NBA Blog: 2 teams that will make their return to playoffs in 2023

Midway through the offseason and several roster and coaching changes have already taken place in the NBA.

As teams are working towards completing their rosters and getting ready for the next season, the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trade saga steals the spotlight.

However, there have already been two teams that have bolstered their rosters and now have their sights set on making their return to the NBA playoffs in 2023.

These teams are the Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks.

Barrett Knicks
Photo: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers had a disappointing campaign last season. With Kawhi Leonard out with an ACL injury and Paul George missing several games with injuries, the Clippers were not in a position to fight for the NBA playoffs.

Even though they reached the NBA play-in tournament, they eventually lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Pelicans and got eliminated.

This year, though, things are expected to be completely different. Leonard and George are set to return to the lineup in full strength and headline a deep and talented roster.

The addition of John Wall brings some All-Star power to the team’s second unit, while the 31-year-old guard seeks a major comeback in his career.

The Clippers also kept their core together, re-signing Nicolas Batum and Ivica Zubac, while Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard will have a key role as well.

Under experienced head coach Tyronn Lue, the Clippers will aim for a return to the postseason and an NBA championship run.

John Wall Clippers Rockets
Photo: Carmen Mandato/Associated Press

New York Knicks

Just like the Clippers, the New York Knicks failed to make it to the NBA playoffs last season. As a result, they entered free agency ready to land a star or two and bolster their roster.

In Day 1 of free agency, the Knicks signed Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $104M contract and made him their floor general for the foreseeable future.

The Knicks want to pair the young star guard with Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell. Talks between the two sides remain ongoing and Mitchell prefers to move to New York and play for his hometown.

Despite the Jazz’s high trade demands, the Knicks remain the favorite to land the 25-year-old All-Star guard. If that happens, they will automatically become an NBA title contender in the Eastern Conference.

Donovan Mitchell Jazz Knicks-Raptors
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The franchise has also brought big man Mitchell Robinson back, while the roster includes young stars RJ Barrett and Julius Randle.

After a season with ups and downs, the franchise expects Randle (20.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists last year) to be more consistent on both ends.

If that happens, New York will have its own version of Big Three in Randle, Brunson and Mitchell (if he joins the team).

Even if Mitchell doesn’t play for his hometown, though, the Knicks have the roster to return to the NBA posteason and aim for a deep playoff run.

Photo: USA TODAY Sports

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