JBL 2026 GM Preseason Survey

  • By David Gonzalez, Day 1, 2026

With Denver reshaping their roster after winning the 2025 championship, JBL GM’s once again are sent searching to find a new favorite to take the 2026 crown. All-World Alonzo Weaver is once again a runaway winner in a number of categories. As the JBLRank noted, a better question to ask would be in what year does Weaver’s reign end.

The Cincinnati Kings and Baltimore Bullets continue their on-court battle off the court in this survey as they are the clear front runners to climb the mountain top in 2026 in the minds of JBL GM’s. With that said, the top of the East has a clear 1-2; however, 3-6 could go any which way. The Western Conference has an overwhelming favorite in the Portland Lumberjacks while being completely wide open as a record 12 teams received votes to finish in the top four of the conference.

Chris LaCruz, Alonzo Weaver, Drayton Banks and Kelvin Hawes would all score out as the GM’s top player at their respective position’s once again; however, Andre Phifer would take back the top spot at SG after losing out to Jason Cheaney in 2025. Big news at the PG spot is the complete stiff from JBL GM’s to Josh Gamble as the Miami floor general received zero votes. Vionte Houston continues to make his name known throughout the league as seen by his inclusion as the #3 ranked SG. Similarly, Richmond Benson makes his first appearance as the #2 ranked PF behind Banks.

The #1 overall pick is the favorite for Rookie of the Year for the 3rd season in a row while Jae Lawson, #2 overall, is highly regarded to be the main competition. Keiron Bloom continues to be a polarizing pick as he is viewed as being one of the top four players to come out of this draft in five seasons while also being the top choice to be the biggest bust based on his draft position. The GM’s have high hopes for the Louisville Colonels following their offseason moves. 2026 doesn’t predict to be very rosy for the Hurricanes, but their future is bright with both Lawson and Woodson being voted into the top four rookies to come out of this class. As for the offseason moves themselves, Jamaya Sprinkle who reigned as last season’s worst move due to his contract is now being applauded as the best acquisition via the trade that landed him in Austin.

The GMs responded to 23 different questions in Year 3 of the survey which included topics around the best teams, players, and more. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to that particular question, rather than all 30 GMs.

Who will win the 2026 JBL Finals?

1. Cincinnati Kings: 46%
2. Baltimore Bullets: 31%
3. Portland Lumberjacks: 12%

Also receiving votes: Chicago Jailbirds, Los Angeles Fireballs, Philadelphia Warriors

Rank the top four teams in the Eastern Conference

Rank the top four teams in the Western Conference

Who will win the 2026 JBL MVP?

1. Alonzo Weaver, Warriors: 46%
2. Chris LaCruz, Fireballs: 15%
3. Kelvin Hawes, Colonels: 12%
4. Antoine Peeler, Lumberjacks: 8%

Also receiving votes: Andre Phifer, Thunder; Juwan Hughes, Jaguars; Reggie Goodwin, Bullets; Taquan Slatter, Devils; Quavius Williamson, Huskies

If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the JBL, who would it be?

1. Alonzo Weaver, Warriors: 73%
2. Chris LaCruz, Fireballs; Josiah Robinson, Mustangs: 8%

Also receiving votes: Colton Gregory, Stars; Donovan Galloway, Blizzards; Mitchell Butler Jr; Thunder

Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2026?

1. Trey Astbury, Scorpions: 17%
2. Bamba Diouf, Stars; Isiah Evans, Rockets; Quavius Williamson, Huskies; Trendon Knox, Colonels; Triston Lane, Vipers; Zayveon West, Crusaders: 8%

Also receiving votes: Brandon Terry, Dragons; Dominque Harmon, Devils; Josiah Robinson, Mustangs; Khalil Hooker, Crusaders; Khalen Anthony, Drones; Marcus Price, Lightning; Omari Woodley, Knights; Ray Washington, Jailbirds; Ronshad Fox, Scorpions

Who is the best point guard in the JBL?

1. Chris LaCruz, Fireballs: 85%
2. Devon Harrell, Renegades: 8%

Also receiving votes: Jason Cheaney, Jailbirds; Rasheem Fisher, Vultures

Who is the best shooting guard in the JBL?

1. Andre Phifer, Thunder: 54%
2. Jason Cheaney, Jailbirds: 23%
3. Vionte Houston, Huskies: 12%

Also receiving votes: Antoine Peeler, Lumberjacks; Lamar Francis, Tritons; Reggie Goodwin, Bullets

Who is the best small forward in the JBL?

1. Alonzo Weaver, Warriors: 96%

Also receiving votes: Andre Phifer, Thunder

Who is the best power forward in the JBL?

1. Drayton Banks, Vultures: 54%
2. Richmond Benson, Kings: 23%
3. Taquan Slattery, Devils: 12%
4. Donovan Galloway, Blizzards: 8%

Also receiving votes: Ainsley Tucker, Cyclones

Who is the best center in the JBL?

1. Kelvin Hawes, Colonels: 88%
2. Taquan Slattery, Devils: 8%

Also receiving votes: Quavius Williamson, Huskies

Who is the best defensive player in the JBL?

1. Reggie Fortier, Fireballs: 35%
2. Derrick Griffin, Fireballs: 23%
3. Jarvis McSwine, Lumberjacks: 12%
4. Quavius Williamson, Huskies: 8%

Also receiving votes: Ainsley Tucker, Cyclones; Eric Greely, Vipers; Isaiah Clarkson, Bullets; Keydren Carter, Jailbirds; Omar Grant, Bilzzards; Reggie Goodwin, Bullets

Who is the best perimeter defender in the JBL?

1. Derrick Griffin, Fireballs; 46%
2. Reggie Goodwin, Bullets: 31%
3. Reggie Fortier, Fireballs: 8%

Also receiving votes: Eric Greely, Vipers; Jarvis McSwine, Lumberjacks; Keydren Carter, Jailbirds; Vionte Houston, Huskies

Who is the best interior defender in the JBL?

1. Kelvin Hawes, Colonels: 15%
2. Akieem Martin, Lumberjacks; Jarvis McSwine, Lumberjacks; Omar Grant, Blizzards; Quavius Williamson, Huskies: 12%
3. Isaiah Clarkson, Bullets; Rashaad Haslem, Vipers: 8%

Also receiving votes: Ainsley Tucker, Cyclones; Antoine Hall, Warriors; Donovan Galloway, Blizzards; Kahlil Hooker, Crusaders; Reggie Fortier, Fireballs; Richmond Benson, Kings

Which team will be most improved in 2026?

1. Louisville Colonels: 35%
2. Houston Lightning: 15%
3. Austin Rockets, Miami Cyclones, Nashville Stars, New Orleans Hurricanes: 8%

Also receiving votes: Minneapolis Blizzards, New York Renegades, Philadelphia Warriors, Pittsburgh Vipers, Seattle Thunder

Which team will take the biggest step back in 2026?

1. Denver Dragons, Kansas City Knights: 35%
2. Detroit Mustangs, Las Vegas Scorpions, Mexico City Jaguars: 8%

Also receiving votes: Phoenix Vultures, Portland Lumberjacks

Which team will end up with the worst overall record?

1. New Orleans Hurricanes: 27%
2. Las Vegas Scorpions, Oklahoma City Barons: 23%
3. Boston Crusaders: 19%

Also receiving votes: Denver Dragons, Detroit Mustangs

Who will win the 2026 Rookie of the Year?

1. Mitchell Butler Jr, Thunder: 48%
2. Jae Lawson, Hurricanes: 40%
3. Ricky Jackson Jr, Knights: 8%

Also receiving votes: Malique Farmer, Dragons

Which rookie will be the best player in five seasons?

1. Mitchell Butler Jr, Thunder: 56%
2. Jae Lawson, Hurricanes; Keiron Bloom, Fireballs: 16%
3. Lamont Woodson, Hurricanes: 12%

Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft?

1. Malique Farmer, Dragons: 29%
2. Michel Saint-Jean, Scorpions: 13%
3. CJ Williams, Colonels; Keljin Shipley, Blizzards; Menelik Sullivan, Barons: 8%

Also receiving votes: Bo Anderson, Vipers; Daniel Pedroso, Drones; Eddy Moreland, Jaguars; Keiron Bloom, Fireballs; Lawson Isabell, Thunder; Vince Collier, Lightning

Which rookie will end up being the biggest bust in the Draft based on where they were selected?

1. Keiron Bloom, Fireballs: 25%
2. Andre Bender, Mustangs; Vacha Alston, Cyclones: 17%
3. Malique Farmer, Dragons: 8%

Also receiving votes: Bo “Knows Bust” Anderson, Vipers; Chris Dillinger, Knights; Daniel Pedroso, Drones; Lamont Woodson, Hurricanes; Lawson Isabell, Thunder; Ramond Jordan, Knights; Scottie Hartman. Vipers

What was the best offseason player acquisition (ie. RFA signing, UFA signing, trade)?

1. Jamaya Sprinkle trade for the Rockets: 15%
2. Devon Harrell Trade; Omar Grant signing for the Blizzards; Kelvin Hawes trade for the Colonels: 12%
3. Crusaders acquiring Kahlil Hooker; Warriors trading for Honeycutt; Tezale Craig signing for the Kings: 8%

Also receiving votes: Brandon Terry trade for the Dragons; Skyhawks getting Galloway and a 1st for Astbury; Jailbirds getting Keydren Carter to sign for a min salary; Jailbirds trading for Jevon Novak; Predators retaining Ryan Pierce on a team friendly contract; Jailbirds getting Antoine Willis to resign on a team friendly deal

What was the worst offseason player acquisition (ie. RFA signing, UFA signing, trade)?

1. Jerome Bradley contract: 28%
2. Trading/Acquiring Devon Harrell: 20%
3. Jaguars trading away Kahlil Hooker: 4%

Also receiving votes: Omar Grant contract length; All the trades to eventually pick Keiron Bloom at #3; Signing Brandon Kelly max contract; Kelvin Hawes trade; Vultures trading for Mitchell van Bree; Jaguars signing Cameron Nix to an MLE; Signing Omari Woodley to a max contract; Mustangs signing Quintin Rice to an MLE; Vultures paying Vidmar $14M a year; Stars paying $21.6M for Ruben Wingfield