NBA milestones watch: Ten records are expected to be broken in the 2023–24 season

 

LeBron James made NBA history last season, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points ever scored in the Association. Even with King James nabbing the most prolific record in the league, there are more accolades for him to break during the 2023-24 season – along with other NBA veterans chasing their own personal milestones.

LeBron makes more history

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After LeBron became the league’s leading scorer, he’s on the cusp of more records.

James needs 1,348 points to become the only player in league history to score 40,000. Considering he’s only failed to reach that first mark during a regular season just once, it’s reasonable to expect that LeBron will add another accolade to his collection. Along the path to reach rarified air, James can also pass Karl Malone for second in most minutes played if he logs 760, and Kobe Bryant for third in made free throws with 292 this season.

The Lakers forward can also pass Abdul-Jabbar for most All-Star appearances, as the two Lakers greats are tied at 19. If James also makes another All-NBA team, he’ll be the only player to have 20 selections in his career. All of that can be achieved during his 21st season in the NBA, becoming one of six players to play in over 20 seasons.

Jokic moves up triple-double list

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Russell Westbrook’s all-time triple-double record seems uncatchable at the moment, but Nikola Jokic can make a big push for it this season after leading in the category over the last two seasons. The Nuggets star needs three to pass LeBron and Jason Kidd for fourth with 107, and the former only recorded two in 2022-23.

As an added challenge, Jokic needs at least 34 to pass Magic Johnson for third all-time. Considering the Serbian led the league with 29 last season, adding five more over this season seems doable. Jokic also needs 358 rebounds to capture the Nuggets’ franchise record.

Durant reaches top 10 in all-time scoring

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Despite being limited to 47 games this past season between the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant dropped 1,366 points. Even with injury troubles plaguing the veteran star since he left Golden State, he’s close to the top 10 of the league’s all-time scoring list.

Durant needs to score at least 518 points this season to pass Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes, and Moses Malone to break the top 10 in total scoring. Even during his most injured seasons, he’s never scored less than 686 points during a single campaign. With the Suns looking for a ring, Durant needs to play with different lineups during the regular season to test playoff viability – giving him ample chance to move up the list.

Harden and Russ both score 25,000 career points

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James Harden and Westbrook, two former teammates, are on the verge of joining some elite company. They currently rank 25th and 27th, respectively, on the all-time scoring list and need at least 307 and 543 points respectively to reach 25,000 career points – joining 23 other players in league history.

Both seem to be likely candidates despite Harden’s unclear future with the Philadelphia 76ers. Westbrook shifted to a supporting role with the Los Angeles Clippers but still scored 1,159 points last campaign. Russ also needs two more triple-doubles to be the first player to record 200.

Lillard breaks 20,000 points, 2,500 threes

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Damian Lillard became the Blazers’ all-time leading scorer last year and needs 624 points to score 20,000. His new team, the Milwaukee Bucks, boasts one of the league’s elite players in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who could certainly help his point total aspirations.

The veteran guard also needs 113 three-pointers to become the fifth player to make at least 2,500 three-pointers in a career – joining Stephen Curry, Ray Allen, Harden, and Reggie Miller. Former teammates Eric Gordon Jr. and Durant are close to eclipsing the 2,000 mark – needing 122 and 137 respectively.

Andre Drummond passes 10,000 career rebounds

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It’s not the flashiest accolade, but Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond only needs 37 rebounds to record 10,000 in his career. That would make him one of three active players to reach that feat, joining Nuggets center DeAndre Jordan and LeBron.

Even though he’s moved to a reserve role over the past few seasons, Drummond remains a valuable rebounder, posting a 29.6% total rebounding percentage in 849 minutes played last campaign.

Giannis adds two records to his Bucks’ lore

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Already the holder of 11 Bucks franchise records, Antetokounmpo can add two more – total rebounds and field goals. In order to claim those categories, he too needs to pass Abdul-Jabbar.

The Greek Freak needs to pull down 271 rebounds to pass Kareem’s record of 7,161. Antetokounmpo holds the accolade for most defensive rebounds for the Bucks and sits fourth on the offensive side. However, the easier feat will be scoring just eight field goals to take that record – which could happen in Milwaukee’s first game of the season.

Steph leads the Warriors in minutes played

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While playing long minutes serves well in gaining experience for crucial moments, it also pays dividends in potential franchise records. Curry only needs to play 434 minutes to pass Nate Thurmond to collect the most minutes played in Warriors history.

The franchise legend already holds eight Golden State records – including most games and points in the organization’s history, as well as the most three-pointers ever made in the NBA.

PG tops Clippers in made three-pointers

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One of the most prolific marksmen in the NBA, Paul George can claim his place as the best sharpshooter in the Clippers franchise’s history.

George needs 162 made three-pointers this season to leapfrog from fifth to first in Clippers history, passing Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, and JJ Redick to get closer to Eric Piatkowski’s record. Considering the 33-year-old made 158 last year, George has shown the ability to make large amounts of buckets from deep.

Trae drops the most assists for the Hawks

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Though he’s close to taking over the Atlanta Hawks’ three-point record, Trae Young leading the franchise in assists is more realistic this season.

Young needs 582 dimes to pass Mookie Blaylock and then Doc Rivers to take the organizational record. What makes this accolade more breakable is that the 25-year-old has led the league in assists for the past two campaigns, dropping 741 last season.

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X-rays on Beal’s ankle showed no fracture, Suns head coach Frank Vogel told reporters postgame, including The Athletic’s Josh Robbins.

The rolled ankle comes in only Beal’s sixth game with his new team after coming over from the Washington Wizards. The 30-year-old has dealt with back issues all season.

Wednesday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets was the first time all three of Beal, Kevin Durant, and Devin Booker saw the floor together.

Before going down, Beal had six points on 2-of-2 shooting. He averaged 16.4 points and four rebounds in his five appearances prior to Friday.

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