The 2022 NBA season has come to an end and the 2023 NBA futures have already been posted. The 2023 NBA Draft is coming up on Thursday, so we’re going to see some movement. For now, let’s take a look at the favorites and the longshots worth a risk
The Favorites: Warriors, Celtics, Nets
The Golden State Warriors (+600) are unsurprisingly the early favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2023. After all, they are coming off of a championship run this year and their core trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green is phenomenal. While Curry, Thompson, and Green will be 35, 33, and 33 respectively by next June, the Warriors have put together good depth pieces around them and should get former first overall pick James Wiseman in the mix next season. Guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are likely going to be looking for a new contract soon but should remain with the team for at least one more season.
The Boston Celtics (+650) are listed towards the top of the list themselves after losing in the NBA Finals to the Warriors. Their core is likely to be locked together, which means that Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart will be running it back again. They also aren’t expected to lose many free agents at all during the offseason, which could help them keep the chemistry they’ve displayed this year. Can they add to the squad and get the final piece or two?
Lastly, we have the Brooklyn Nets (+700). They were among this year’s favorites but flopped. Kyrie Irving has been reported to be thinking about leaving in free agency. Other excellent role players like Bruce Brown, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Nicolas Claxton, Andre Drummond, and Patrick Mills are all free agents. And with Ben Simmons, who knows what he’ll bring to the team next year. The good news is if Irving, Durant, and Simmons are back, chances are they can round out the roster pretty easily with quality veterans.
Notable Longshots: Lakers, Nuggets, Mavericks
The Los Angeles Lakers (+2500) are a big longshot but is there value? Half of their roster is compiled of unrestricted free agents including Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, and Malik Monk. Obviously, LeBron James and Anthony Davis (when healthy) are one of the best tandems in the league. Plus, a new coach could help integrate Russell Westbrook into the rotation better than before. Still, though, they desperately need to build depth – and get younger – if they want to contend next year.
Another longshot is the Denver Nuggets (+1400). Denver saw Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. miss almost all of last season. Both of these guys are anticipated back into the lineup at the start of next year to pair up with back-to-back MVP, Nikola Jokic. They do have a handful of free agents coming up like Austin Rivers, Facundo Campazzo, and Bryn Forbes that would benefit them if they re-signed. This team is only a piece or two away.
The Dallas Mavericks (+1200) could make a run at the title too. Dallas has one of the best players in the league with Luka Doncic in charge. He was the reason they made it all the way into the Western Conference Finals last season and could get even better next year. Their depth was already improved in the offseason by the addition of up-and-coming center Christian Wood. This team is in a good position to continue its ascent.