We’ve known for a while that fans and some media outside of Detroit tend to overlook Greg Monroe in discussions on who some of the best young players in the league are. When NBA.com released its annual GM survey today, asking the league’s general managers 57 questions about their predictions for the upcoming season, I was sure Monroe’s name would be mentioned in at least a couple categories.
Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2012-13? No Monroe:
1. Klay Thompson, Golden State — 13.3%
2. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland, and Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio — 10.0%
4. Paul George, Indiana, and James Harden, Oklahoma City — 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Nicolas Batum, Portland; Alec Burks, Utah; DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento; Stephen Curry, Golden State; Kenneth Faried, Denver; Taj Gibson, Chicago; Eric Gordon, New Orleans; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers; Gordon Hayward, Utah; Andre Iguodala, Denver; DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers; Ty Lawson, Denver; JaVale McGee, Denver; Josh Selby, Memphis; Evan Turner, Philadelphia; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
The strangest thing about that list is that a lot of those players have already had breakout seasons. Westbrook, Griffin and Iguodala have already been All-Stars and Olympians. How have those guys not ‘broken out’ already?
At any rate, Monroe was sure to get a mention in the best offensive rebounders category, right? Nope:
1. Kevin Love, Minnesota — 53.3%
2. Kenneth Faried, Denver — 16.7%
3. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento — 6.7%, dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers — 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Tyson Chandler, New York; Reggie Evans, Brooklyn; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers; Kris Humphries, Brooklyn; Zach Randolph, Memphis
Monroe was ninth in the league in offensive rebounds overall and sixth in the league in offensive rebounding percentage. Cousins was the only player that GMs mentioned who had a better offensive rebounding percentage.
I’m sure that GMs in the league don’t take this super seriously, and they shouldn’t … they have far more pressing things to attend to. But I think it’s a good example of something that should be pointed out. The media (deservedly in a lot of cases) often gets a bad rap for not paying close enough attention when ranking players or voting on awards or things like that. But in some cases, the people on the inside overlook really good players too.
As for the rest of the list, Andre Drummond was mentioned in a couple categories. Rookie most likely to be a sleeper success:
1. Jared Sullinger, Boston — 17.2%
2. Maurice Harkless, Orlando, Andrew Nicholson, Orlando — 13.8%
4. Jae Crowder, Dallas, Damian Lillard, Portland — 10.3%
6. Terrence Jones, Houston — 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Jared Cunningham, Dallas; Andre Drummond, Detroit; Evan Fournier, Denver; John Jenkins, Atlanta; Perry Jones, Oklahoma City; Doron Lamb, Milwaukee; Donatas Motiejunas, Houston; Terrence Ross, Toronto
I would personally add Draymond Green to that list too, but I totally agree with Jae Crowder as well. I think Crowder will be a really solid player for the Mavs this season.
Drummond was also mentioned, obviously, among the most athletic rookies:
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans — 40.0%
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte — 16.7%
3. Andre Drummond, Detroit — 13.3%
4. Terrence Ross, Toronto — 10.0%
5. Perry Jones, Oklahoma City — 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Quincy Acy, Toronto; Terrence Jones, Houston; Thomas Robinson, Sacramento; Dion Waiters, Cleveland
No slight to MKG, but I’d probably put Drummond as a close second to Davis. Drummond’s athleticism might be more impressive because he’s heavier than Davis, but Davis also has perimeter skills and quickness that Drummond lacks, so that probably puts him just a bit ahead.
Also, just for fun, check out the former Pistons coach who received a mention on the ‘best assistant coaches’ list:
1. Brian Shaw, Indiana — 23.3%
2. Mike Budenholzer, San Antonio — 20.0%
3. Steve Clifford, L.A. Lakers, Mike Malone, Golden State — 10.0%
5. Maurice Cheeks, Oklahoma City, Jay Triano, Portland — 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Ron Adams, Chicago; Kenny Atkinson, Atlanta; Brett Brown, San Antonio; Michael Curry, Philadelphia; Darren Erman, Golden State; Armond Hill, Boston; Elston Turner, Phoenix
Can’t wait to see Curry back on the sidelines as a head coach in one of his fancy suits.