3 Teams Poised To Make Biggest Turnarounds This Season

We presumably know who most of the serious title contenders will be this year in the NBA, including the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, perhaps the Milwaukee Bucks, maybe the Miami Heat, and even the Los Angeles Lakers. 

But which teams are set to make the biggest turnarounds, from the bottom tier of the league last season, to a legitimate playoff contender? 

An ESPN NBA Panel of Experts recently voted on the idea, and came up with the three teams they thought had the best chance for this type of turnaround. And one team stood tall above the rest. 

1. Oklahoma City Thunder 

This young team, led by one of the fastest-rising top players in the NBA, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, is really poised for an ascension up the standings. And it really began in the season's second half. After starting January at 15-21 in 13th spot in the West, the Thunder finished strong, at 40-42 and earning 10th spot and a Play-In berth. 

This year, they'll be getting the 2022 second-overall pick Chet Holmgren to make his NBA debut, joining Shai and other top talents like Josh Giddy, Luguentz Dort, Jalen Williams, and Aleksej Pokusevski. 

2. Dallas Mavericks

They went into a spiral after the acquisition of Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline, plummeting from 4th in the conference at the time, to an 11th-place finish, out of the Play-In. 

But with a full training camp to get Luka Doncic and Irving on the same page, along with offseason adds Grant Williams and Seth Curry, head coach Jason Kidd is expecting to take this team back into a solid playoff spot.

3. Orlando Magic

The Magic just edged out the San Antonio Spurs for this spot. With 2023 Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero to lead the youth movement, and Markelle Fultz finally coming into his own at the point, the Magic could be ready to take the next step. 

Of course, the sky's the limit for the Spurs, as well, if No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama is anything close to the player he's projected to be. 

Some exciting fresh new talent and teams could be ready to take the NBA by storm this coming season.

Photo: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports