After the great season he had with the Toronto Raptors last campaign, Kawhi Leonard has kept things the same way this offseason. Leonard’s terrific campaign with the Canadians and his arrival to Los Angeles to join the Clippers have taken the player to be considered the best player around the league ahead of next season.
According to a recent ESPN survey of 20 coaches, executives and scouts across the association, the Klaw is the best player in the league entering next season. Kawhi got 12 votes in the “best player” category, followed by last season’s MVP, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, who received six and two votes, respectively.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, who conducted the survey, said:
“Several people said they would’ve at least considered Kevin Durant — if not outright picked him — had he been healthy and not recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.”
Albeit Leonard and Durant (when healthy) had very good seasons, it is a shock not seeing a single person to put their money on LeBron James, who many consider the best baller on earth. He was one of the options, but absolutely nobody chose him. That’s odd.
To make things worse, the Lakers, who had a pretty good offseason, didn’t get any vote in the last questions of the poll: Who’s going to win the conference, and win it all?
The Milwaukee Bucks got the upper hand in the East with 12 votes, ahead of the 76ers, who got 8. As for the West, Kawhi’s Clippers didn’t have much competition, racking up 16 votes before also being the crushing favorite to win the championship with 13 votes. The Bucks and 76ers received two title votes each while the Jazz, Nuggets, and Rockets each got one.
It looks like people are sleeping on LeBron and his Lakers. The Purple and Gold landed Anthony Davis via trade and signed a couple of good names in the free agency, which places them as one of the favorites to take the NBA trophy home next season. Well, apparently not for this group of 20 people.
James and co. will surely use this as motivation. These guys know they are capable of doing great things on the court, and although they will have tough competition from their conference rivals, the Lakers look really good ahead of the new campaign.