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NBA predictions: DK Network staff picks for 2023-24 season

Here’s how our staff sees the upcoming NBA season playing out.

2023 NBA Finals - Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets is presented with the Bill Russell MVP trophy after winning game 5 of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on June 12, 2023 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2023-24 NBA season is finally here with TNT’s Opening Night doubleheader set to kick off another exciting campaign. The Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors will get things started Tuesday before a 12-game slate Wednesday truly gets things going.

The DK Network staff got together to make predictions for the upcoming season, picking a surprise team, a bust team, Rookie of the Year, MVP, the East and West winners, the NBA champion and Finals MVP. Here’s a look at our selections.

DK Network Staff Predictions

Category Chinmay Ben Grace Collin Pete Henry Ryan Nick Teddy
Category Chinmay Ben Grace Collin Pete Henry Ryan Nick Teddy
Surprise team Hawks Pelicans Pacers Knicks Thunder Cavs Magic Thunder Kings
Bust team 76ers Grizzlies Lakers Celtics Mavericks Heat 76ers Suns Cavaliers
Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama Victor Wembanyama Victor Wembanyama Victor Wembanyama Victor Wembanyama Chet Holmgren Victor Wembanyama Victor Wembanyama Scoot Henderson
MVP Nikola Jokic Giannis Antetokounmpo Giannis Antetokounmpo Nikola Jokic Giannis Antetokounmpo Devin Booker Giannis Antetokounmpo Nikola Jokic Giannis Antetokounmpo
East champion Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee Bucks Miami Heat Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee Bucks Boston Celtics Miami Heat
West champion Denver Nuggets Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors
NBA champion Denver Nuggets Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee Bucks Denver Nuggets Miami Heat
Finals MVP Nikola Jokic Devin Booker Nikola Jokic Nikola Jokic Nikola Jokic Damian Lillard Giannis Antetokounmpo Jamal Murray Jimmy Butler

San Antonio Spurs big man Victor Wembanyama being the best rookie is one thing our staff generally agree on, outside of Henry picking Thunder big man Chet Holmgren and Teddy taking Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson. Holmgren is technically in his second season, but he missed all of last year with a foot injury and 2023-24 will act like his rookie year.

Another common pick is the MVP winner, with our staff largely split between Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Henry has Suns guard Devin Booker, who is expected to have a bigger role this year as the de facto point guard, winning the honor.

The Bucks are the most popular pick to win the East, with five of the nine panelists taking Milwaukee. Pete and Nick have the Celtics going to the Finals, while Collin and Teddy see the Heat repeating as East champions. Five panelists see the Nuggets going back to the Finals, while the Suns come in next with three panelists backing them. Teddy has the Warriors making a run to the Finals.

The five panelists who picked the Nuggets to make the Finals have them repeating as champions, with four picking Jokic to repeat as Finals MVP. Nick has Jamal Murray lifting the honor this year. Henry and Ryan have the Bucks winning it all, with Henry taking Damian Lillard to win Finals MVP while Ryan has Antetokounmpo bagging the award. Teddy has the Heat taking the final step this year and winning the championship, with Jimmy Butler taking the Finals MVP award.