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NBA Championship Viability: 2022-2023


FAILED

Bucks

Bucks

+1 player ($30.4m),
Cap Impact - $12.1M
  • Jayson Tatum
    Jayson Tatum
    SF, 6' 8", 5.11 LEBRON
    Shot Creator

    $30.3M

    4yrs

    2

+1  Wins

+3.04  MPG

-0.52  Off.

-0.91  Def.

Celtics

Celtics

+1 player ($42.5m),
Cap Impact + $12.1M
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Giannis Antetokounmpo
    SG, 6' 11", 6.54 LEBRON
    Roll + Cut Big

    $42.4M

    4yrs

    17

-1  Wins

-3.04  MPG

+0.52  Off.

+0.91  Def.

76ers

76ers

+1 player ($33.0m),
Cap Impact - $568K
  • Nikola Jokic

    RS

    Nikola Jokic
    C, 6' 11", 7.8 LEBRON
    Recently Signed | Post Scorer

    $33.0M

    6yrs

    8

+3  Wins

-0.32  MPG

+1.39  Off.

+0.03  Def.

Nuggets

Nuggets

+1 player ($33.6m),
Cap Impact + $568K
  • Joel Embiid
    Joel Embiid
    C, 6.39 LEBRON
    Post Scorer

    $33.6M

    5yrs

    23

-3  Wins

+0.32  MPG

-1.39  Off.

-0.03  Def.

WARNING: Reading glasses are highly advised

Teams with legitimate title chances

  • 76'ers: Harden, Embiid, Maxey and Tobias is the most talented foursome in the NBA at creating their own shot and for others, their playoff offense will likely be spetacular. The defense, toughness and size got much needed upgrades in PJ Tucker, Danuel House and De'Anthony Melton too. However, Montrezl Harrell was recently signed as well to presumably be Embiid's backup, his impact in the playoffs has never been positive however, that is concerning given Doc will likely play him as the backup because he's a vet. Still, they're firmly in title contention as a offensively slanted roster who can hold up defensively at a title winning level. To improve the chances at winning a championship, either Trez makes a welcome surprise as a player who isn't a liability in the playoffs or Paul Reed gets his minutes, the non-Joel Embiid minute quality will be the pivotal factor in their chances to win it all.

  • Bucks: They're a bit older, banged up and possibility of being tired out due to how many minutes they've played since 2019. However, the supporting cast around the trio of Jrue+Middleton+Giannis likely have one more push left in them before revamping the supporting cast is needed. Their playoff defense has been historically great, the roster looks ready to do that once again next season if healthy, that's their bread and butter for success in the playoffs. To improve their title odds, they could find a way to bolster the offense without taking a inch away from their defensive capabilities in the playoffs (internal improvement or a incredibly savvy roster move), then they're easily the favorites for the title.

  • Celtics: The addition of Malcolm Brogdon improves their title odds compared to last year's team. However, Al Horford HAS to still be a elite role player capable of being the best big on a title winner, otherwise there is a concern of quality of size with the consistently injured Robert Williams being the only notable bigman outside of Al.

  • Nuggets: Defense is here with KCP+Brown joining, offense is here with MPJ+Jamal joining, they're now a two-way team capable of a NBA championship spearheaded by Nikola Jokic. However, the health of MPJ and Murray makes this also a fragile situation for the odds to win it all. The size behind Nikola Jokic also lags behind with the loss of DeMarcus Cousins (no contract?!?), minutes without Jokic on the floor do bring notable concern. However, since they now have offensive firepower to combat that with Murray+MPJ, it shouldn't be like last year with Jokic off the floor.

  • Suns: Average of 61 wins per 82 games over the past two seasons with a elite regular season offense and defense, they're still in title contention, but they're starting to get dangerously close to falling out of this category as a team. For their chances to increase of winning a championship, it will come down to improvements from the young players (Bridges, Ayton and Cam) and sustained production from the vets (CP3 and Jae if he isn't moved).

  • T-Wolves: Jaden McDaniels fringes as a two-way wing at the quality needed to win a championship, substantial improvements from him will dramatically improve the title odds for them. The rest of the roster however looks primed to contend for a title as soon as this season as a elite two-way team.

  • Warriors: All comes down to the trio of Moody, Kuminga and in particular Wiseman. If they can fill in the void of GPII, Otto and Bjelica adequately, then they'll be right back in the hunt for a championship. The Mavs, Celtics, Grizzlies without Ja or Adams playing at the same time and Denver's weak supporting cast for Jokic were ideal match-ups on their title run due to the lack of size presented with a quality supporting cast, that will be highly unlikely to repeat itself in the 2023 playoffs. Wiseman's improvements will greatly ease the match-ups that do have size to abuse GS with a team capable of winning a NBA championship.

  • Hawks: The surprise pick here, but I can see how they can win it all next season. A lot falls on Clint Capela and De'Andre Hunter having bounce back seasons defensively. However, if health goes in their favor and the bounce back seasons occur, the Hawks have everything needed win a NBA championship as soon as this season. They got the offensive superstar Trae Young spearheading possibly the best offense in the NBA and a defense that can make life miserable to get into the paint on the perimeter and interior. The addition of Dejounte Murray makes this all possible.

Close, but not quite ready to win it all

  • Cavs: Currently, Isaac Okoro is not a quality two-way player, improvements are needed from him to have any shot at a championship.

  • Clippers: The best bigman is Covington? Zubac? Morris? No chance they win until they get a borderline all-star level bigman. Teams like the 76'ers, Bucks and Nuggets will chew them up.

  • Grizzlies: The chances that Dillon Brooks is a 2nd option on a title winner are quite slim in general, with Ja as the best player it'll be as close to impossible as one can get. The shot creation needs to improve around Ja before they can be true title contenders.

  • Heat: By far the closest out of anyone in this category to becoming true title threats, however, they need a boost in size with the loss of PJ Tucker. His ability to grab offensive rebounds, physicality, energy and box outs was pivotal to their ECF run last season, gaining a healthy Kyle Lowry will not be enough to overcome this obstacle. Until Miami addresses the need for size next to Bam, they will inevitably fall short once again of a NBA championship.

  • Nets: Rim protection is pitifully weak at the moment, they need a unique rim protector who can space the floor for Ben Simmons to have any chance at a championship.

Any team not mentioned above has a improbable chance to win the 2023 NBA championship. Rational for team analysis for title odds are below.


Domination of executing possessions on offense or defense, strong shot makers+creators, versatile+effective perimeter defender who isn't a liability on offense, rim protection, quality bench players, starpower and upper class bigman. Without all elements being present, no chance at victory.

Domination of executing on offense or defense

  • 76'ers: Offense

  • Bucks: Defense

  • Celtics: Defense

  • Clippers: Offense

  • Grizzlies: Defense

  • Hawks: Offense

  • Heat: Defense

  • Nets: Offense

  • Nuggets: Offense

  • Pelicans: Offense

  • Suns: Offense

  • T-Wolves: Defense

  • Warriors: Offense

Strong shot makers+creators

  • 76'ers: Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid

  • Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Bulls: Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic

  • Cavs: Darius Garland, Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell

  • Celtics: Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum

  • Clippers: John Wall, Norman Powell, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard

  • Grizzlies: Ja Morant and Desmond Bane

  • Hawks: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins

  • Heat: Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo

  • Hornets: Terry Rozier, LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward

  • Kings: De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis

  • Knicks: Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett

  • Lakers: LeBron James and Anthony Davis

  • Mavs: Spencer Dinwiddie and Luka Doncic

  • Magic: Paolo Banchero

  • Nets: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons

  • Nuggets: Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr and Nikola Jokic

  • Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton

  • Pistons: Cade Cunningham

  • Raptors: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr and Pascal Siakam

  • Rockets: Jalen Green

  • Spurs: Keldon Johnson

  • Suns: Chris Paul, Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton

  • T-Wolves: D'Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns

  • Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey

  • T-Blazers: Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons and Jerami Grant

  • Warriors: Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green

  • Wizards: Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis

Versatile on-ball stopper who isn't a liability on offense

  • 76'ers: PJ Tucker

  • Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Wesley Matthews and Khris Middleton

  • Bulls: Patrick Williams

  • Celtics: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams

  • Clippers: Paul George and Kawhi Leonard

  • Grizzlies: Dillon Brooks

  • Heat: Jimmy Butler

  • Mavericks: Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith

  • Nets: Royce O'Neale

  • Nuggets: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon

  • Pistons: Cade Cunningham

  • Raptors: OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes

  • Spurs: Devin Vassell

  • Suns: Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder

  • T-Wolves: Jaden McDaniels

  • Thunder: Lu Dort

  • T-Blazers: Josh Hart

  • Warriors: (potentially Klay Thompson and) Andrew Wiggins

  • Wizards: Deni Advija and Kyle Kuzma

Rim protection

  • 76'ers: Joel Embiid

  • Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez

  • Cavs: Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen

  • Celtics: Robert Williams and Al Horford

  • Clippers: Robert Covington and Ivica Zubac

  • Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr and Steven Adams

  • Hawks: John Collins, Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu

  • Heat: Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon

  • Knicks: Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein

  • Lakers: LeBron James and Anthony Davis

  • Magic: Wendell Carter Jr, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba

  • Mavs: Javale McGee and Maxi Kleber

  • Nuggets: Nikola Jokic

  • Pacers: Myles Turner

  • Pistons: Isaiah Stewart and Nerlens Noel

  • Suns: DeAndre Ayton

  • T-Wolves: Rudy Gobert

  • Warriors: Draymond Green and Kevon Looney

  • Wizards: Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford

Quality bench players

  • 76'ers: De'Anthony Melton and Danuel House

  • Bucks: Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis

  • Bulls: Alex Caruso, Ayo Dusunmu and Andre Drummond

  • Celtics: Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon, and Grant Williams

  • Clippers: Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Terrence Mann, Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris and Robert Covington

  • Grizzlies: Tyus Jones, Ziaire Williams and Brandon Clarke

  • Hawks: Justin Holiday, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Onyeka Okongwu

  • Heat: Victor Oladipo, Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin and Dewayne Dedmon (potentially Duncan Robinson too)

  • Hornets: Cody Martin and Kelly Oubre

  • Kings: Davion Mitchell, Malik Monk and Richaun Holmes

  • Knicks: Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin and Isaiah Hartenstein

  • Magic: Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac (or Cole Anthony?) and Mo Bamba

  • Mavs: Tim Hardaway Jr, Maxi Kleber and Christian Wood

  • Nets: Patrick Mills, Seth Curry, TJ Warren, Markieff Morris and Nicolas (poor fit with Ben) Claxton

  • Nuggets: Bones Hyland, Bruce Brown and Jeff Green

  • Pacers: T.J. McConnell

  • Pistons: Alec Burks and Kelly Olynyk

  • Raptors: Otto Porter Jr, Chris Boucher and Thaddeus Young

  • Spurs: Doug McDermott

  • Suns: Cam Payne, Landry Shamet and Cam Johnson

  • T-Wolves: Jordan McLaughlin, Jaylen Nowell, Kyle Anderson and Naz Reid

  • Thunder: Kenrich Williams and Mike Muscala

  • T-Blazers: Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little

  • Warriors: Jordan Poole, Donte DiVenchenzo, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kumings and JaMychal Green

  • Wizards: Delon Wright, Will Barton, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford

Starpower

  • 76'ers: Joel Embiid and James Harden

  • Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Bulls: Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan

  • Cavs: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen

  • Celtics: Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum

  • Clippers: Paul George and Kawhi Leonard

  • Grizzlies: Ja Morant

  • Hawks: Trae Young and Dejounte Murray

  • Heat: Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo

  • Hornets: LaMelo Ball

  • Kings: Domantas Sabonis

  • Lakers: LeBron James and Anthony Davis

  • Mavs: Luka Doncic

  • Magic: Paolo Banchero

  • Nets: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons

  • Nuggets: Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic

  • Raptors: Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam

  • Suns: Chris Paul and Devin Booker

  • T-Wolves: Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert

  • Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

  • Warriors: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green

  • Wizards: Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis

Upper class bigman

  • 76'ers: Joel Embiid

  • Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Cavs: Jarrett Allen

  • Celtics: Al Horford

  • Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr

  • Hawks: John Collins and Clint Capela

  • Heat: Bam Adebayo

  • Kings: Domantas Sabonis

  • Lakers: Anthony Davis

  • Magic: Paolo Banchero

  • Nets: Ben Simmons

  • Nuggets: Nikola Jokic

  • Pelicans: Zion Williamson

  • Raptors: Pascal Siakam

  • Suns: DeAndre Ayton

  • T-Wolves: Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns

  • Warriors: Draymond Green

  • Wizards: Kristaps Porzingis


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