Way Too Early 2024 NBA Standings Predictions: Eastern Conference


This is Part II of giving The Way Too Early 2024 NBA Standings Predictions. This will be for the Eastern Conference. The West is far more stacked and deep, but the East is just as interesting. There are only a handful of teams (as of now) that could make the finals, but it will be super interesting to see how each team does. Without further ado, here are the way-too-early 2024 NBA Standings Predictions for the Eastern Conference

1. Boston Celtics

The Celtics will be coming off yet another heartbreaking series loss. Despite forcing a Game 7 after being down 3-0, most people would agree the Celtics should have won this series, and they have no one to blame but themselves. This was a series they should have won. Even with this all being said, a lot of things did not go their way from the beginning of the season. The two main issues were that they had to suspend (and eventually fire) their head coach days before training camps and starting center Robert Williams had knee surgery right before the season started. 

It seems like they improved on both of those problems by strongly improving their assistant coaching room, and it looks like they are trading for Kristaps Porzingis. Regardless of what happens the rest of the offseason, they should have no problem being a top 3 seed in the East as long as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown stay healthy. (Yes, I’m paying Jaylen the Supermax without blinking).

2. Milwaukee Bucks

Let’s be honest. The Bucks have had back-to-back big disappointing years after winning the title in 2021. When you have debatably the best player in the world, Giannis Antetokounmpo, on your team, losing in the first and second rounds is unacceptable. That said, it is hard to count them out for this upcoming season. 

They fired their Head Coach, Mike Budenholzer, a few days after losing in the first round. Though this certainly does not solve all their problems, it could be a good culture change for them. Khris Middleton will also likely be fully healthy by the start of the season. If they can get the All-Star version of Middleton in the playoffs, they will be a hard team to beat. As much as all the little details matter, what matters the most is how Giannis plays in the playoffs. He already has a ring, but that can only hold enough weight for so long. Not many people doubt he can go on another far playoff run, but he has to do it to maintain “All-Time Great” status.

3. Miami Heat 

Just when people start to count out the Heat, they prove them wrong. This continued this year. After nearly being eliminated in the play-in tournament, they found a way to upset the Bucks, who were the title favorites, in five games, and the Celtics in seven games. It will be interesting to see how many wins this team gets in the regular season next year. Will they have one of the best records in the East? Will they go back to being an eighth seed again? Or will they be somewhere in between? This is hard to tell as of now because Jimmy Butler does not care so much about the regular season. There are also rumors that they are interested in Damian Lillard, but there is still no evidence to say that will happen. Regardless of where the Miami Heat finishes in the regular season, they will always be a threat in the East.

4. Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers are one of the harder teams to predict as of now. This is mainly because we do not know if James Harden will be back in Philly or not. Despite Harden not making the All-Star Team or All-NBA, he had one of the more underrated seasons. It is not easy to be great at scoring and playmaking simultaneously, but Harden is one of the five best guys in the league that does that, so it would be a relatively big hit for the Sixers. If he walks, they will likely go after more role players and build around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey for the next two to three years, which is honestly not a bad spot to be in.

 5. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs made the playoffs for the first time after LeBron James left in 2018. Although Donovan Michell is a big part of the reason why, in reality, their young guys have gotten better every year. Their core four of Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen were fantastic in the regular season but lost to the Knicks in the first round in only five games. Even though it certainly would not be terrible if they decided to run it back, it would probably be for the best if they traded away Allen. Allen is a fantastic player, but this core probably reached its ceiling as a four or five-seed. Regardless of what happens, this will be a very good team for the next couple of years

6. Atlanta Hawks

To put it bluntly, the Hawks have been just about average since making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. Even though Trae Young is an elite playmaker and scorer, your team will always be limited when your best player is an undersized inefficient guard who plays no defense. They certainly challenged the Celtics the best they could by pushing the series to six games, but they will have to make changes to their roster if they want to go further. John Collins has been a name that has been thrown around for years now; maybe this is the offseason they finally trade him away. It will be interesting to see how different the roster will be at the beginning of the season.

7. New York Knicks

For the second time in three years, the Knicks shocked the world and made the playoffs. After many people (including myself) said Jalen Brunson was one of the worst contracts of the offseason, it turned out to be probably the best free agent signing in franchise history. Julius Randle also had a bounce-back season and made his second All-NBA team. Similar to the Cavs, it is tough to determine what their next move should be. As great as this year was, this core does not have too high of a ceiling. That said, it would probably be in the Knicks’ best interest to build around their two All-Star caliber players and settle to be a very good team for the next couple of years. They owe it to their fans to make the playoffs a few times before potentially failing to become contenders.

8. Toronto Raptors

Though their fans and maybe even their front office might not admit it, the Raptors should probably blow it up. They just fired their championship head coach (bad move, in my opinion), and it is likely their two former all-stars might want out soon. Fred Vanvleet will likely walk in free agency this summer, and Pascal Siakam probably is not too attached to a team that is not that good anymore. It seems like the only thing they have to look forward to is their young star, 2022 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. If I were the GM, I would click the reset button, trade Siakam and OG Anunoby, and see where this rebuild takes you, but it looks like that probably will not happen. Since this is the case, they probably will not be in contention anytime soon.

9. Indiana Pacers

For the most part, the Pacers got rid of a good amount of their core from the past few years. The only guy remaining is Myles Turner, and who knows if he is being traded or not. Regardless, they have an interesting future. Tyrese Haliburton is only 23 years old and has all the talent in the world. Though he is not there yet, he has the potential to be a top-20 player by the end of next year. Besides him and Turner, their roster is not super impressive. Buddy Hield is a decent enough role player, but he is another player you could trade and get a good return. This will be another rebuilding year for them but do not be surprised if you see them take another leap.

10. Chicago Bulls

Similar to the Raptors, the Bulls are not in the best place either. As talented as DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine are, they are not necessarily players you want to build a franchise around. In addition to this, Lonzo Ball is probably going to be out for yet another season. Their starting center Nikola Vucevic will likely walk in free agency, and though he is extremely talented on offense, it is not necessarily a bad thing. If they trade LaVine and DeRozan (not likely), that will be a good way to reset. If they do this, they will be ranked lower than now, and that might be good for the long run.

11. Orlando Magic

The Magic could certainly finish much higher or lower, depending on how their young guys develop. Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero had a fantastic year, and Franz Wagner had a great second year. They also have the number six pick in the draft. By the time this is published, likely, the draft will already have passed. Regardless of who they take, that trio has the potential to have a ton of success down the line. It likely will not be this year but do not be surprised if you see Banchero be one of the best young players in the game, leading the Magic to the playoffs.

12. Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets will likely be hit or miss this year. A lot of it will depend on the health of LaMelo Ball. If Ball stays healthy, it will be great to see him and whoever they take with the number two pick play together. Even if they draft Scoot Henderson, another point guard, they can both play off the ball. The rest of their roster is not so exciting, but it is something to look forward to when you have two potential stars, even if it is not immediately.

13. Brooklyn Nets

For a team that only won one playoff series in four years, you could probably write a whole book about everything that happened during that time. The bad news is that the Kevin DurantKyrie Irving duo was a failure. There is no other way of putting it. The good news, however, is now they can fully move on from the disaster. 

Mikal Bridges started to play like an All-Star once the Nets traded for him, and he will certainly be a dark horse for the All-Star Game this year. Nic Claxton also had a fantastic year and was one of the better defenders in the league this year. Although these two guys are not ideal guys to build a franchise around, it is, at the very least, a good start to a rebuild. They probably will not win many games this year, but they are closer to being relevant than people think.

14. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons have been debatably the worst team in basketball for the last four years. They have not won more than 23 games, and there have not been many signs of improvement. To be fair to them, their first overall pick from 2021, Cade Cunningham, only played 12 games last year. Would he have helped them win a lot more games? Probably not, but at the very least, it hurt their development as a young team. He will be rehabbing his shin next season, which will be another season of them not at full strength. In addition to Cunningham, Jaden Ivey had a very solid rookie year, making the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. They also have the number five pick in the draft. Even if Cunningham is not fully healthy, seeing this young trio work together for the next couple of years will be exciting. 

15. Washington Wizards

The Wizard FINALLY clicked the reset button this off-season. I would say they wasted no time, but it was not soon enough. Last offseason, for some reason, they thought it would be a good idea to supermax Bradley Beal, signing him to a 5-year $250 Million Contract. They realized it was a bad idea and traded him to the Suns for Chris Paul and Landry Shamet. Though CP3’s contract is not much better, it is for fewer years, they can get something else in return, and in the worst-case scenario, they can buy him out for cheaper than Beal. In addition to this, they are in the process of trading Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics, and Kyle Kuzma might walk in free agency. This upcoming year may very well be a disaster, but it will be good for them in the long term.


Already so much has happened this offseason. But is anyone surprised? It’s the NBA. It’s a 12-month league, and just when you think it will be a quiet couple of weeks, some team makes a huge splash. This list will almost certainly be different by the beginning of the season, and no one should be surprised.

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