NBA predictions 2023-24: Our picks for Eastern Conference, Western Conference and NBA champions

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ESPN's NBA Summer Forecast has revealed the biggest questions coming into the season and which teams will be mired in turmoil and which will rise; it has predicted the 2024 MVP, DPOY and all the major awards; and it has projected the win-loss record for all 15 teams in the East and West.

Now the biggest question: Which top contenders will ascend into championship glory?

The Denver Nuggets staked their claim at the top of the NBA with indisputable dominance in the West. But will they win back-to-back titles?

They'll have plenty of challengers: The Boston Celtics are seeking to avenge an upset in the East by the Miami Heat, who have their Jimmy Butler-Bam Adebayo core returning (and a possible superstar guard from the West coming). The Phoenix Suns, LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors have added different dynamics to their rosters. And then there's Giannis Antetokounmpo and the East regular-season champion Milwaukee Bucks, who are healthy and hungry after an embarrassing first-round loss last year.

And don't sleep on the Sacramento Kings or the New York Knicks, who will look to build on last season's momentum to project them forward in the postseason.

We asked our experts to rank their top choices for the East and West -- and the eventual NBA champion -- with a first-place vote receiving five points, a second-place vote receiving three and a third-place vote receiving one.

Here are the results:

Note: This week, our 2023-24 NBA Summer Forecast has covered the biggest questions and projections for top awards, including MVP and DPOY.