Photo Courtesy of Logaster

The 2022-2023 season is already knocking on our doors and everyone is already eager for a new basketball season to start. Teams have already made the most out of the offseason and the free agency, but, which are the best NBA teams that could be a legitimate threat for the 2023 championship? Let’s find out!

Most teams that made the 2022 playoffs would still be on our list as they still had most of their key players on their team. Meanwhile, some teams are emerging as title contenders due to returning and new players on their roster.


2022-2023 Best NBA Championship Contenders

Golden State Warriors

The defending champs are still the favorite team to win it all again next season. With the big three (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green), Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Kevon Looney retained on the team, the Dubs are still a team to beat in the league.

GSW
Photo Courtesy of NBA

Klay and Draymond are back in full health while Steph is back in his MVP form. Add that with the young talents of Wiggins and Poole, and GSW’s formula to winning is still intact and ready to go for another couple of years. Unfortunately, they lost their best perimeter defender in Gary Payton II but got a 3-and-D player (Donte DiVincenzo) in return.

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Los Angeles Clippers

The possibility of Kawhi Leonard returning next season could mean that the Clippers could once again pose a serious threat in the Western Conference. If he returns, the Clippers could have the healthy duo of Kawhi and Paul George once again.

Photo Courtesy of clipperholics.com

They have also acquired five-time All-Star point guard, John Wall, in free agency. Add that with new underrated acquisitions like Norman Powell and Robert Covington, the Clippers could be very well the much better team in Los Angeles (sorry L.A. Lakers).

Related: NBA: Is Kawhi Leonard Returning Next Season?

Boston Celtics

Could Jayson Tatum and the Celtics replicate their deep playoff run in the 2022 playoffs? We hope so.

Jayson Tatum, Photo Courtesy of slamonline.com

The casual fan may not recognize it, but Boston is the best defensive team in the NBA. In addition to that, they also have a very young and very talented roster. However, Jaylen Brown is in talks for a trade that would send Kevin Durant to Boston. If this pushes through, the Celtics could boost their chances for a chip if they have KD on their side. If not, the relationship between the Celtics front office and Brown could be tarnished which could damage the team’s chemistry.

Jaylen Brown is already a borderline All-Star and it was quite questionable why Boston would want to get rid of a guy who showed up in the NBA Finals.


Philadelphia 76ers

The Harden and Embiid project may have fallen short last playoffs. But, statistically, this duo could still lead the Sixers to their much-awaited chip.

Harden and Embiid
Photo Courtesy of thesixersense.com

The reigning scoring champ, Joel Embiid, is right up there with Nikola Jokic as the best center in the NBA today. Alongside him is one of the most lethal scorers of our generation, James Harden. Even though Harden seems to be off last season, he is still putting up 21 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds a game. These stats are All-Star-worthy numbers which mean that “The Beard” could be on fire again next season. Do you see Philly getting more than 60 wins?

According to ESPN analyst and former NBA player, Kendrick Perkins, James Harden and Joel Embiid could become the next Kobe and Shaq one-two punch dynasty in the league. With a similar combination of skills and talent, could what Perkins say be true?

Related: Will the Joel Embiid/ James Harden Duo Work?

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns managed to extend their star big man, DeAndre Ayton, to a four-year/$133 Million contract. This team still has the firepower to contend in the West, but going deeper in the playoffs seems to be harder next season.

2021-2022 Phoenix Suns
CP3 and the Suns Young Core, Photo Courtesy of azcentral.com

After choking against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks during the 2022 Western Conference Semi-finals, the Suns should take that as a valuable lesson. They did extremely great in the regular season by getting a franchise-best record of 64-18. Despite that, they were not able to hold on to the “best in the west” title after they lost to the Mavs in the 2nd round.


Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo has already proved he can win big in the NBA with his current team. He did it in 2021 and he can for sure do it again in the following years.

Photo Courtesy of behindthebuckpass.com

The Milwaukee Bucks have one of the best rosters in the NBA. If it weren’t for Khris Middleton getting injured last playoffs, they would be able to fair well with the Boston Celtics. The Bucks are still a powerhouse team in the East, and before other teams dream of going to the Finals, they need to get past a behemoth of an athlete, the Greek Freak.

Related: Giannis Antetokounmpo Passes Kareem as Bucks’ All-time Scoring Leader

Miami Heat

The best team in the East last season, the Miami Heat, are still favored by the basketball Gods to get their fourth championship with the help of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry.

Photo Courtesy of sportingnews.com

This tough-as-nails squad is coincidentally one of the preferred landing spots of superstars Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell. Judging by that logic, Miami Heat could be a great contender for the Larry O’Brien trophy and could take it from the Golden State Warriors. They haven’t made a move yet, but it seems they could land either one of the two mentioned stars very soon.


ANY TEAM THAT GETS KEVIN DURANT

Would you believe that any team in the NBA that would trade for Kevin Durant will become a sure championship contender?

KD and Kyrie, Photo Courtesy of NBA

Just after free agency began, Kevin Durant immediately requested a trade directly from the Brooklyn Nets owner, Joe Tsai. It shook the whole league after learning about this news but, on the other hand, it’s not new for KD to want out after a failed run in the playoffs.

There have been numerous teams that are interested in Durant but no team has been able to afford the 12-time NBA All-Star. Once again, whichever team he goes to, he can definitely bring them to the playoffs at the very least.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Los Angeles Lakers

Which team are you rooting for to win the 2023 NBA Championship? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.

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