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SI’s Predictions for 2024

Our writers peer into the crystal ball to see what may be in store for the sports world in the new year.

A new year brings new promise. Let's see what Sports Illustrated's writers think 2024 has in store after looking back at the 2023 Year in Review.

Dodgers fans welcomed Shohei Ohtani with open arms after his record signing of 10 years and $700 million.

Dodgers fans welcomed “Shotime” with open arms after his record signing of 10 years and $700 million but will this be enough to get Los Angeles an elusive World Series crown?


  • Emma Baccellieri: The Los Angeles Dodgers, despite their loaded, expensive roster, make another early playoff exit.
  • Tom Verducci: Pittsburgh Pirates 6’6” right-hander Paul Skenes, the 2023 No. 1 draft pick, is the most talked about and dominant pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg (even without the additional buzz from dating LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne). … Juan Soto of the New York Yankees, unable to reach agreement toward a contract extension, has the best season of his career and, turning 26, hits free agency aiming for close to Shohei Ohtani present-day money ($46 million per year).
  • Matt Verderame: The Dodgers don't win the World Series, despite their all-time offseason. Ohtani proves to be a great signing, but Los Angeles runs into a better unit, even if it's a less-talented one.
  • Michael Fabiano: The Dodgers become the biggest disappointment in the history of sports and don't win the World Series. We've seen so-called "superteams" built and fail to make it all the way to the championship, and the Dodgers will follow suit. We know how great Ohtani is, but he can't pitch this season after elbow surgery. Yoshinobu Yamamoto has never even pitched a game in the majors, and Tyler Glasnow has had injury issues too. Maybe this is sour grapes since I'm a New York Yankees fan, but I'll take the Atlanta Braves to take the NL title.
  • Dan Gartland: Ohtani wins the World Series MVP. Too obvious? Ohtani has waited too long for his chance at postseason glory. After joining an already loaded Dodgers team, he should get it.
  • Jennifer Piacenti: The Dodgers, despite committing to more than $1 billion in player salaries in the offseason, will not make it to the World Series in 2024. Fans will blame the MLB playoff system once again.


  • Gilberto Manzano: The Los Angeles Chargers will splurge to lure Jim Harbaugh out of Michigan and make him their new head coach, silencing the narrative of them being a frugal organization. … The Chicago Bears stick with Justin Fields, trade down two spots from No. 1 to select Marvin Harrison Jr. and gain a bounty of NFL draft picks for passing on Caleb Williams.
  • Greg Bishop: The Jaguars stay healthy next season; Trevor Lawrence continues to improve, aided by growth all around him; and Jacksonville—Jacksonville!—makes a legitimate Super Bowl push.
  • Chris MannixBill Belichick will coach elsewhere next season. As a New Englander, I’m kind of ready to move on.
  • Rohan Nadkarni: An NFL team will contact Tom Brady about being their starting quarterback for the 2024 season, and he will seriously consider it.
  • Michael Fabiano: The Washington Commanders sign Russell Wilson. The veteran quarterback is destined to be released by the Denver Broncos, and Wilson grew up in Virginia. Sam Howell doesn't seem to be the answer, and the Commanders could use a big name to increase interest in the fan base. The New York Giants are also an option, but what would they do with Daniel Jones? To me, Wilson going to the Commanders this offseason makes a lot of sense in a lot of areas.
Philadelphia 76ers forward Joel Embiid may be injured but don't count him out when it matters most.

Embiid (21) may be injured but don’t count him out when it matters most.


  • Chris Mannix: The NBA will announce plans to expand to Las Vegas and Seattle. It’s no secret the NBA has eyes on those cities. Once the league’s new TV contracts are papered, commissioner Adam Silver will move quickly on expansion.
  • Rohan Nadkarni: Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will make the conference finals for the first time in his NBA career.
  • Matt Verderame: The Minnesota Timberwolves will reach the first NBA Finals in team history, and we start talking about Alex Rodriguez as one of the better team owners in sports.
  • Jon Wertheim: The NBA will be in 32 markets, adding Seattle and Vegas to the roster. The good news? More markets; 32 is a better franchise number than 30; Seattle gets a team back after the shameful treatment of the Sonics.


Emma Baccellieri: Iowa Hawkeyes superstar Caitlin Clark forgoes her last year of college eligibility to enter the WNBA draft and goes No. 1 to the Indiana Fever—where she teams up with Aliyah Boston to overcome the franchise’s recent woes and make its first deep postseason run in nearly a decade.

The 2024 Paris Olympics bring high expectations both on and off the medal stand.

The 2024 Paris Olympics bring high expectations both on and off the medal stand.


  • Pat Forde: Leon Marchand will be the biggest star of the Paris Olympics, and in the eyes of the French nobody will be a close second. Swimming in his home country, the man trained at Arizona State by Michael Phelps’s former coach, Bob Bowman, will win three individual gold medals and break world records in the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medleys. (Marchand already broke the latter record in 2023, taking down Phelps’ last individual record.) His third gold will come in the 200 breastroke. Marchand will be part of a surging group of international swimmers who will seriously challenge the United States’ longstanding supremacy in the pool.


  • Bob Harig: Tiger Woods will contend at a tournament. To say he will win is probably a reach, but if Woods is able to get around as well as he has so far in limited appearances, most of the battle for him has been won. He still possesses world-class skills. … Rory McIlroy will win a major championship. The four-time major winner is going on 10 years since his last major triumph. He will get to No. 5 with a win at the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville—where he won his last major in 2014.

[ Year in Review: SI Golf's Best Reads of 2023 ]

  • Alex Miceli: Commissioner Jay Monahan will leave the PGA Tour. … The PGA Tour and PGA of America will not agree to new equipment changes by the R&A and USGA. … Swedish golfer Ludvig Aberg will win a major championship.


  • Chris Mannix: Naoya Inoue will become a household name. Inoue is arguably boxing’s top fighter. A return to U.S. soil—and fights in a U.S. time zone—will remind people of it.
  • Gilberto Manzano: Boxing stars Canelo Álvarez and Terence Crawford will meet in Las Vegas for a highly anticipated showdown at 160 pounds—Crawford is the three-belt champion at welterweight and Álvarez is the undisputed champion at super middleweight.
  • Greg Bishop: The next Face of Boxing is .... David Benavidez, who beats Álvarez—and maybe twice.


  • Pat Forde: Driven by court cases, corporate greed and cowardly leadership, college sports will push itself closer to a Darwinian teardown and rebuild. There will be further concessions to the professionalization of the entire venture and further decentralization of NCAA power—some of which will benefit athletes, more of which will benefit those already getting rich. Following NCAA president Charlie Baker's proposal, a new super-subdivision of the wealthiest schools will pull further away from the rest—perhaps even leaving some current power-conference members behind. Many fringe power schools will cut Olympic sports to try to keep up, but they'll never cut investments in King Football. After massive conference realignment hits to the Big 12 in 2021 and the late Pac-12 in ’22 and ’23, the ACC will be next on the fault line.
  • Kevin Sweeney: The courts will continue to reshape college sports, namely with big steps made toward widespread athlete employment. … Another big-name college basketball coach or two will walk away from the game earlier than expected. The level of fatigue and burnout in the industry is at unsustainable levels right now.
  • Jon Wertheim: The mental health component of conference realignment will (forgive the pun), rear its head. The discussion thus far has been mostly about revenue and television contract and the evanescence of the Pac-12. When UCLA divers are spending their Tuesday nights in Chicago O’Hare International Airport on their way to West Lafayette, Ind., we will see the impact of this festival of greed on the psyche of 19-year-old athletes.


Matt Verderame: The New York Rangers win only their second Stanley Cup since 1940, finally breaking through after more than a decade of close calls.

Life Outside Sports

Conor Orr: A consequential election year means we will probably remember little about sporting events directly; only how they reflect the difficulties and divisions we are currently living through.

Sports Business

  • Jimmy Traina: After his year off, Brady will become Fox’s lead NFL analyst, working alongside Kevin Burkhardt, and instantly become one of the best sports color commentators on TV. … NBC will get back in the NBA business by landing a package in the new broadcast rights deal (which will hopefully lead to the return of John Tesh’s iconic “Roundball Rock” theme song). … The WWE’s Monday Night Raw will leave the USA Network for a new cable outlet or streaming service and possibly get moved off of Monday nights.
  • Rohan Nadkarni: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will buy a stake in an NBA team.
The world remains Tom Brady's oyster. Could he land on an NFL sideline or the broadcast booth in 2024?

The world remains Brady’s oyster. Could he land on an NFL sideline or the broadcast booth in 2024?

  • Michael Rosenberg: After finalizing a multibillion-dollar investment in the PGA Tour, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will invest billions more in at least one more major American sports entity.
  • Jon Wertheim: Call it sportswashing; or call it a sound investment in a growth sector but Saudi Arabia’s foray into sports will continue apace, making nine-figure guarantees the new normal.
  • Bob Harig: Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund will get a piece of the PGA Tour. Sometime early in 2024, a deal will be announced between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Public Investment Fund, which backs LIV Golf. What it looks like will be of immense interest but, in theory, will eventually bring peace to a game rocked by divisiveness.