Way too early predictions for every NBA playoff team in 2023-24

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The NBA offseason is still active, with rumors swirling about stars like Damian Lillard and James Harden. Trades involving the two players could drastically impact next year’s standings, making any prediction at the moment unreliable.

With that being said, the NBA will always be unpredictable, so there’s no more harm in trying to guess how next year’s standings will shake out before the two players are sent to their new homes. So, here’s my prediction of next year’s Eastern and Western Conference standings.

Eastern Conference

8. Indiana Pacers

Indiana looked like a surprise playoff team to begin last year but soon fell out of play-in range after injuries to key players like Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner. Still, the Pacers showed glimpses of playoff-caliber basketball and should be able to build off that this season with the additions of Bruce Brown, Jarace Walker, and Obi Toppin.

7. Atlanta Hawks

In such a stacked conference, it’s hard to expect much improvement from Atlanta after a disappointing season that saw them win only 41 games. The Hawks have made few changes this offseason, leaving them without a very well-rounded roster around the duo of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, whose fit together has already been questioned.

6. New York Knicks

New York didn’t do much to improve this summer aside from adding three-and-d guard Donte DiVincenzo, but they proved they were a formidable threat in the East throughout the second half of last season. They should be able to maintain their status as a playoff team as long as Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle continue playing at an all-star level, and the supporting cast continues developing.

5. Philadelphia 76ers

It’s fair to expect a decline from Philadelphia after they finished third in the conference last season. They’ll likely have to move on from James Harden after his trade request, and it’s hard to expect anyone will be offering an elite package considering Harden’s age and expiring contract. Having an MVP in Joel Embiid and a rising star in Tyrese Maxey should keep Philly in playoff position, but don’t expect them to contend for a top seed this year.