The Early Contenders And Pretenders For 2023 NBA Champion

Finding bets worth making, and waiting on, for next season

Even if you're just taking a peek right now, we all know it's never too early to look ahead to next year's NBA title odds right?

After the Golden State Warriors won their fourth title since 2015, it's a safe bet to assume a good portion of people went pretty quickly to see where they stacked up for next year, and what type of edge you might be able to find early in the process.

Even with tons of offseason still on the calendar, you probably have an idea of what teams you have the most confidence in, as do I.

Let's take a look at some teams worth considering now, and who could take that next step and be the surprise contender next season.

The Favorite: Golden State Warriors (+530 consensus)

It's been a long road back for the Golden State Warriors, hasn't it?

From Klay Thompson missing over two years with two major injuries, to Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and what seemed like pretty much the rest of the roster catching the injury bug, the Warriors essentially decided to just sacrifice those two lean years in hopes they'd pick up where they left off.

That's exactly what happened, and they're set for a chance at a repeat big next season.

The Warriors' depth and patience are why they're in this spot again. They added extra layers to an already potent attack, with Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman expected to take on bigger roles next year as well.

Oh, and let's not forget what Andrew Wiggins brought to this team.

Even as their core ages, this much youth infused with the experience gained with a title run puts the Warriors not just in line for another championship next year, but possibly a few years down the road.

They have the money to keep everyone together and apparently are willing to spend, so not only do I like the Warriors to repeat, but I like their chances for the next two to three years as well.

What To Do: Bet Now

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The Let's Not Forget Them Team: Milwaukee Bucks (+730)

I mean, they did just win a title a year ago. Now, the Bucks sit behind not only the Warriors and Celtics (+610) when we're looking at the consensus odds, but the Clippers and Nets (+670) as well.

If Khris Middleton had been healthy, they likely would've come out of the east, and had a good chance at beating the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

A healthy Bucks team with a few tweaks could be right back there again in 2023.

What To Do: Bet Now

The "Maybe This Year Will Be Different" Team: L.A. Clippers (+670)

The Clippers actually deserve some credit for staying afloat with Kawhi Leonard missing the whole year, and Paul George playing in just 31 games. They came a win short of the playoffs after losing in the Play-In, but remember George also missed that game after entering health and safety protocols.

They finally found themselves in the conference finals a year ago, and with their two stars back, you'd have to overlook their history, but not rule them out.

What To Do: Wait

The Giant Question Mark Team: Brooklyn Nets (+670)

This team has been a mess since they tried their original Big Three, and now Kyrie Irving's future is up in the air. Add that to the fact that we don't have a clue what to expect from Ben Simmons, or whether this team can even stay healthy or build chemistry led by a coach in Steve Nash that's never really had a normal season to work with, and there's just too much risk with this disaster at the moment.

The price will likely stay where it is for a while, like we saw with the Lakers, so there's no rush to lock in anything at the moment.

What To Do: Stay Away

The Longshot Team: Denver Nuggets (+1760)

Denver had back-to-back playoffs where Nikola Jokic had to carry this team by himself, hence the back-to-back MVPs. Jokic sits fourth right now to win a third straight, but getting Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back is the key here.

If those two can pick up where they left off, added to an already tough playoff team, the Nuggets might be worth a long-shot bet.

What To Do: Put A Sprinkle On Them

ALSO: Why The 2023 NBA MVP Is Luka Doncic's To Lose

Here's More Super-Early NBA Title Staff Picks For 2022-2023

Other Potential Teams To Watch

The Celtics obviously deserve a mention with the second-best odds, but they'll need to make some improvements this offseason. They could use at least one more dependable shooting, and would probably benefit from a more play-making point guard as well.

There's also the question of what that Finals loss will do. It can either motivate guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to get better, or it could send them back towards the Celtics we saw in the first half of the season. Time will tell.

The Heat (+1460) are getting older, so I'd expect some aggressive moves this offseason. They never have cap space but Pat Riley always finds a way. Keep an eye on their offseason.

As for the Suns (+920), Deandre Ayton getting moved will leave a big hole. Also, can Devin Booker take another step towards an MVP season? What about Chris Paul getting another year older?

Sure, we can throw the Sixers in here (+1560), but James Harden can't be counted on to even be in shape, let alone interested, so I wouldn't go near them.

Finally, the Mavericks (+1600) and Grizzlies (+1620) are on the rise, but not there yet. Memphis is closer with a better roster, but Ja Morant has to stay healthy, while the Mavs need to keep building around Luka Doncic.

There's always more questions than answers at this point, but we have a few teams that you shouild certainly feel confident in already.