When NBA.com conducted its annual NBA general managers survey that was released this week, the league executives provided some insights on how they view the Clippers.
The general managers expect the Clippers to finish third in the competitive Western Conference behind Golden State and San Antonio.
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford were prominent in the GM survey.
When the GMs listed the top four point guards in the league, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, the two-time league most valuable player, was first with 63.3% of the votes, Paul was second (20%), Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook finished third (10%) and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving (6.7%) was fourth.
Paul was considered to be the league’s best passer (62.1%) and to have the best basketball IQ (24.1%). He was ranked the second-best leader (14.3%) behind Cleveland’s LeBron James.
Jordan was voted the NBA’s best center (33.3%) and best interior defender (50%) and was tied for third for best defensive player (6.7%) behind San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and James.
The executives’ choice for the best power forward in the NBA also was interesting.
Redick finished fourth in the voting for best pure shooter in the league and was ranked third-best at moving without the ball.
Crawford, the three-time winner of the NBA’s sixth man of the year award, was voted the biggest impact player when he enters the game (46.7%).
Ready to get started
The Clippers finished their exhibition season with a 3-3 record.
They will have eight days off before opening the regular season at Portland against the Trail Blazers on Oct. 27.
Paul, who suffered a sprained left thumb in practice Saturday, played 26 minutes in the Clippers’ final exhibition game Tuesday night at Sacramento. The Clippers won, 92-89.
The Clippers started Paul and Redick in the backcourt, Luc Mbah a Moute and Griffin at forward and Jordan at center in that game.
“I don’t care how many years you’ve been in this league and how many games you’ve played, it’s always good to get a little rhythm,” Paul told reporters in Sacramento after the game. “It’s always good to get a little rhythm going into the first regular-season game. We wanted to try some things and it worked pretty well.”