The teams who have prepared best for the NBA season

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The 2022–23 National Basketball Association (NBA) tipped off on October 18, 2022, with a double header. The Philadelphia 76ers visited the reigning Eastern Conference champions Boston Celtics in game one, while in game two, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors hosted the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 77th NBA season is due to finish on Sunday, April 9, 2023, with the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament to follow from Tuesday, April 11 until Friday, April 14. The 2023 NBA Playoffs begin on April 15 followed by game one of the 2023 NBA Finals on Thursday, June 1. 

After an intense off season with some stellar trades going down, not least Rudy Gobert leaving Utah Jazz for the Minnesota Timberwolves, this year looks like being close than ever, according to the latest NBA odds.

Perhaps the biggest story over the summer was that superstar Kevin Durant remains in Brooklyn, despite wanting out. However, with plenty of other deals going down, let’s take a look at the teams who’ve had the best-off season.

Boston Celtics

Incoming: Malcolm Brogdon, Danilo Gallinari, JD Davison and Mfiondu Kabengele

Outgoing: Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Daniel Theis, Juwan Morgan and Malik Fitts

Their championship series loss to the Golden State Warriors was a bitter pill, but the positives were their first NBA Finals since 2010. Looking to build on that progress, the Boston Celtics have made significant additions with Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari joining their roster.

Malcolm Brogdon is a starting-quality guard, who if he remains fit, will the Celtics one of the best guard rotations. The addition of Danilo Gallinari gives Boston a proven three-point shooting threat that they desperately need. 

Rumours of a blockbuster deal for Kevin Durant haven’t gone away, so don’t rule it out, but even without that stellar addition, the Celtics look primed for a run to the finals.

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Golden State Warriors

Incoming: JaMychal Green, Patrick Baldwin Jr. Donte DiVincenzo, Ryan Rollins, Kevon Looney

Outgoing: Otto Porter Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson Gary Payton II, Nemanja Bjelica, Damion Lee 

The Warriors may have lost Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr., but Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green look like two great additions. Bringing Kevon Looney back on a three-year, $25.5 million contract, was a great move and James Wiseman returns from injury after missing the whole of last season.

With the core of the team remaining the same, and Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the team, the Warriors are favourites to hold on to the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy. But this year expectations are high and the pressure is on.

Milwaukee Bucks

Incoming: Joe Inglis, Jordan Nwora, MarJon Beauchamp, A.J. Green

Outgoing: Ibou Badji, Iverson Molinar, Rayjon Tucker and Luca Vildoza

Milwaukee is bringing back nearly its entire roster for this season, re-signing Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, Wesley Matthews and Jevon Carter and adding Joe Ingles for some much-needed depth in that position.

With two-time MVP and the world’s best player Giannis Antetokounmpo on their roster, they remain one of the favourites, but with an ageing roster, it feels like now or never for this group of players.

Philadelphia 76ers

Incomings: De’Anthony Melton, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House Jr., Trevelin Queen 

Outgoings: Danny Green, DeAndre Jordan

Re-signing James Harden the 10-time All-Star, and persuading him to take a near $14.5 million pay cut was a great move by the 76ers. The addition of P.J. Tucker is an exciting one, along with De’Anthony Melton the versatile combo guard who will strengthen their bench. Whisper it, but this could be the 76ers best chance to win a title since 2001.

Pre-season

The reigning NBA champion, Golden State Warriors played the Washington Wizards twice in preseason games at the Saitama Super Arena, in Japan. The Warriors won both matches with impressive performances from a number of players, and they already look like the team to beat.

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An early preseason Milwaukee defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies saw Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton Wesley Matthews, Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles sit out the game. While The Boston Celtics defeated Charlotte Hornets 134-93 in a dominant win in their opening warmup match. Jaylen Brown impressed with 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, along with five rebounds and one assist in just 24 minutes of action. Meanwhile, the 76ers scored an impressive victory 127-108 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

Players to look out for with new teams

Paolo Banchero: Orlando Magic

Led Duke to the Final 4 as a freshman and is a tremendous all-round athlete, especially when you consider his 6ft 10in frame. Has all the qualities to be an elite level NBA player, but all eyes will be on the rookie after becoming the surprise number one draft pick of the Magic.

John Wall: LA Clippers

An exciting addition to the LA Clippers’ backcourt, expect great things if he can remain injury free and recapture his old form. This move has the potential to revitalise his career.

Dejounte Murray: Atlanta Hawks 

Trae Young will welcome the help from the dynamic Murray who will no doubt step up and take some of load of Young’s shoulders. This clever addition should help the Hawks make another deep playoff run.

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