This should surprise no one, but there are already betting odds for the 2023-24 NBA season, despite the fact we haven’t crowned a champion for this year. It’s also not much of a surprise to see the Celtics once again are a major favorite.
Boston’s 2023 title run came to a premature end Monday night. The Celtics fell on their faces in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, as the Miami Heat were able to hang on for dear life and finally send the Celts packing. Now, Jimmy Butler and Miami will try to solve the Denver Nuggets for a title while Boston has some major offseason questions to answer.
Despite the obvious uncertainty, the Celtics are still one of the favorites to win the NBA title next season. DraftKings Sportsbook currently is taking bets for the 2023-24 championship, and only the Nuggets have shorter odds than Boston.
NBA title odds for 2023-24 season
Denver Nuggets +500
Boston Celtics +550
Milwaukee Bucks +650
Phoenix Suns +850
Los Angeles Lakers +1000
Golden State Warriors +1200
Philadelphia 76ers +1300
Los Angeles Clippers +1500
Obviously, there’s a lot of projection that goes into handicapping the field, almost 13 months before the championship is decided. Free agency and the draft will certainly go a long way in clearing up the landscape. However, it’s hard to want to tie up any money on the Celtics with so many unknowns entering the summer.
It’s possible the Celtics will look much, much different next season. The most pressing question is what happens with Jaylen Brown. He’s in line for a massive raise via contract extension, but he didn’t exactly sound like someone rushing to put pen to paper and commit to Boston. With one more year on his deal, the Celtics could trade him this summer to get something before he walks, but they might not necessarily get a player as talented as Brown in return. They might not even want to trade him for another superstar; Boston could perhaps try to nab a high lottery pick (and more) from a team looking to accelerate a rebuild.
We also can’t say for sure who will be coaching this team. Joe Mazzulla didn’t make the most compelling case to keep his job after getting outcoached for most of the spring. He was put in a tough spot and could certainly get better, but does a team with this championship window have time to wait?
None of this is to say the Celtics can’t or even won’t win the title. It’s just hard to say there’s much value at such a short number with so many pressing questions. It’s possible Brad Stevens pulls off some wild stuff and the number does shrink even further, but it can’t get a whole lot lower, even if that did happen.
One team that does stand out, for bettors looking to get ahead of the narratives, is Golden State. The Warriors should return a talented roster regardless, and who knows, it’s not impossible to think they could end up with LeBron James by the summer’s end. If that’s the case, their number should be much closer to that way-too-short Celtics number that’s there right now.