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A way too early look at who will win the next NBA title. Hint: It could be Nets or Lakers

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Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated all night and then the next morning ordered a “50 piece” chicken mini at Chik-Fil-A to commemorate his 50-point, championship performance in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

But with Thursday’s parade through downtown Milwaukee, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks understand the partying must end at some point.

“This is going to be a quick turnaround,” Antetokounmpo said late Tuesday night. “You know, we're going to be back and a lot of people are going to come after us, and we have to be ready for that. We have to be ready.”

The confetti hadn’t stopped falling from the rafters of Fiserv Forum on Tuesday when sportsbooks started emailing their oddsmakers’ favorites to win the 2012-22 NBA championship

And the Bucks aren’t even the favorites or even the second-best favorite to win the title, according to the oddsmakers.

Kevin Durant (left), Kyrie Irvin and James Harden were rarely able to play together, which contributed to an Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Bucks.
Kevin Durant (left), Kyrie Irvin and James Harden were rarely able to play together, which contributed to an Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Bucks.

The Brooklyn Nets have the best odds at 13/4, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at 5/1 and then the Bucks at 7/1 just ahead of the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns who are at 9/2.

Let’s take a way-too-early look – before the draft, before free agency – at the top contenders for next season.

Brooklyn Nets

Injuries and COVID-19 health and safety protocols throughout the season, but especially in the playoffs, got the best of the Nets. They were without Kyrie Irving and James Harden for a portion of the playoffs and didn’t have Irving for the end of the Bucks series.

If healthy with Irving, Harden and Kevin Durant, the Nets have the talent necessary to win the Eastern Conference. Beefing up the frontcourt is a priority for Brooklyn in the offseason.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are another team that needs good health if they want to make a run at another title, and that starts with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Injuries pushed the Lakers to the seventh seed, and Phoenix was just too much.

Los Angeles also require improvement in other areas: 3-point shooting and playmaking, including figuring out what it will do at the point guard spot.

Lakers forwards LeBron James (23) and Anthony Davis have both said the Lakers would have likely repeated as NBA champions had they both been fully healthy in the playoffs.
Lakers forwards LeBron James (23) and Anthony Davis have both said the Lakers would have likely repeated as NBA champions had they both been fully healthy in the playoffs.

Milwaukee Bucks

With Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton, Donte DiVincenzo locked in for next season, the Bucks will be in contention once again and with the all the experience of knowing what it takes to win a title. They also have offseason work to do, such as figuring out how they want to pay Bobby Portis Jr. if he declines his option year and what to do with free agent P.J. Tucker.

Phoenix Suns

The Suns will try to build off this impressive Finals run and try to finish the job next season. Chris Paul can opt out of the final year of his deal (he would make $44.2 million next season) and become a free agent. If Paul isn’t back, getting another guard alongside Devin Booker is a top priority. Developing or adding depth in the low post is another priority, and the Suns have several free agents, including Cameron Payne. General manager James Jones has work to do in the offseason to keep the Suns at the top of the West.

Philadelphia 76ers

The top-seeded 76ers lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals. With Joel Embiid and solid depth around him, the Sixers are a contender in the East. But the major focus of Philadelphia’s offseason will be on Ben Simmons and what Philadelphia decides to do: keep him and hope for improvement with his shooting or trade him for a better scorer who probably doesn’t have the same defensive or passing skills as Simmons?

Ben Simmons' shooting woes (he shot just 34.2% from the free-throw line in the playoffs) may lead to his exit from Philadelphia.
Ben Simmons' shooting woes (he shot just 34.2% from the free-throw line in the playoffs) may lead to his exit from Philadelphia.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz had the NBA’s best regular-season record and lost in the West semifinals. Injuries hurt the Jazz in the playoffs, too, but there’s still work to be done with the roster. It’s a great starting point with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Utah has complementary players who can score and defend. But Mike Conley’s free agency and depth are two areas general manager Justin Zanik must address.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers reached the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. So there was progress. But they weren’t able to beat the Suns to reach the Finals with Ty Lue in his first season as head coach of the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard can be a free agent and re-signing him is priority No. 1. But that’s not the only free agent issue: Reggie Jackson, who had a strong postseason, and Nic Batum, who provided veteran depth in a role that works for the Clippers, are also free agents. Having a healthy Serge Ibaka, if he remains with the Clippers, will help, too.

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals and now expectations are different. Getting DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish 100% healthy will help the Hawks, and continued improvement from point guard Trae Young will make the Hawks a solid team. The main issue for Hawks: Will they re-sign John Collins or determine they won’t spend the money necessary to keep him? He will be a restricted free agent and teams looking for a scorer with competent defense will make offers. Will the Hawks match an offer and keep a key component?

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: An early look at who will win the next NBA title. Hint: Nets or Lakers