Win projections for the 2023-24 NBA season have come out as DraftKings released their opening Over/Under win totals. Let’s take a look at how many games the Minnesota Timberwolves and the rest of the Western Conference are projected to win.
2023-24 Western Conference Regular Season Over/Unders
The Timberwolves are tied for the seventh-highest win total in the Western Conference at 43.5 wins. This projection has the Wolves winning only an extra 1.5 wins compared to last season and has them back in the Play-in Tournament for the third straight season.
Also it is important to note that the win totals for the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers have not been released given the potential volatility of each roster. The Clippers, as currently constructed, are likely to have their win total higher than the Wolves, which would push them down to a tie for the eighth most projected wins.
Minnesota will certainly have higher aspirations than next season than only winning 43 games and being to again fight for their playoff lives in the Play-in Tournament. Last year at this time, the Wolves were projected to win 48.5 games, which is seemingly much more in line with the amount of games this team strive to win next season.
Many Timberwolves fans will be surprised at how low the team’s projected win total is for next season, given the team won 42 games last year with 2022 All-NBA Third Team selection Karl-Anthony Towns playing just 29 games due to a Grade 3 calf strain. A healthy season from Towns along with a full season of Mike Conley and continued continuity with Rudy Gobert, should make the Wolves at least a 44-win team, if not much higher.
It is important to remember that Vegas lines are often reflective of a team’s public narrative as the sports books look to get equal money on each side. One of the main storylines surrounding the Wolves is that the pairing of Towns and Gobert can’t work together on the court.
While we all might disagree with that assessment, the DraftKings over/under suggests that the public sentiment is that the Wolves will not be significantly improved team next season.
There are six teams, including the Timberwolves, that have a projected win total between 42.5 and 45.5 wins. If the Wolves want to make the playoffs as a top-six seed, and give themselves a much more winnable first-round series, they will have to better than most of that group of teams. (Also keep in mind the last season’s losses to the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards, here.)
After winning the NBA championship last season, it isn’t surprising that the Denver Nuggets have the most projected wins. They bring back their entire starting unit, so they will again threaten to end the season with the most wins in the West.
The two teams with the worst records last year in the Western Conference — the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs — again project to be bringing up the rear at the bottom of the conference. Despite San Antonio adding generational talent Victor Wembanyama and Houston adding veterans Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks, both team look to still be building slowly as Western Conference competitors.
The team with the highest jump in projected wins compared to the amount of games they won last season are the Phoenix Suns. The Suns added Bradley Beal in the offseason along with adding many depth pieces including Eric Gordon, Yuta Watanabe, Keita Bates-Diop, and Drew Eubanks.
Two more teams that their win totals suggest will win more games next season compared to last are the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams won playoff series last with the newly renovated Laker roster eliminating the Warriors in six games. The Lakers look to carry that success into next season.
The Warriors over/under win total of 49.5 comes as bit surprising, given they won 44 games last year, and have lost more talent than they’ve gained this offseason. They lost Donte DiVincenzo in free agency and sent out Jordan Pool in exchange for Chris Paul, who appears to be taking a bench role for the first time in his career.
The team that DraftKings projects to take a step back next season is the Sacramento Kings. Despite winning 48 games last year, returning nearly their entire team from last year, along with make some additions on the margins, the Kings over/under win total is set at 43.5, same as the Timberwolves. Last year, the Kings were the least injured team in the NBA, which may be a reason for people believing they will take a step back next season.