We’re just two months away from the 2022-23 NBA season tip-off! Even though the whole league is still waiting for what happens with the Kevin Durant saga, there’s already a lot to look forward to, especially with how the early championship contenders stack up against each other.
The two finalists from last season are still in championship form, at least on paper. A couple of Western Conference teams will have their superstars back, and a squad from the Eastern Conference bolstered their roster with two tough versatile role players.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the early championship contenders in the 2022-23 NBA season.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors were able to retain their starting lineup from last season’s successful title run (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney), but their bench looks a tad different. They lost a great versatile defender in Gary Payton II, along with other notable role players like Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr., and Juan Toscano-Anderson.
But the potential-oozing, seven-footer James Wiseman is returning from a redshirt year, and the defending champs have also acquired the services of Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green. Wiseman provides the Warriors with a towering presence on both offense and defense, and DiVincenzo is a reliable two-way player off the bench.
The Dubs are also banking on the continuous improvement of Jordan Poole, their breakout star from last season, and sophomores Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga. NBA betting odds, including Boombet Review, place the Warriors as a top championship contender next season. Of course, this team is still centered on the exploits of the Curry-Thompson-Green trio, so there’s no reason not to believe that they are one of the favorites heading into the upcoming NBA season.
Even if they don’t win in the Durant sweepstakes, the Eastern Conference champions Boston Celtics are arguably in better form than they were last season. They retained their core, which bodes well for their continuity, and they brought in two players, Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, who will help them right away.
The acquisition of Brogdon, a two-way combo guard who just averaged 19-5-5 for the Indiana Pacers last season, will definitely help the team in many ways. A couple of major injuries may have caused his value to decline a bit, but his all-around game will be a boost for the Celtics’ second unit.
The Nuggets, with back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic at the helm, are coming back at full strength next season. Star guard Jamal Murray and frontcourt scorer Michael Porter Jr. have recovered from their respective injuries, so there’s no doubt that this team has what it takes to climb to the top of the Western Conference.
James Harden and Joel Embiid will spearhead the Sixers’ attack next season, and they’ll have plenty of help this time around. Tyrese Maxey is expected to be stellar again, and the arrival of De’Anthony Melton and P.J. Tucker provides the toughness and grit that the Sixers lacked last season.
Los Angeles Clippers
After sitting out the entirety of the 2021-22 season, Kawhi Leonard is returning this year to team up with co-star Paul George. The Clippers retained their key players from last season and added veteran point guard and former All-Star John Wall to the mix.