Anthony Edwards

Five bold predictions for the 2023-24 NBA season, featuring MVP and Finals picks

Home » NBA » Five bold predictions for the 2023-24 NBA season, featuring MVP and Finals picks

With the new campaign tipping off on Tuesday night, there’s no better time to go public with a few 2023-24 NBA season predictions. It has been an offseason of trade requests and much-hyped Draft prospects, but how will those moves and non-moves impact the on-court action?

2023-24 NBA season predictions

Our preseason player rankings have been released, players have reported for camp in the ‘best shape of their lives’, and James Harden is still a Sixer. While takes were made from how players looked in their ramp-up games, it’s from Tuesday that we can really start to analyse this new NBA season.

Before that, we’ve taken a shot at some bold predictions, including a Finals pick, regular-season MVP and more…

Nuggets and Celtics to meet in the Finals

These teams might be the favourites in their respective conferences, but we still think choosing any two Finals teams before the start of the season qualifies as bold. Outside of the Cavaliers and Warriors in the mid-2010s, naming the last two teams standing is an incredibly difficult task.

Phoenix, Milwaukee, Golden State, both Los Angeles teams, Cleveland, Miami and others will all think they have a realistic shot at playing in next summer’s NBA Finals.


Denver, though, brings back its five starters and has the depth to compensate for the loss of Bruce Brown. They were dominant throughout the postseason, and if healthy, are clearly the best team in the West.

Boston swapped out Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon and Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, giving them the best top-six in the league. They are set to be immense on both ends.

Anthony Edwards finishes top five in MVP voting

Already ranked among the 25 best players in the league, Anthony Edwards is well on his way to superstardom. Albeit in a disappointing tournament for the team, Edwards gave yet another reminder of his ability to lead an offense at the FIBA World Cup after delivering for the Timberwolves in the Playoffs.

Minnesota is under pressure to deliver in their second season with Rudy Gobert. Where other, veteran-laden teams in the Western Conference will not be too fussed about seeding, the Timberwolves are still in that prove-it phase that we have seen lead to high seedings for the Grizzlies and Kings in recent years.

Edwards scored 24.6 points per game last season. It’s reasonable to expect that number to get into the high-twenties. Pair that with the Timberwolves finishing in the top four and some playmaking improvement, and Edwards is going to get some MVP consideration, particularly with other candidates likely to be hit by the new qualifying criteria for awards.


Cavaliers finish in the top two in the Eastern Conference

Cleveland endured a brutal end to their season, being battered on the boards and comprehensively outplayed by the New York Knicks. The Cavs’ front office responded by adding shooting in the shape of Georges Niang and Max Strus, which should help the spacing around their two All-Star guards and non-shooting big men.

J.B. Bickerstaff’s team won 51 games last season, and could have won more considering they ranked second in net rating. The defense is going to be elite if Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen play 60+ games. The offense should benefit considerably from their offseason moves, which will help them in close games.

Boston and Milwaukee are by far the best teams in the East, but there’s a huge gap behind them. Both will be careful with the workload on their stars in the regular season, while Cleveland will be keeping the foot down. They’re unlikely to rival the Bucks or Celtics in a postseason series, yet they can be every bit as effective in the regular season.

Tyrese Maxey makes the All-Star team

We know how James Harden plays when he decides he’s done with a team. If Harden plays for the Sixers at all, it’s not going to be pretty. The likelihood at the time of writing is that Harden has played his last game in a Sixers uniform.

Once again, Philadelphia will be handing the keys of the offence to Tyrese Maxey. Maxey stepped up when Ben Simmons sat out a couple of years ago, and the electric guard has come on leaps and bounds since then, including shouldering a hefty offensive burden in minutes without Harden.

Look for Maxey’s scoring to leap from 20.3 per game up towards the 25 mark. His assist numbers will skyrocket with the two-man game with Joel Embiid becoming a staple. That combines for an All-Star caliber campaign, even with so many great guards in the East.

Kings finish top four in the West

Given that they took the third seed last year, backing the Sacramento Kings to land in the top four might not seem like the spiciest of predictions. There is a sense that the Kings are expected to regress in 2023-24, however, and they have been overshadowed by their bigger-market foes in the Pacific Division.

Sacramento might have the lowest title chance of the Pacific Division teams, but in the regular season, this high-powered offense should still be able to rack up wins. Despite the player participation policy, their young core still gives them an advantage over others. Perhaps they won’t get quite as lucky with injuries, but this is still a very durable roster.

Yes, the defense remains a concern. It is always going to be with Domantas Sabonis at the five. But the offense is good enough to overcome that, and they might only need 45 or 46 wins to secure homecourt advantage in the first round. That’s well within reach.

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