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NBA Season 2023-24 Is Here, 30 Team Previews

The NBA season 2023-24 is here and we have compiled a preview for all 30 teams. The excitement is building for every NBA fan as the first tip approaches. For Magic fans this season is full of promise and expectation to see how far this team can get.

We have arranged the previews alphabetically by Conference. Looking at each team’s record last season, the summer decisions made, the ins and the outs and potential lineups it is our guide to the new season.

Here is the link to the YouTube playlist where there is a video preview for each team (should you prefer)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTA HAWKS 

  • Last season saw the Hawks go .500 at a 41-41 record, finishing 8th in the East. They defeated Miami in the 7-8 play-in game, then lost 2-4 in the first round to the Boston Celtics
  • The Hawks under coach Quin Snyder (who was hired mid-season) will pretty much run it back after what was a relatively quiet summer.
  • This will see Trae Young seeking to rebuild a somewhat tarnished reputation. Whilst still averaging 26.2 points and 10.2 assists per game he didn’t make the All-Star game, his 3 point shooting percentage dipped, he reportedly rated badly in a couple of player polls and as always was ineffective in defensive play.
  • Also remaining is backcourt partner Dejounte Murray who got an extension, having had a strong season on both ends. Murray and Young are both now signed long term to Atlanta
  • The summer saw sixth man Bogdan Bogdanovich star in the FIBA World Cup for Serbia. He averaged 19.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game, winning plaudits for his performances along with a silver medal 
  • Key additions are veterans Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews and rookie guard Kobe Bufkin (drafted)
  • The most notable subtraction is long time forward John Collins, along with Aaron Holiday. Collins value had reduced to such a level that he has effectively by trades been turned into Patty Mills
  • Potential starting 5 – PG Trae Young, SG Dejounte Murray, SF De’Andre Hunter, PF Saddiq Bey, C Clint Capella 

BOSTON CELTICS 

  • Last season was a strong 57-25 record as the Celtics dreamed of an 18th championship and finished 2nd in the East. The playoffs saw series wins over both the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers but they were far from convincing. Losing game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final to the Miami Heat in Boston must have left a bitter taste.
  • Season 2023-24 is going to be about Boston securing home court advantage for the playoffs and going back to the NBA Final in another search for that 18th title. The decisions made will in no small way shape that.
  • Remaining on the squad is the team’s best player Jayson Tatum. Derrick White (who provided solid support in a starting role last time around) and veteran Al Horford continue that continuity. 
  • The summer was in some ways a seismic one for Boston and saw a mini-rebuild executed. They made Jalen Brown the highest paid player in NBA history, as he agreed to a five-year, $304 million supermax extension. Payton Pritchard got extended. However and perhaps more of a shock the Celtics moved a player many considered to be their heart, soul and leader, in the process losing the elite defence of three times Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. A second starter Robert Williams III was also traded. They also said goodbye to their backup defensive go to Grant Williams. 
  • But the returns were hugely impressive and could be the missing piece for Boston to push on further. It saw key additions in the shape of Jrue Holiday (Rob Williams trade) and Kristaps Porzingis (the Smart trade). Holiday is an upgrade over Smart in the offensive scheme and brings back a tenacious defensive attitude. 7-foot-3 Porzingis brings size and length, undoubtedly a quality player…when healthy. Last season in Washington was the first time he featured in 60-plus games since 2016-17. Cheaper but important role playing imports include Wenyen Gabriel, Svi Mykhailiuk, Lamar Stevens and Oshae Brissett.
  • Notable subtractions (aside from Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III) were in the shape of Malcolm Brogdan, Danilo Gallinari,, Grant Williams,, Blake Griffin and Mike Muscala.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Jrue Holiday, SG Jalen Brown, SF Jayson Tatum, PF Kristaps Porzingis, C Al Horford

BROOKLYN NETS 

  • Last season’s 45-37 record saw the finish 6th in the East, ultimately being swept 0-4 in the playoffs first round by the Sixers
  • With a mid season noisy bang the Nets latest dream collapsed. KD and Kyrie had joined Harden in exiting Brooklyn and another Nets big swing had come to a close.
  • A rebuild began with Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson coming in and the later two making an instant impact.
  • The summer saw Cam Johnson extend his contract with a big pay day, probably their most significant move. 
  • Ben Simmons remained, presumably as he has little trade value so the team may as well see if he can come back and have an impact.
  • This season is hard to predict, many expect a struggle but there appear more who believe the Nets will be playoff bound again
  • Key additions through late first round Draft picks were forwards Noah Clowney and Dariq Whitehead. Also have picked up Dennis Smith Jr, Lonnie Walker IV and Darius Bazley.
  • Notable subtractions were all veteran guards Seth Curry, Joe Harris and Patty Mills, along with Yuta Watanabe and Edmund Sumner.
  • Potential starting 5 – PG Spencer Dinwiddie, SG Mikal Bridges, SF Cam Johnson, PF Dorian Finney-Smith, C Nic Claxton

CHARLOTTE HORNETS 

  • Last season they fell to a 27-55 record and finished 14th in the East,
  • Could this be the season we see Charlotte make strides forward? They are entering a new era after Michael Jordan sold his ownership share in the team for $4 billion. 
  • Their offseason may not yet be done as they are rumoured to be a third wheel in the Dame-Portland-Miami saga.
  • Aside from the new ownership the summer was productive. That in part is defined by what they kept. LaMelo Ball penned a 5 year deal. As he returns from injury he will be looking to regain form that saw him become an All-Star
  • Miles Bridges had been resigned to return to the team on a one year deal at a shade under $8 million. Bridges missed all of last season after he was charged with domestic violence in July 2022. He admitted his guilt, is serving three years probation sentence and publicly apologised for his actions. He got a 30 game ban from the NBA and was scheduled to sit the first 10 games of 2023-24 as part of that suspension. However, with further investigation now being conducted this situation is not yet resolved. He was excellent two seasons ago. Could he find himself playing significant minutes and become a key contributor to the team again.
  • Key additions through the Draft are Brandon Miller (a versatile forward with the 2nd pick that was far from a popular choice on the night with Hornets fans) and Nick Smith Jr. Also added is Frank Ntilikina.
  • Notable subtractions Svy Mykhailiuk, Dennis Smith Jr, Theo Maledon and most significantly Kelly Oubre Jr. They have also waived Kai Jones, the Hornets’ 19th overall pick in 2021.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG LaMelo Ball, SG Terry Rozier, SF Brandon Miller, PF PJ Washington, C Mark Williams

CHICAGO BULLS 

  • A 40-42 record last season saw the Bulls finish 10th in the East. However they failed to make the playoffs, losing to the Miami Heat in the second play-in game after having beaten the Toronto Raptors in the 9-10 matchup. 
  • Season 2023-24 is one where anything less than making the playoffs could see some serious changes to this roster. They will have to do so without star point guard Lonzo Ball who has been ruled out of the entire season following knee surgery in March. They will need others to contribute, last season saw DeRozan and LaVine combine for 50 points a night and Vooch average a double-double at 17 and 11.
  • Remaining on the roster are those three along with Alex Caruso 
  • The summer saw next to no activity from Chicago. The 32 year old Vooch was given a 3 years deal at $50 million. Extensions were given to young rotation players Ayo Donsumo and Coby White.
  • Key additions made were picking up Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig in free agency. Not having a first round draft pick (owned by our very own Orlando Magic from the Vooch trade) Chicago we’re only able to pick at 35, taking Julian Phillips. 
  • Subtractions were Patrick Beverley, Derrick Jones Jr, Javonte Green, Mario Simonovic and Terry Taylor.
  • Potential starting 5 – PG Alex Caruso, SG Zach LaVine, SF DeMar DeRozan, PF Patrick Williams, C Nicola Vucevic

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 

  • Last season’s 51-31 record saw the Cavs have their best campaign since LeBron left, finishing 4th in the East. What followed was perhaps a surprising 1-4 first round exit to the New York Knicks
  • Their aim for the new season is to remain a top 5 team in the East and make a deep run on the playoffs (not rocket science I know)
  • The top end rotation and back up core of the team was under contract and has been kept in tact, so they come in with the benefit of continuity and stability 
  • The summer saw an excellent piece of business being done by extending Caris LeVert at a reasonable cost. The rest of the time was about plugging a couple of gaps and to add some extra depth
  • Key additions brought that needed floor spacing and reliable shooting in the shape of Max Strus (trade) and Georges Niang (free agent). They also drafted guard Emoni Bates in the second round.
  • Notable subtractions came in the shape of role players Cedi Osman, Robin Lopez, Danny Green, Raul Neto, Lamar Stevens, Dylan Windler, Mamadi Diakite
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Darius Garland, SG Donovan Mitchell, SF Max Strus, PF Evan Mobley, C Jarrett Allen 

DETROIT PISTONS 

  • Last season saw a diabolical 17-65 record, finishing bottom (15th) in the East.
  • Season 2023-24 is one where progress has to be made, clear and tangible growth by a squad stacked with young talent. 
  • Remaining on the squad is the vast majority of those who were there last campaign. Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jalen Duren, Killian Hayes, James Wiseman and Marvin Bagley III.
  • The summer saw a new head coach appointed, Monty Williams arrived as Dwane Casey was moved upstairs to a front office position. For the first time since 2016 Detroit extended a player it drafted, giving Isiah Stewart four years at $60 million. 
  • Perhaps the key addition this summer came at number 5 in the Draft, taking Ausar Thompson. Also in the Draft first round Detroit took Marcus Sasser, a guard. Two vets picked up for little were Joe Harris and Monte Morris who will provide experience and depth from the bench. 
  • Notable subtractions saw Cory Joseph head to the Warriors and three free agents departed including Hamidou Diallo and Rodney McGruder
  • Potential starting 5 – PG Cade Cunningham, SG Jaden Ivey, SF Ausar Thompson, PF Bojan Bogdanovic, C Jalen Duren

INDIANA PACERS 

  • Last season was a mediocre 35-47 in the win loss column, and finished 11th in the East.
  • The new season is all about taking that next step from the middle ground and into the playoffs for experienced coach Rick Carlisle and his team.
  • Buddy Hield remains, having been suggested as a possible move away. The Pacers said he was a priority to keep in the squad. Also remaining as the team’s pillars are Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner and Bennedict Mathurin.
  • The summer saw Tyrese Haliburton get a max extension, whilst also playing well for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. 
  • The key addition to this team appears to be Bruce Brown via free agency, bringing with him Championship experience from last season in Denver. He arrives on a two year deal at $45 million, a not unreasonable price for a player with great energy, along with his ability to create and defend. Obi Toppin coming in from the Knicks via a trade of just two second round picks is taking a punt on a guy who has struggled in New York under Tom Thibodeau for both tangible development and playing time. Toppin will be potentially competing for minutes with Indiana’s number 8 Draft pick; Jarace Walker at power forward.
  • Notable subtractions saw Chris Duarte and Oshae Brissett hit the exit, along with George Hill, James Johnson and Gabe York. 
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Tyrese Haliburton, SG Bennedict Mathurin, SF Bruce Brown, PF Obi Toppin, C Myles Turner

MIAMI HEAT

  • Last season saw a 44-38 record, being good enough to finish 8th in the East. They won the Eastern Conference title by beating the Boston Celtics 4-3, before a 1-4 defeat in the Finals to the Denver Nuggets.
  • This offseason had been dominated by the long running saga of the failed Damian Lillard trade request to “only Miami”. Miami missing on Dame, plus not pursuing Bradley Beal has raised questions in some quarters about the Eastern Conference champions.
  • Their offseason could be viewed as a failure. The Heat have limited assets and limited trade flexibility (thanks to the proximity to the second luxury tax apron). Perhaps they could still pull a surprise move to challenge the bookie’s favourites in the East, Milwaukee and Boston. 
  • Remaining is their leader and talisman Jimmy Butler, along with star centre Bam Adebayo. Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, Josh Richardson and Kevin Love are also remaining.
  • Key additions made are at forward by drafting Jaime Jaquez and free agent centre Thomas Bryant.
  • The Heat appear to have got weaker with the notable subtractions of Gabe Vincent and Max Struis. Their contribution soared, so did their market value and you can’t pay everyone. However they now have to find that diamond in the rough again to replace them. Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Omer Yurtseven and Dewayne Dedmon were both trade also.
  • Potential starting 5 – PG Tyler Herro, SG Josh Richardson, SF Jimmy Butler, PF Kevin Love, C Bam Adebayo

MILWAUKEE BUCKS 

  • Last season had a 58-24 record, seeing the Bucks finish 1st in the East. What followed was a 1-4 first round exit in the playoffs to the 8th seed Miami Heat.
  • Due to being somewhat humbled the new season is in part about redemption for what is now even more arguably the best team in the NBA.
  • The off-season saw a new coach appointed. Adrian Griffin replaces Mike Budenholzer, a direct result of the team’s performance in their first-round loss to Miami, of which Bud was blamed for because a number of late-game decisions. This included the well publicised choice not to put Giannis on Jimmy Butler, Giannis saying he’d have relished the challenge. 
  • Up until the 27th September Milwaukee were effectively running it back. Veterans Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez signed extensions for a combined $150 million. Both are a win now complementary starters to go alongside a prime Giannis Antetekounmpo. Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton also remain.
  • Then the trade happened and the key addition was made….Damian Lillard. His addition has brought an increased offensive presence at the expense of Jrue Holiday’s defence. Also added prior to the Lillard trade was Malik Beasley, who led the league last season in 3-pointers off the bench. He could potentially replace the now moved on Wes Matthews in the starting lineup. Free agent Robin Lopez joins as a third option at centre. TyTy Washington Jr and Cameron Payne have also been signed.
  • Notable subtractions are Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen (surplus to requirements once Beasley had been acquired), Joe Ingles, Wesley Matthews, Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard
  • Potential starting 5 – PG Damian Lillard, SG Khris Middleton, SF Bobby Portis, PF Giannis Antetekounmpo, C Brook Lopez – this could easily be changed to see Connaughton or Beasley at the 2, Middleton the 3 and Portis off the bench.

NEW YORK KNICKS

  • Last season was New York’s best in a decade. A No. 5 seed finish in the East and a 47-35 winning season was followed by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. New York fell short in the semi-finals to the Miami Heat by 2-4. The arrival of Jalen Brunson had relieved pressure on others in this squad and allowed them to have a better balance. 
  • Season 2023-24 has to be one where Jalen Brunson and friends carry the Knicks further, the question being can they?
  • The summer has been a quiet time for the Knicks as they showed confidence in their guys and decided to run it back. They did extend Josh Hart for 4 years at $81 million.
  • Remaining almost entirely is the team that pushed the Knicks forward. Coach Tom Thibodeau remains at the helm. Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley, Josh Hart, Isaiah Roby and Isaiah Hartenstein give the Knicks amazing continuity and a depth not seen in the Garden for years. 
  • The key addition to this squad is getting veteran experience in the shape of Donte DiVincenzo, a proven and reliable backup at both Milwaukee and Golden State. He is being joined in the garden by the younger and likely end of bench Dylan Windler and Nathan Knight.
  • Notable subtractions Obi Toppin and Derrick Rose were traded away
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Jalen Brunson, SG Quentin Grimes, SF RJ Barrett, PF Julius Randle, C Mitchell Robinson

ORLANDO MAGIC

  • The Magic made improvements in result terms and competitiveness last season, going 34-48, seeing Orlando finish 13th in the East
  • Last season was very much a story of two parts. Starting with a horrific 5-20, the team then went 29-28. The win increase of 12 games on the previous season was the largest in the Eastern Conference and across the league only Sacramento and Oklahoma saw bigger gains.
  • A positive impact for the Magic could come from a fit and healthy Jonathan Isaac remaining on the squad. He featured in 11 games last season providing a promising cameo.
  • This offseason has seen Franz Wagner, Moritz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Goga Bitadze and Joe Ingles all play at the World Championships. That tournament concluded with Franz and Mo taking the gold medal at with Germany. Franz Wagner announced himself to a world audience, who are finally realising what Magic fans have now known for two years; Franz Wagner is a very, very good player.
  • The summer also saw centre/forward free agents Moe Wagner and Goga Bitadze brought back. Cole Anthony signed a 3 year extension at $39 million, potentially Orlando’s best business of the summer.
  • Key additions through the Draft were guards Anthony Black and Jett Howard. Forward Joe Ingles was acquired through free agency as a shooting veteran presence. Finally Trevelin Queen secured the final two-way contract with the Magic. Queen has played in 17 career NBA regular season games with Houston and Indiana. 
  • The most notable subtraction from the squad was Bol Bol. The only other player to leave was veteran guard Michael Carter-Williams.
  • The NBA season 2023-24 is here and the Magic players have set themselves the target of reaching the playoffs. With reigning Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero and third year Franz Wagner at the helm this does feel doable.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Markelle Fultz, SG Jalen Suggs, SF Franz Wagner, PF Paolo Banchero, C Wendell Carter Jr

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 

  • Last season, often on the tails of Joel Embiid the Sixers reached 54 wins and 28 losses, finishing 3rd in the East. The postseason however was a somewhat predictable shortcoming, exiting in the semifinals. In a game 7 they lost to the Boston Celtics, as Embiid and Harden shot a combined 8-of-29.
  • Season 2023-24 is in some ways a new start. However with Embiid in his prime and looking to make a big run for a ring they have to get better. 
  • To that end Philly made a move at the head coaching job. Doc Rivers was replaced by Nick Nurse, a bold move to try and get something different out of a squad that has continually fell short in the postseason under Rivers.
  • The summer is over but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Sixers are set, the future of James Harden continues to be a question. He is at this point still in Philadelphia despite all the speculation to the contrary.
  • Remaining is star man and MVP Joel Embiid, along with, Tobias Harris and PJ Tucker. The Sixers were able to extend backup centre Paul Reed.
  • Key additions to this squad are Patrick Beverley and Kelly Oubre Jr. Additional signings fleshing the bench out include Danny Green and Mo Bamba.
  • The subtractions have not been to any lead players but saw bench depth Shake Milton, Georges Niang and Jalen McDaniels exit amongst others.
  • Possible starting 5 – PG James Harden, SG Tyrese Maxey, SF Tobias Harris, PF PJ Tucker, C Joel Embiid

TORONTO RAPTORS 

  • Last season wasn’t awful, reaching .500 with a 41-41 and so finished 10th in the East. Toronto missed out on the playoffs completely after losing the 9-10 play-in game 109-105 on home court to the Chicago Bulls. It wasn’t good enough to see head coach Nick Nurse keep the job in Toronto. Truth be told the team under his stewardship had never come close again to his crowning achievement with the club of becoming NBA Champions at the end of season 2018-19.
  • This new season is therefore the beginning of a new chapter for a team desperate to taste the heights again. 
  • The summer saw Darko Rajakovic appointed as coach and the re-signing of Jakob Poeltl.
  • Remaining as the team’s leaders are OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. Depth and further continuity is supplied by Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent Jr, Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa from the bench
  • Key additions are at guard with the drafting at 13 of shooter Gradey Dick and via free agency guard Dennis Schroder (fresh from leading Germany to the FIBA World Cup title). They further picked up Jalen McDaniels 
  • Notable subtractions pretty much start and finish with Fred VanVleet, who got paid in free agency by  Houston. Will Barton and Dalano Barton also moved on.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Dennis Schroder, SG OG Anunoby, SF Scottie Barnes, PF Pascal Siakam, C Jakob Poeltl

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

  • Last season was another of disappointment and negligible progress. It saw a 35-47 record and an underwhelming finish of 12th in the East. 
  • This new season is the first of the post Bradley Beal rebuild. It is hard to see any likelihood of huge improvement in the search for contention just yet.
  • The summer saw Kyle Kuzma extended at 4 years for $25.5 million per year. 
  • Key additions came in a fresh start for Jordan Poole and Tyus Jones in trades. They also drafted Bilal Coulibaly, a great two-way prospect who could easily be heavily in the team rotation. Further they picked up Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala and Landry Shamet.
  • Squad subtractions are many, including most notably Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Monte Morris. I guess we could include Chris Paul here, having been received in the Beal trade, then moved on for Poole.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Tyus Jones, SG Jordan Poole, SF Corey Kispert, PF Kyle Kuzma, C Daniel Gafford

WESTERN CONFERENCE

DALLAS MAVERICKS

  • Last season was a failure for a team with championship ambitions. Defeat in the 2022 Western Conference Final was followed by stumbling through the 2022-23 season. Ultimately it was a significant back step, attaining a 38-44 record and finishing 11th in the West
  • That struggle saw the big mid-season swing, pairing their main man Luka Doncic with Kyrie Irving, and it didn’t work going just 5-11 together.
  • This summer Kyrie Irving re-signed with the team at a mind boggling $126 million for 3 years. Dallas doubled down on the move, being kind of in a corner having signed him mid season in a contract year. He is undeniably talented but a history of unpredictability makes him a somewhat risky investment 
  • The work is now for Coach Jason Kidd to find a way to make the Luka-Kyrie pairing work. The team still has players such as Maxi Kleber, Tim Hardaway Jr, Dwight Powell and Markieff Morris (both who also resigned in the summer) 
  • Having tied up a lot of money Dallas had to find value to put around them. The moves made have been a strong balance of experience, youth and defensive toughness. Forward Grant Williams and centre Richaun Holmes came in via trade. Centre Dereck Lively II and forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper were drafted. Free agent veteran guards Seth Curry and Dante Exum, along with forward Derrick Jones Jr were picked up.
  • Notable subtractions amongst others moved are Reggie Bullock, Davis Bertans, Justin Holiday, JaVale McGee, Christian Wood and Frank Ntilikina 
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Luka Doncic, SG Kyrie Irving, SF Tim Hardaway Jr, PF Grant Williams, C Dwight Powell

DENVER NUGGETS 

  • Last season saw Denver finish as the NBA Champions after taking down Miami 4-1 in the finals. On route to that triumph they’d had a 53-29 regular season, finished 1st in the West, then in the Western Conference Playoffs defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. 
  • Season 2023-24 is now one of trying to hold onto that title. That task is with a big target on their back, everybody wants to beat the champion. It won’t be an easy task but is something this group will relish. 
  • Remaining and rested after the summer is a starting 5 that will be as tough as ever to play. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon is a unit. Little needs to be said as to how good Jokic was last season. Skilful, determined and possessed with a great basketball IQ, it saw him earn the Finals MVP accolade (if not the one for the regular season).
  • The summer saw the Nuggets re-sign Reggie Jackson, keeping the veteran guard in the rotation, but that was the extent of their moves outside of the Draft.
  • Those Draft additions were Julian Strawther and Hunter Tyson. Both will have to be patient as their opportunities will not come easily. 
  • Notable subtractions are all to the bench, two are players who contributed to that title run. Forwards Bruce Brown and Jeff Green left, as did centre Thomas Bryant. Brown was someone Denver wanted to keep but could not afford to pay him, his leaving will hurt. 
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr, PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

  • Last season’s record was 44-38, finishing 6th in the West, Once in the playoffs they took a close first round matchup 4-3 over the Sacramento Kings, before losing 2-4 in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Lakers.
  • Season 2023-24 is going to be an interesting year for the Warriors but will see the questions raised again about how much longer they can rely on Steph Curry, who was stellar last season.
  • Remaining in the Bay also are Klay Thompson (who must find his consistency), Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are hoped to push on as they enter their third season.
  • The summer saw the Warriors bank on old heads. They extended Draymond Green for another 4 years. There was a link to Dwight Howard that came to nothing. They are also being linked to one or two other notable players so they may yet enter the season with a different look.
  • The most notable addition is veteran guard Chris Paul. He certainly gives them steadier and smarter option at the back-up point guard position.
  • Notable subtractions are both guards, being Jordan Poole (dumping Poole’s $128 million contract in the process) and Donte DiVincenzo.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Steph Curry, SG Klay Thompson, SF Andrew Wiggins, PF Draymond Green, C Kevon Looney

HOUSTON ROCKETS 

  • Last season was a struggle going 22-60 and finished 14th in the West. They had a lot of work to do and needs to address. On paper they seem to have done a lot to address this, getting depth in every position. James Harden still being linked with a return.
  • The season will begin with a new coach, a big hire by getting Ime Udoka. He comes with experience, is a known disciplinarian and has the credibility to push the team forward.
  • Remaining on the team is a young core of strong potential, notably Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr.
  • The summer saw Houston go big, by investing in experience whilst also increasing the young core.
  • Key additions in the draft were both guards in Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore. Thompson at the 4th pick has a high ceiling on his two-way capabilities. Whitmore was projected as a top-five pick, then dropped dramatically to 20 due to what has been described as both medical and personality issues. 
  • Free agency saw Houston splash their abundance of available cash. Fred VanVleet was given a three-year $130 million deal. He is a clever, reliable guard; addressing the need for veteran experience and 3-point shooting. Forward Dillon Brooks signed a reported four-year, $80 million deal. If he can avoid a repeat of the PR disaster in Memphis he will be a positive addition. He brings experience, scoring, toughness and willingness to guard anyone. Further experience came with Jeff Green (coming off a championship season with Denver), Victor Oladipo and Aaron Holiday. The final acquisition was centre Jock Landale.
  • Ongoing allegations against Kevin Porter Jr saw him traded to OKC (and immediately waived). The only other notable subtraction is Kenyon Martin Jr.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Fred VanVleet, SG Jalen Green, SF Dillon Brooks, PF Jabari Smith Jr, C Alperen Sengun

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 

  • Last season’s record of 44-38 was pretty much achieved without either of the star duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The record saw a 5th place finish in the West, going out 1-4 to the Phoenix Suns in Western Conference First Round.
  • Season 2023-24 at this point appears to be one where the Clippers are sticking with experience and hoping to get a contribution from their stars by them staying healthy. 
  • Remaining on the team are Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac, Terrence Mann, Mason Plumlee, Norman Powell, Marcus Morris and Robert Covington.
  • There is still some speculation of James Harden coming to the Clippers, but that deal would likely cost them Terrence Mann. 
  • A fully fit and healthy Kawhi and PG13 brings an increased threat back to the team as they are both impressive shooters.
  • Business done in the summer saw Mason Plumlee sign an extension. Russell Westbrook re-signed to the team, taking one of the biggest pay cuts in NBA history from max contract to vet minimum.
  • Key additions saw Kenyon Martin Jr join and Kobe Brown taken at 30th in the Draft.
  • Eric Gordon was waived and is the only subtraction from the squad that finished the last season
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Russell Westbrook, SG Paul George, SF Kawhi Leonard, PF Nicolas Batum, C Ivica Zubac

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

  • Last season was better than many expected for the Purple and Gold. A mini-rebuild mid-season saw the Lakers race to a 43-39 record, finishing 7th in the West. Winning their way into the postseason in 7-8 play-in game, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves the Lakers pushed on. Dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors, they made it all the way to the Western Conference Final. Even being swept 0-4 by the Denver Nuggets it had been a success. The season was a genuine story of two halves. 
  • Season 2023-24 has to be entered with confidence from the Lakers that they can be in the Championship conversation again. 
  • The summer saw Rob Pelinka do everything he can to facilitate that. Anthony Davis signed an extension for a further three years at $186 million, locking him in through 2028. Deals were signed by De’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves all on contracts that were great value for the team in respect of keeping them out of the luxury tax bracket.
  • Those aforementioned deals left the Lakers with money available to get guard Gabe Vincent (three years, $33 million), centre Jaxson Hayes (two years, $7.7 million, forward Taurean Prince (one year, $4 million) and Christian Wood (two years, $7.5 million). Via the Draft they gained guard Jalen Hood-Schifino. Cam Reddish has also been acquired. 
  • Remaining on the team is a 38 year old LeBron James. Entering his 20th season in the league it is hard to imagine him not getting a 20th All Star appearance. 
  • Notable subtractions include Dennis Schroder, Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba, Wenyan Gabriel,Lonnie Walker IV and Tristan Thompson
  • Projected starting 5 – PG D’Angelo Russell, SG Austin Reaves, SF LeBron James, PF Jared Vanderbilt, C Anthony Davis

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 

  • Last season saw Memphis win 51 games, losing 31. That record that saw them finish 2nd in the West and come close to overtaking the Denver Nuggets at the top spot. Everything seemed set to see this team do better than any Memphis team before. Then up popped the immaturity which had so many basketball fans already hating on them. Dillon Brooks gave the Lakers every motivation they needed in the first round of the playoffs. His behaviour directly impacted how the Lakers went about their business, eliminating Memphis 4-2.
  • The new season is about resetting the roster’s behaviour, getting a more mature outlook and doing better come the big moments. 
  • Ja Morant remains but his “repeated poor behaviour” saw the NBA give him another ban, this one for 25 games. When he returned from his first suspension (8 games) Ja remained an elite performer. The Grizzlies will hope that once he comes back and is re-acclimatised he can return to simply playing high quality basketball. It is a for a hit for a team with such big ambitions.
  • Another hit was the loss of Steven Adams for the entire upcoming campaign through knee surgery.
  • Desmond Bane was given a 5 year extension at $207 million. 
  • Jaren Jackson Jr won Defensive Player of the Year but struggled on the international stage with Team USA. He will be seeking to prove that was a minor blip. Further key players staying in Memphis are John Konchar, Luke Kennard, Santi Aldama and Xavier Tillman.
  • The key addition to the roster is guard Marcus Smart, who will assume the point duty until Ja Morant returns. Smart is a tough defender with a leadership voice, something this team desperately needs. In veteran Derrick Rose the Grizzlies got another guy who can guide the team in the locker room, whilst contributing when called upon. 
  • Notable subtractions were both important for different reasons. Firstly, the dropping of Dillon Brooks was a direct result of his own behaviour in the playoffs. Memphis decided he was no longer worth the effort seemingly feeling that his actions had a detrimental effect in the locker room. That decision directly resulted in the loss of the hugely reliable backup point guard Tyus Jones in the trade that brought Smart in. 
  • Possible starting 5 – PG Marcus Smart, SG Desmond Bane, SF John Konchar, PF Jaren Jackson Jr, C Xavier Tillman

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES 

  • Last season the T-Wolves won 42 games of an 82 game season. Finishing 8th in the West saw them go into the play-in tournament. Losing the 7-8 seeding game in overtime 102-108 in LA to the Lakers resulted in a single home court game against OKC, which the Timberwolves won 95-120. In the playoff first round they were easily dispatched 1-4 by the Denver Nuggets. 
  • Stepping into the new season and having growth will be a challenge for coach Chris Finch if Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert cannot get the chemistry right, KAT will need to stay healthy also.
  • The summer was a somewhat quiet one, Minnesota having already done their big deals the previous year. So they kind of had to commit to that move. 
  • Therefore this is a team that is going with continuity and running it back. Their star man Anthony Edwards has announced himself further whilst on duty with Team USA this summer at the World Cup. He was given a rookie max extension for 5 years (just the $260 million potentially!). He joins Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert on the team with max deals. Back up centre Naz Reid was also extended on a three years, $42 million deal. That continuity also includes Mike Conley, Jaden McDaniels, Kyle Anderson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
  • Additions have been made to the bench, most notably Shake Milton and Troy Brown Jr. 
  • There have been some minor subtractions, including Taureen Prince and Austin Rivers. 
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Mike Conley, SG Anthony Edwards, SF Jaden McDaniels, PF Karl-Anthony Towns, C Rudy Gobert

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS 

  • Last season saw a great start for the Pels, leading the Western Conference after 2 months of the season. Then it was downhill and the playoffs were missed on the back of a 42-40 season, which was good enough to finish 9th in the West. New Orleans could not however deal with OKC in the 9-10 play-in game, going down on home court 123-118.
  • Season 2023-24 has to be about keeping Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram healthy. Ingram missed half the season and Zion was absent after a hamstring injury on January 2nd. That saw the Pelicans down their biggest two stars much of the time. Zion has played only 114 of a total 328 regular-season games across four years. If they can keep him and Ingram on the court the goal of making the playoffs is achievable. 
  • Remaining on the squad are Williamson and Ingram, along with the ever reliable CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III, Herbert Jones, Jonas Valanciunas, Larry Nance Jr and Jose Alvarado.
  • The summer effectively saw Pelicans GM David Griffin decide to run it back. 
  • Not many additions here to talk about but picking up Cody Zeller in free agency is a good move and the other addition is Jordan Hawkins a sizeable guard in the draft at pick 14.
  • Notable subtractions are Jaxson Hayes, Josh Richardson and Willy Hernangomez.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG CJ McCollum, SG Brandon Ingram, SF Herbert Jones, PF Zion Williamson, C Jonas Valanciunas

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 

  • Last season saw OKC give the NBA a heads up that they are ready to compete. Winning 40 games out of 82 saw them finish 10th in the West. Come the Play-In OKC faced a road game in New Orleans, winning the 9-10 match up by 123-118. They then travelled to Minnesota and fell short of reaching the playoffs as the Timberwolves won 95-120. Either way this was a very respectable season of great strides. 
  • The new season is ripe for further growth, as these young players try to take the next step. 
  • The summer was about control over their future. They resisted the urge to take any shortcuts, took on good contracts and gained additional draft capital. 
  • In the draft at number 10 OKC took Carson Wallace, along with two second rounders. Wallace was the guy OKC wanted so traded up with Dallas from 12 to 10. He is a good combo guard prospect with a defensive upside. In that deal also came the excellent pick up of veteran sharpshooter Davis Bertans (who is hot off a strong showing in the FIBA World Cup).
  • Remaining on the squad is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander now one of the league’s hardest players to guard, scoring 31.4 ppg (4th in the NBA). Then there is Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, Lu Dort and Isaiah Joe. Finally throw in Chet Holmgren, the Thunder’s No. 2 pick last season. He is about to embark on his rookie season, after a foot injury saw him miss all of the last campaign. It is a very youthful core but one that is together. 
  • To continue on the theme of stability there are no notable subtractions from this squad. 
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, SG Josh Giddey, SF Lu Dort, PF Jalen Williams, C Chet Holmgren

PHOENIX SUNS 

  • Last season they had a 45-37 record and finished 4th in the West. In the playoffs they took down the LA Clippers 1-4 in the first round before exiting to the eventual champions, the Denver Nuggets 2-4.
  • Season 2023-24 is about being in contention. To do that finding the chemistry with so many newcomers will have to happen quickly. 
  • In some ways you could predict that a change was in the air after the blockbuster trade last February for Kevin Durant.
  • The summer has seen Phoenix new owner Mat Ishbia (he took over in February) sack head coach Monty Williams and hire a new one. The man now tasked with leading Phoenix to a title is Frank Vogel.
  • Let’s start here with those still on the team. Remaining are Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. In the limited time together last season they had chemistry. Josh Okogie was re-signed on a contract extension and that’s about it as to continuity.
  • Now to the additions, and the only place to start is with Bradley Beal. The 30 year old guard is a legitimate scorer. Pairing him with Durant and Booker means they have three players who can all handle the ball and create their own shot, it should be fun to watch. Jusuf Nurkic will take the centre starting position having come in from Portland, possibly a downgrade from DeAndre Ayton but likely to be less problematic as far as being a personality fit. The bench has some defence added with Grayson Allen and Bol Bol (as Magic fans we all saw his limitations). Others coming in bring shooting, such as Eric Gordon and Yuta Watanabe. Nassir Little, Keira Bates-Diop, Drew Eubanks, Chimezie Metu and Keon Johnson round out the list of new recruits.
  • Notable subtractions include DeAndre Ayton, Chris Paul, Cameron Payne, Landry Shamet, Jock Landale, Torrey Craig, Darius Bazley, TJ Warren, Bismarck Biyombo and Terrence Ross.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Devin Booker, SG Bradley Beal, SF Josh Okogie, PF Kevin Durant, C Jusuf Nurkic

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 

  • Last seasons 33-49 record and 12th place finish in the West was the precursor to this huge summer for Portland.
  • It is now the start of a new era. The Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combination is now history. CJ had left in February 2022, but Dame remained. For whatever reason it didn’t seem like the team were going anywhere with Lillard, who requested a trade. More of that in a moment.
  • Having gone into a hard tank the Blazers got the third pick in the Draft, taking dynamic point guard Scoot Henderson. Portland also had a second first rounder, selecting forward Kris Murray.
  • Remaining is little from the previous season but Anfernee Simons is still around. As is Jerami Grant, who this summer got paid in a big way, taking a 5 year $160 million contract. Matisse Thybulle also signed a 3 year $33 million extension. 2nd year small forward Shaedon Sharpe is likely to get increased minutes after having a reliable rookie season. 
  • The rest of the summer is best described as a waiting game by Joe Cronin, the team GM. Cronin held out for a suitable deal for Damian Lillard, who as part of his trade request made the assertion of being willing to go only to the Miami Heat. Once the trade for Dame happened it saw a complete shift in the squad, with Milwaukee, Phoenix and Portland moving assets about. Another deal quickly followed to move the newly acquired Jrue Holiday.
  • Key additions were ultimately DeAndre Ayton, Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdan.
  • The subtractions were multiple, some hadn’t even unpacked before being traded. Out went Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, Keon Johnson, Nassir Little and others (including Jrue Holiday). Cam Reddish, Kevin Knox II and Justice Winslow were also allowed to move away.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Scoot Henderson, SG Anfernee Simons, SF Shaedon Sharpe, PF Jerami Grant, C DeAndre Ayton

SACRAMENTO KINGS 

  • The Kings’ fans chant of “light the beam” was certainly heard last season with a huge progression. Taking a 48-34 record and finishing 3rd in the West saw the ending a 16-year postseason drought. They however ultimately lost 3-4 in a hugely entertaining playoff first round series versus the Golden State Warriors.
  • The new season is about consolidation of that position and come the next postseason a progression beyond the first round. 
  • Remaining is Coach of the Year Mike Brown and almost the entire squad that saw such success last season.
  • The summer was relatively quiet for the Kings. The business done started with resigning Harrison Barnes and extending forward Trey Lyles.
  • The additions were well made to this strong squad. They picked up Chris Duarte from the Pacers for two second-round picks. They signed veteran experience to their young roster in back up centre JaVale McGee. They also added Sasha Vezenkov, the MVP of the European League.
  • Their draft pick was at 24, taking Olivier-Maxence Prosper. He was subsequently thrown in to a trade as a sweetener that saw centre Richaun Holmes leave. Holmes is the only subtraction from the squad and he hardly featured last season. They did also acquire and waive Nerlens Noel. 
  • Projected starting 5 – PG De’Aaron Fox, SG Kevin Huerter, SF Harrison Barnes, PF Keegan Murray, C Domantas Sabonis

SAN ANTONIO SPURS 

  • Last season was the Spurs worst since 1996-97, that time it resulted in the number 1 pick and taking Tim Duncan. With 22 wins and 60 losses the Spurs actively tanked, finishing 15th in the West. Again they were rewarded with that top pick.
  • This new season is all about that number 1 pick and “generational talent” Victor Wembanyama. The media hype is that he will be leading the Spurs back into contention immediately. It is important to remember that neither the Spurs nor their big French centre are pushing this narrative. He has so far looked like the man to progress this rebuild forward.
  • Aside from adding Wembanyama, the Spurs did little to upgrade their roster. Everything else beyond that pick has been pretty low key this summer.
  • Remaining at the helm is the legend that is Coach Pop. They resigned Tre Jones, thus keeping the young core of Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan in tact, alongside 5 year man Devonte’ Graham.
  • The key additions aside from Wembanyama are the trades for depth at the reserve forward position Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens.
  • It is notable that there are no major subtractions from this squad. They did acquire and waive Cameron Payne and Reggie Bullock
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Tre Jones, SG Devin Vassell, SF Keldon Johnson, PF Jeremy Sochan, C Victor Wembanyama

UTAH JAZZ 

  • Last season was supposed to be one where the Jazz sank after hitting the rebuild button having dealt Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, it didn’t completely happen that way.Yes they  finished 12th in the West, with a losing 37-45 record but they were competing. 
  • The new season perhaps won’t see them make the playoffs but this team will be a thorn in the side of many an opponent. 
  • Remaining is Lauri Markkanen. Last time out he delivered a career and All-Star season, earning him the Most Improved Player award. Walker Kessler; after a strong rookie season got international experience with Team USA. 
  • The summer saw Jordan Clarkson re-signed for a further 3 years at $55 million, having averaged a career best 20.8 points per game last season.
  • The additions are aplenty and forward John Collins via trade is the foremost amongst them. He is joined by a further three forwards, one is Omer Yurtseven (picked up from free agency). The other two come from a hugely productive night at the 2023 Draft for Utah taking forwards Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh at 9 and 28, along with guard Keyonte George at 16. All three rookies will get minutes and could make significant contributions. 
  • Notable subtractions are none if any to be frank, losing Rudy Gay, Damian Jones and John Toscano-Anderson. 
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Collin Sexton, SG Jordan Clarkson, SF Lauri Markkanen, PF John Collins, C Walker Kessler

The NBA Season 2023-24 Is Here!

The anticipation is built, the NBA Season 2023-24 is here! The rosters are pretty much set. Training camp and preseason is over. The next action will be for real. This campaign has an excitement about it and as a Magic fan our optimism is high.

Bring on the cries of “defence” in the arenas, the sleepless nights of watching a 2am tip as a U.K. fan. We want the drama, the endlessly debated calls and all the highs and the lows of a season. Let’s get it started!

LET’S GO MAGIC!!