while also leading the “Best Defender” in the NBA category in ’14-15, too).
  • The Bulls received votes as the “Best Defensive Team” in the NBA, after leading the category in 2014-15.
  • Former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau even received votes in the category of head coaches with the best defensive schemes. (I have to admit, this one made me laugh a little.)

(To see the survey in its entirety, click here for the full survey at NBA.com.) 

Next: Bulls Preseason: Bulls lose third straight in Charlotte, but Joakim Noah makes big impact

More from Pippen Ain't Easy