NBA Tier 1: Title contenders
4) Phoenix Suns
3) Milwaukee Bucks
2) Boston Celtics
1) Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets are the defending champions, and despite having a questionable offseason, they are still the team to beat until proven otherwise. The Celtics made two major trades this summer to bring in all-stars Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, giving them a star-studded starting lineup.
Even ignoring the fact that there will be four recent all-stars starting, the Celtics have arguably the most talented roster in the NBA and should be on a collision course for the Eastern Conference Finals unless Boston underachieves again.
After a bad start to the summer, which included losing in the first round to the Miami Heat and having star Giannis Antetokoumpo declare that he wouldn’t sign an extension, they rebounded quite nicely. They traded what little assets they had left to get a big offensive upgrade in Damian Lillard, while also getting revenge on the Heat by stealing him away from them.
Now they have arguably the best player in the NBA in Giannis and a top-10 player in Lillard. That is usually good enough to guarantee a deep playoff run if both are healthy, and the Bucks should have enough players around them to be a dominant team this season.
Phoenix made not one but two big trades during the offseason, remaking their roster. Adding Bradley Beal to a core of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker should make the Suns one of the most explosive offenses in the NBA.
Depth might be a concern, but they should have enough rotation players to make it through the regular season in one piece. Come playoff time, they may be impossible to stop on offense, and they are surprisingly decent on defense, with good size and length. Phoenix could be a major threat.
The start of the NBA regular season is almost here and here is the ultimate viewing guide for all 30 NBA teams for the 2023–24 season.
Ultimately, the Nuggets, Celtics, Bucks, and Suns are the four main contenders for the championship this season.