With a new superstar in Damian Lillard to pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks enter the season as favorites to win the NBA championship in 2023/24.
The Bucks were knocked out in the first round of last year's playoffs as the No. 1 seed, losing to the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in five games.
That disappointment led them to fire Mike Budenholzer, the head coach who guided them to the NBA Championship in 2020/21.
With former Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin at the helm in his first head coaching job, the Bucks have given Antetokounmpo - who had voiced concern about the franchise's direction in the offseason - a new coach and a new superstar teammate.
Giannis and Dame are signed through 2025/26 and 2026/27 seasons, respectively. The rest of their projected key players - Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, and Pat Connaughton - are all signed through 2024/25, so the Bucks won't have to deal with much contract drama this season unless someone creates it like Antetokounmpo did over the summer in an interview.
|Milwaukee Bucks||Record: 58-24|
|Result: Lost to Miami Heat in East First Round|
|To win 2023/24 NBA Championship||+350|
|To win 2023/24 Eastern Conference||+150|
Giannis Antetokounmpo remains one of the most unique athletes we’ve seen in the history of professional sports.
The two-time MVP and 2021 NBA champion has an unparalleled combination of size, athleticism, skill and production. He’s been an All-Star in seven-straight seasons and averaged a career-best 31.1 PPG in 2022/23.
At 28, Giannis seems to only continue to get better, and with new running mate Damian Lillard, the Bucks are expected to be one of the premier challengers for the NBA title this season.
Many thought Lillard would play his entire career in Portland. But that changed this offseason after the seven-time All-Star requested a trade. He was expected to join the Miami Heat, but in a shock turn of events he landed in Milwaukee. It will be odd watching Dame in green and white threads.
Lillard is considered one of the top-75 players in NBA history for a reason. One of the most lethal three-point shooters in the history of the game, the former Blazer is, even at the age of 33, one of the best offensive players in the league and can will his team to victory on any given night.
|Malik Beasley||LA Lakers|
|Andre Jackson Jr.||Rookie (Round 2 Pick 36)|
|Damian Lillard||POR Trail Blazers|
|Chris Livingston||Rookie (Round 2 Pick 58)|
|Robin Lopez||CLE Cavaliers|
|Omari Moore||Undrafted rookie|
|Cameron Payne||PHO Suns|
|TyTy Washington||HOU Rockets|
|Grayson Allen||PHO Suns|
|Jevon Carter||CHI Bulls|
|Jrue Holiday||BOS Celtics|
|Joe Ingles||ORL Magic|
|Wesley Matthews||ATL Hawks|
The Milwaukee Bucks' 2023-24 season starts on October 26, 2023, against the Philadelphia 76ers at Fiserv Forum.
The Bucks have a number of key games in the early part of the season, including matchups against the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat.
The Bucks enter 2023/24 with one of the strongest rosters in the Association, and it only got stronger with the addition of seven-time All Star Damian Lillard.
Lillard finished last season third in points per game with 32.2 and 10th in assists per game with 7.3. His presence gives Milwaukee a second player to average over 30 points, as Giannis scored 31.1 points per game last season.
Those two guys alone could drag a team of average players to the playoffs, but the rest of the Bucks' roster contribute in multiple facets of the game.
Khris Middleton is a three-time All Star with four 20-points-per-game seasons under his belt resulting from being a premier 3-and-D guy next to Antetokounmpo.
Brook Lopez, their 35-year-old center, molded himself into a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate after landing in Milwaukee five years ago.
While the Bucks will miss Grayson Allen, a starter who scored 10.4 points per game on 39.9 percent three-point shooting who was dealt to the Phoenix Suns in the three-team Lillard deal, they should repeat last year's regular season and end the campaign atop the East.