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Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving receives votes from NBA GMs as best player to begin a franchise

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 22, 2013
Irving, Kyrie alone dribbles ball up in gold uniform
NBA general managers consider Kyrie Irving one of the league's cornerstone players, based on a recent anonymous poll. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS: While LeBron James was the overwhelming favorite, Kyrie Irving received votes from NBA general managers as the best player with whom they'd like to begin a franchise.

In the recent anonymous NBA.com poll, Irving received 3.4 percent of the votes, falling well behind James (89.7 percent) and Kevin Durant (6.9 percent). It isn't clear if all the GMs participated and if not, how many were polled.

Irving also received votes as the player most likely to break out this season. Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Derrick Favors were the top three vote getters.

Interestingly, despite being a player the GMs would want to build their franchise around, Irving has not yet cracked the top three point guards. The GMs instead selected Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Tony Parker.

As far as offseason moves, the acquisitions of both Earl Clark and Jarrett Jack received votes as the most underrated player acquisition of the summer and the Cavs finished in a six-way tie for second place as the most improved team this season.

Rookie Anthony Bennett received votes for Rookie of the Year favorite, but Victor Oladipo (80 percent) finished first and Cody Zeller was second. Bennett finished tied for third with Ben McLemore as the best player from this draft class in five years, again behind Oladipo and Zeller. 

Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao both received votes as a breakout international player this season and Varejao also received votes as a player who maximizes his limited natural ability (Kevin Love finished first there).

In one of the more interesting questions, Dion Waiters received votes at least one vote as one of the league's best passers.

The entire NBA.com poll can be viewed here.

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