Nuggets teammates Faried, Lawson recognized by NBA GMs

Denver assistant Melvin Hunt also receives votes in annual survey
by Aaron Lopez

Ty Lawson's speed and Kenneth Faried's toughness are among the NBA's elite, according to the league's 30 general managers.

Lawson, the engine that fuels the Nuggets' offense, finished a close second to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook when GMs were asked to name the fastest player with the ball.

Faried, respected for his passion and relentless effort, received the third-most votes as the NBA's toughest player and tied for third as the best offensive rebounder.

For's 12th annual GM survey, 30 league executives responded to 56 questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans, and offseason moves. The executives were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel.

In addition to Faried and Lawson, Denver guards Nate Robinson (most athletic) and Andre Miller (best basketball IQ) received votes in the survey. Nuggets assistant Melvin Hunt tied for second as the best assistant coach in the NBA - a category led by current Nuggets coach Brian Shaw last year.

Here are the nine categories in which the Nuggets received at least one vote (percentages are based on the pool of respondents to each question of the survey, rather than all 30 GMs):

Which player is the fastest with the ball?
1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 36.7%
2. Derrick Rose, Chicago -- 23.3%
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 13.3%
4. Ty Lawson, Denver -- 6.7%, John Wall, Washington -- 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Aaron Brooks, Sacramento; Darren Collison, Dallas; LeBron James, Miami; Tony Parker, San Antonio
Last year: Derrick Rose -- 57.7%

Which player is the best offensive rebounder?
1. Kevin Love, Minnesota -- 41.4%
2. Zach Randolph, Memphis -- 24.1%
3. Kenneth Faried, Denver -- 13.8%
4. Reggie Evans, Brooklyn -- 10.3%
Also receiving votes: Andre Drummond, Detroit; Dwight Howard, Houston; Paul Millsap, Atlanta
Last year: Kevin Love -- 53.3%

Who is the toughest player in the NBA?
1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 31.0%
2. David West, Indiana -- 13.8%
3. Kenneth Faried, Denver; Nick Collison, Oklahoma City; Kevin Garnett, Boston -- 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Tony Allen, Memphis; Matt Barnes, L.A. Clippers; Reggie Evans, Brooklyn; Udonis Haslem, Miami; LeBron James, Miami; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio; Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers; Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota; Zach Randolph, Memphis; Metta World Peace, New York.
Last year: Kobe Bryant -- 26.7%

Which player has the best basketball IQ?
1. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 33.3%
2. Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers -- 16.7%
3. Tim Duncan, San Antonio; LeBron James, Miami -- 13.3%
5. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers; Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Andre Miller, Denver; Marc Gasol, Memphis; Andrei Kirilenko, Brooklyn
Last year: Steve Nash -- 27.6%

Which player is the most athletic?
1. LeBron James, Miami -- 56.7%
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 16.7%
3. Gerald Green, Phoenix; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers -- 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Nate Robinson, Denver, Paul George, Indiana; DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers; Terrence Ross, Toronto
Last year: LeBron James -- 62.1%

Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?
1. Lawrence Frank, Brooklyn -- 21.4%
2. Melvin Hunt, Denver; Alvin Gentry, L.A. Clippers -- 10.7%
4. Nate McMillan, Indiana -- 7.1%
Also receiving votes: Ron Adams, Chicago; Kenny Atkinson, Atlanta; J.B. Bickerstaff, Houston; Darren Erman, Golden State; David Fizdale, Miami; Tim Grgurich; Adrian Griffin, Chicago; Dave Hanners, New Orleans; Bob McAdoo, Miami, Pete Myers, Golden State; Ron Rothstein, Miami; Kelvin Sampson, Houston; Wes Unseld Jr., Orlando; Darrell Walker, New York.
Last year: Brian Shaw -- 23.3%

Which team has the best home-court advantage?
1. Oklahoma City -- 36.7%
2. Golden State -- 26.7%
3. Denver -- 13.3%
4. Miami -- 10.0%
5. Chicago, Utah -- 6.7%
Last year: Oklahoma City -- 70.0%

Which team is the most fun to watch?
1. Golden State -- 41.1%
2. L.A. Clippers -- 17.2%
3. Oklahoma City -- 13.8
4. Brooklyn, San Antonio -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Denver, Houston, Indiana, Sacramento
Last year: Oklahoma City -- 30.0%

Which team will win the Northwest Division?
1. Oklahoma City -- 96.6%
2. Denver -- 3.4%
Last year: Oklahoma City -- 86.7%