PHOENIX SUNS

NBA GM survey: Suns not a Finals fav, but execs love Monty Williams

Oct 5, 2021, 9:26 AM
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams, left, confers with guard Chris Paul during the first half of the...

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams, left, confers with guard Chris Paul during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

NBA.com’s annual preseason general manager survey gives an overview of how perceptions change in the National Basketball Association.

For the Phoenix Suns coming off a run to the NBA Finals, those perceptions have certainly moved from a season ago.

Last year, the expectation was that Phoenix’s acquisition of Chris Paul would help slide them into playoff contention. The Suns surpassed those expectations, and now 81% of those polled in this year’s GM survey consider Phoenix to be a top-four playoff seed in the Western Conference.

However, Phoenix was not picked by anyone to win the NBA Finals. The Brooklyn Nets (72%), Los Angeles Lakers (17%) and Milwaukee Bucks (10%) were the only teams to clear that bar.

But respect was dolled out in gobs for Suns coach Monty Williams.

He came in second (17%) when GMs were asked who was the best coach in the NBA, behind Miami’s Erik Spoelstra (55%). Williams additionally got 50% of the votes, the most, when executives were asked which head coach was the best manager/motivator of people.

Semi-related to the coaching questions, Suns point guard Chris Paul was first in votes for best leader (43%) and also as the player who will some day make the best head coach (34%). He was second in best basketball IQ (30%), third in best passer (10%) and tied for fourth in best point guard (7%).

Backcourt mate Devin Booker earned 17% of the votes for best shooting guard, coming in behind only the Nets’ James Harden (63%).

Suns center Deandre Ayton received at least a vote for most likely player to have a breakout season, while fellow fourth-year man Mikal Bridges got recognition alongside Booker in receiving a nod for best player moving without the ball.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns attends the NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Pho...
Arizona Sports

Tumultuous week led to Suns owner Robert Sarver’s decision to sell

A new report details more behind-the-scenes information that resulted in Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver's decision to sell the team.
1 day ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los An...
Kellan Olson

Cam Johnson ready for elevated role with Suns in Jae Crowder’s absence

While Jae Crowder's impact will be missed, Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson has proven he's ready and deserves to be a starter.
1 day ago
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 in the second half of ga...
Dan Bickley

Silence between Deandre Ayton, Monty Williams defies all expectations

The indifference of Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is stunning. So much that it must be the entire point, writes Dan Bickley.
1 day ago
Deandre Ayton #22 and Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns react during Game Four of the W...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton: Monty Williams hasn’t spoken to him since Game 7 vs. Mavs

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton did not quell concerns about his unhappiness at media day Monday. Tuesday made clear there is a problem.
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans (44) gets fouled by Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) du...
Kevin Zimmerman

What the Suns could get back in a Jae Crowder trade

Five potential landing spots for Jae Crowder and what the Phoenix Suns could get in return for the veteran.
2 days ago
NBA GM survey: Suns not a Finals fav, but execs love Monty Williams