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SLC Dunk 2022-23 NBA Season Predictions

The SLC Dunk writers attempt to predict the upcoming season for the Jazz and the rest of the league

Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The 2022-23 NBA season begins tonight, and after a very eventful offseason, nobody is sure what will happen. The league has a level of parity that's rarely seen. While there aren't any true powerhouses, there's no shortage of very good teams. The championship race is wide open.

For the Utah Jazz, there will be no championship race this year. That said, there are still plenty of unknowns. Who will have a good year? Who will struggle? Are there still trades on the way?

The SLC Dunk crew attempted to give their predictions for the Jazz and the league as a whole. It will be interesting to see how accurate they end up being.

Q. Utah Jazz 2022-23 regular season record?

Calvin: 23-59

James: 20-62

Tavan: 28-54

Sven: 27-55

Adam: 21-61

Jordan: 22-60

Sam: 34-48

Anthony: 15-67

Jason: 27-55

Kaleb: 30-52

Nate: 23-59

Zach: 22-60

Jeff: 18-64

We had quite the variation on this prediction, but most of us had the Jazz finishing with 20-27 wins. For comparison, last season, the three worst records in the NBA had 20-23 wins.

Q. Utah Jazz leading scorer?

Calvin: Lauri Markkanen

James: Lauri Markkanen

Tavan: Lauri Markkanen

Sven: Lauri Markkanen

Adam: Lauri Markkanen

Jordan: Collin Sexton

Sam: Lauri Markkanen

Anthony: Lauri Markkanen

Jason: Collin Sexton

Kaleb: Jordan Clarkson

Nate: Lauri Markkanen

Zach: Collin Sexton

Jeff: Lauri Markkanen

While Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson each received votes, this was a runaway result. Lauri Markkanen has shown the ability to score in the NBA, and he's finally set to have his own team. Many of us expect big things from him.

Q. Next Jazz player to be traded?

Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Calvin: Kelly Olynyk

James: Mike Conley

Tavan: Mike Conley

Sven: Rudy Gay

Adam: Jordan Clarkson

Jordan: Mike Conley

Sam: Jordan Clarkson

Anthony: Jordan Clarkson

Jason: Mike Conley

Kaleb: Mike Conley

Nate: Jordan Clarkson

Zach: Mike Conley

Jeff: Rudy Gay

There's a definite theme here. The veteran players aren't expected to be here for the long haul. Mike Conley is the most expected player to be traded, followed by Jordan Clarkson. The trade deadline may be exciting.

Q. Utah Jazz breakout player?

Calvin: Walker Kessler

James: Lauri Markkanen

Tavan: Lauri markkanen

Sven: Talen Horton-Tucker

Adam: Walker Kessler

Jordan: Ochai Agbaji

Sam: Ochai Agbaji

Anthony: Walker Kessler

Jason: Jarred Vanderbilt

Kaleb: Jarred Vanderbilt

Nate: Walker Kessler

Zach: Walker Kessler

Jeff: Lauri Markkanen

This question is my favorite. Who will surprise us all in a good way? Who will show more than what was expected? Rookie Walker Kessler has been impressing everybody during the preseason and seems primed for a good rookie year. Lauri Markkanen and Jarred Vanderbilt have already been solid players, but with more opportunity, they can show that they're capable of more. Finding the answer to this question may be jazz fans' most fun part of the season.

Q. 2023 NBA Champions

Denver Nuggets v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Calvin: Denver Nuggets

James: Milwaukee Bucks

Tavan: Milwaukee Bucks

Sven: Denver Nuggets

Adam: Milwaukee Bucks

Jordan: Milwaukee Bucks

Sam: Denver Nuggets

Anthony: Boston Celtics

Jason: Golden State Warriors

Kaleb: Minnesota Timberwolves

Nate: Golden State Warriors

Zach: Denver Nuggets

Jeff: Philadelphia 76ers

I thought I was being unique by picking the Denver Nuggets to win it all, but it looks like the SLC Dunk crew is loyal to the Rocky Mountains. The Nuggets and Bucks are our most popular picks here, which makes sense, given that the last four MVP awards belong to the stars of these two teams.

Q. Who will have the worst record in the league?

Calvin: Oklahoma City Thunder

James: Utah Jazz

Tavan: Oklahoma City Thunder

Sven: San Antonio Spurs

Adam: Oklahoma City Thunder

Jordan: Utah Jazz

Sam: Houston Rockets

Anthony: Oklahoma City Thunder

Jason: San Antonio Spurs

Kaleb: San Antonio Spurs

Nate: Houston Rockets

Zach: San Antonio Spurs

Jeff: Utah Jazz

While I think most of us hope that the Jazz can out-tank the rest of the league, most of us predict that one of the Spurs or the Thunder will have the worst overall record. Luckily for Utah, the bottom three teams get the same odds at the top pick.

Q. 2022-23 NBA MVP

Dallas Mavericks v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Calvin: Giannis Antetokounmpo

James: Luka Doncic

Tavan: Luka Doncic

Sven: Joel Embiid

Adam: Joel Embiid

Jordan: Stephen Curry

Sam: Joel Embiid

Anthony: Nikola Jokic

Jason: Joel Embiid

Kaleb: Luka Doncic

Nate: Luka Doncic

Zach: Joel Embiid

Jeff: Joel Embiid

There are probably 6-10 players with a legitimate chance at MVP this year, so this was a tricky question. Jokic and Antetokounmpo will have voter fatigue working against them, but they've been the league's best players for the last few years. Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic are the two that have been close but haven't quite had enough to win it.

Q. Surprisingly good team

Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Calvin: Sacramento Kings

James: Houston Rockets

Tavan: New Orleans Pelicans

Sven: Sacramento Kings

Adam: New Orleans Pelicans

Jordan: Detroit Pistons

Sam: Brooklyn Nets

Anthony: Toronto Raptors

Jason: New Orleans Pelicans

Kaleb: Orlando Magic

Nate: Sacramento Kings

Zach: Sacramento Kings

Jeff: Toronto Raptors

The Kings and the Pelicans are two teams that have hovered in mediocrity in the Western Conference for a long time. This year, both teams look prepared to make significant improvements. The middle of the West looks wide open, and both of these teams could surprise the league.

Q. Surprisingly bad team

New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Calvin: Los Angeles Lakers

James: Los Angeles Lakers

Tavan: Chicago Bulls

Sven: Chicago Bulls

Adam: Chicago Bulls

Jordan: Philadelphia 76ers

Sam: Minnesota Timberwolves

Anthony: New York Knicks

Jason: Phoenix Suns

Kaleb: Cleveland Cavaliers

Nate: Miami Heat

Zach: Charlotte Hornets

Jeff: Memphis Grizzlies

This question is fun because it can apply to any team. A contender, a bottom feeder, or a mediocre team. The Chicago Bulls had a hot start to last season, thanks in a large part to DeMar DeRozan's resurgence. As the year went on, they began to come back to Earth, and now nobody is sure what to expect of them. Despite a lot of talent, they could be a surprisingly bad team. The Lakers have high expectations due to their star power, but their poor supporting cast and team build may come back to bite them (again).

NBA seasons can be very tricky to predict, and this year looks to have even more variance than normal. Anything can happen.