Just like the NBA, the WNBA conducts an annual survey of its general managers before the season that includes season predictions, player-related questions and more. In the 2016 version, the Phoenix Mercury came out on top as the team WNBA GMs believe will win the title.
58 percent of GMs picked the Mercury to win it all, while the Minnesota Lynx came in second place with 17 percent of the vote. The Los Angeles Sparks, Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream all tied for third.
Phoenix finished 20-14 last season and lost in the Western Conference Finals to Minnesota, the eventual champion. But with Diana Taurasi back from a year off and Brittney Griner around for a full season, the Mercury are in good shape to win their second title in three years.
75 percent of GMs said Taurasi is the best guard in the league, while 42 percent said Griner is the best center. 58 percent also gave Griner their early Defensive Player of the Year vote. Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello tied with Cheryl Reeve of the Lynx for top head coach (25 percent each).
As for the other major awards, half of the GMs believe Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne will repeat as MVP. Taurasi came in second with 33 percent of the vote.
The Rookie of the Year vote was unsurprisingly won by top pick Breanna Stewart, who just enjoyed a historic four-year career at Connecticut. Stewart garnered 75 percent of the vote.
Lynx forward Maya Moore also got plenty of love in the survey. Moore was voted the best forward in the WNBA (50 percent) and also the top player to start a franchise with (42 percent).