NBA Season Predictions 2022-2023

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2022

The NBA’s regular season is about to begin following a summer filled with drama.

The 2022-23 campaign should be one of the best in recent memory. Both conferences are deeper than ever, and there are several contenders with a legitimate shot at winning the NBA title.

But which team will emerge victorious? And who will bring home this year’s most coveted awards? Read on for my predictions ahead of the upcoming season.

All NBA betting odds are current as of Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 10 a.m. ET and courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

NBA Finals Pick 2023

Los Angeles Clippers defeat Milwaukee Bucks

The Clippers have been in the Larry O’Brien Trophy conversation for some time now, but there’s reason to believe that this is genuinely the year for Tyronn Lue‘s squad to pay off on their NBA Finals odds and win the title.

Los Angeles is by far the deepest team in the league — there are 11 players on the roster who would be starters just about anywhere else in the league — and their top-end talent is on par with other top contenders.

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If Kawhi Leonard and Paul George stay healthy, there’s no stopping this team. I have no reservations about picking them to come out of the Western Conference.

Despite the Boston Celtics’ push to the NBA Finals last season, I like the Bucks to represent the East in the final round of the postseason. Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s team was awfully close to returning there last season, and I like the roster changes they made over the summer.

Ultimately, though, I believe the Clippers will overwhelm the Bucks and capture their first NBA title in franchise history.

NBA MVP Pick 2023

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson has the ninth-shortest NBA MVP odds, which makes him something of a longshot to earn this award. The unknown plays a big role here — he missed all of the 2021-22 season due to injury — but there’s plenty more going in Williamson’s favor than the odds imply.

For one, Williamson is an otherworldly talent. The 22-year-old is the most dominant paint scorer in the NBA, and his strength and efficiency around the rim are virtually unparalleled.

He also looks healthier than ever now, which is scary since he averaged 27 points and 7.2 rebounds per game when we saw him last in 2021.

With that said, the MVP Award generally goes to the best player on the best (or at least an overachieving) team. Fortunately for Williamson, his Pelicans appear poised to take a huge leap forward this season — especially if he lives up to his lofty expectations.

NBA Rookie of the Year Pick 2023

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic

Paolo Banchero is in the perfect position to succeed in his rookie year. Expectations are unbelievably low for his Orlando Magic squad, and as a go-to scorer and playmaker, the ball will be in his hands on most possessions. His usage will be off the charts, and the NBA ROTY Odds reflect this optimism.

I’ll concede that he isn’t my favorite rookie in this class — Jaden Ivey is — but Banchero was drafted to be the guy on his roster rather than a complementary piece. I love Ivey’s game, but between Cade Cunningham, Jalen Duren, Saddiq Bey, and others, it may be hard for him to get the recognition that he deserves.

Look for Banchero to be a 16/7/4 type of guy this season and earn Rookie of the Year honors in the process.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Pick 2023

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

Could Rudy Gobert win this award a fourth time? Sure, according to the NBA DPOY Odds. But after Marcus Smart won it last season, it became apparent that voters were ready to elect a fresh face, and I feel that the same could ring true this season in the form of Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo.

Adebayo anchors what has long been one of the league’s best defenses, and it’s not like he’s strictly a rim protector, either — though he does that job exceptionally well, too. Adebayo moves to the perimeter with ease, can switch onto virtually any player, and is a stellar rebounder to boot.

Gobert deserves the credit he gets, but he’s not the same type of defender that Adebayo is. It’s time that Bam gets his moment in the spotlight.

NBA Most Improved Player Pick 2023

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers

When looking at the NBA MIP Odds, it becomes apparent that there aren’t a lot of bad picks to win the award this season. Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Maxey, Jordan Poole, Cade Cunningham … the list goes on. Plenty of second- and third-year players look poised to make a significant leap this coming season.

My favorite choice, though, is Tyrese Haliburton. The former Kings guard looked like an All-Star in the making after he was dealt to the Pacers this past year, averaging 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, and 1.8 steals in 26 games with Indiana.

Now, Haliburton has a full 82-game season ahead of him as the unquestioned No. 1 option. His team might not have much success, but I’m expecting to see a significant boost to his averages. If he can be a 20 and 10 type of guy, he should be in the Most Improved Player conversation all year long.

NBA Sixth Man of the Year Pick 2023

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors

“Swaggy Poole" would have been a top contender for this award last season had he not started in a majority of his games, but according to the NBA Sixth Man odds, he’s considered the favorite to take it home this year — and by a significant margin.

The 23-year-old was particularly impressive for Golden State in the playoffs, averaging 17.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 39.1% from three-point range. If he can post similar numbers over the course of the 2022-23 season, he could run away with this award.

He will have stiff competition in the form of Norman Powell, Tyler Herro, Christian Wood, and Malcolm Brogdon, but I believe it’s Poole who’s in the best position to succeed in this role this year.

Bold NBA Season Predictions

Lakers Miss the Playoffs

Health was the most significant factor in the Lakers going just 33-49 last season, but the roster — besides LeBron James and Anthony Davis — was largely forgettable. Los Angeles committed to making changes this past summer, but it remains to be seen if the franchise made the right ones.

The addition of Patrick Beverley should pay dividends — particularly on the defensive end, where the Lakers ranked 28th in points allowed per game last season — but how helpful will Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant, Damian Jones, Dennis Schröder, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Lonnie Walker IV prove to be?

The Western Conference is stacked. The Mavericks, Nuggets, Warriors, Clippers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, and Suns all look like locks to make the playoffs. I’m big on the Pelicans, too.

Unless the Lakers can exceed the 44.5-win mark that FanDuel has them projected at, I would side with them being a potential play-in team. And while it’ll be tough to defeat James and Davis in that format, the rest of this roster just isn’t doing it for me.

Pelicans Win 50+ Regular-Season Games

I truly think that this Pelicans squad can be this year’s Memphis Grizzlies. That is, the team that booms seemingly out of nowhere and logs 50-plus wins after sneaking into the playoffs the year prior.

New Orleans won 36 games last season, and that was with 55 games of Brandon Ingram, 26 of CJ McCollum, and none from Zion. Together, they should form an exciting and versatile trio that significantly improves this team’s offensive potential.

This group already established an identity as a pesky underdog last season, and the way they battled against the Suns in the first round of the playoffs will prove to be a small sign of what’s to come from them in 2022-23.

The Pelicans will be the surprise team of the year.

Washington Wizards Make the Playoffs

Another forgotten team is the Washington Wizards, who were in the playoff/play-in conversation for much of last season before injuries began to take their toll. Bradley Beal appeared in just 40 games, and only six players appeared in 50-plus. It was rough, but there’s reason to be optimistic going into 2022-23.

Not only is Beal back, but Kristaps Porzingis is gearing up for his first full season in Washington after he was traded there in February. The team also brought in Will Barton and Monte Morris over the summer, each of whom played a sizable role with the Denver Nuggets over the last three-plus seasons.

The Wizards aren’t contenders, but after all, betting is about finding value, and there’s plenty to be had here. Washington has the third-longest odds in the East to make the playoffs this season, putting them behind the likes of the Hornets (+300) and Knicks (+220).

At the very least, this Wizards team should be competing for a play-in spot. If their top contributors can stay healthy throughout the season, I could easily see them qualifying for a spot near the bottom of the postseason standings.


Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is the Lead NBA Editor for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided. He graduated from Ball State University in 2021.

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