All-Time Rosters for Every NBA Franchise


by Ben Liebowitz on

One of the more interesting sports topics to discuss is “who’s the best player in a given franchise’s history?” When talking about the vaunted Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA, many would say that person is Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Others may argue for Kobe Bryant, Jerry “The Logo” West or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which makes for a spirited debate.

PointAfter took that discussion 11 steps further by pegging each NBA franchise’s best 12-man roster of all time. Using a combination of All-NBA team nods, All-Defensive teams earned, All-Star appearances, championship rings and overall contributions to the organization in question, we determined the best possible roster in each team’s history. Longevity with the franchise carried a lot of weight, but a short stint of brilliance was not always overlooked.

The purpose of this exercise is to find the best players in team history for each franchise, not the best players ever to suit up for each organization. (Shaquille O’Neal won’t be part of the Phoenix Suns, for instance.)

We pegged a starting five before filling out the bench. And while positions were important, we did have to get creative in some instances to get the best players in the starting rotation when the “next-best” player was not close to the same level.

In the scope of this exercise, years spent in the ABA were included. For instance, we considered a player’s career spent in the ABA and NBA for the Indiana Pacers franchise. For organizations that moved from place to place — the Lakers moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, for example — we tracked the franchise back to the beginning and included those players as well.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Seattle SuperSonics were considered the same franchise for the purpose of this breakdown. The history of the New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets, however, gets a bit more convoluted. The Pelicans track back only to the 2002–03 Hornets season, when they moved from Charlotte, while today’s Hornets include the Bobcats years and the throwback Larry Johnson Hornets days.

After locking in each team’s 12-man roster, PointAfter ranked the teams by adding up the win shares — a player statistic that estimates the amount of wins a player contributed each season — of each player during his time spent with the franchise in question.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, statistics researched come from the most recent team media guides and Basketball Reference. For active players, their win share total is accurate as of March 15, 2016.

#30. New Orleans Pelicans

PG — Chris Paul
 SG — Baron Davis
 SF — Jamal Mashburn
 PF — David West
 C — Anthony Davis
 BN — Peja Stojakovic
 BN — P.J. Brown
 BN — Tyson Chandler
 BN — Jamaal Magloire
 BN — Jrue Holiday
 BN — Ryan Anderson
 BN — Eric Gordon

Total Win Shares: 298.9

#29. Charlotte Hornets

Larry Johnson (left) hugs Charlotte Hornets teammate Muggsy Bogues during the final seconds of an overtime win in 1993.

PG — Baron Davis
 SG — Dell Curry
 SF — Glen Rice
 PF — Larry Johnson
 C — Alonzo Mourning
 BN — Anthony Mason
 BN — Muggsy Bogues
 BN — Gerald Wallace
 BN — Eddie Jones
 BN — Kemba Walker
 BN — Jamal Mashburn
 BN — David Wesley

Total Win Shares: 338.7

#28. Toronto Raptors

PG — Kyle Lowry
SG — DeMar DeRozan
SF — Vince Carter
PF — Chris Bosh
C — Antonio Davis
BN — Damon Stoudamire
BN — Tracy McGrady
BN — Doug Christie
BN — Anthony Parker
BN — Jonas Valanciunas
BN — Jose Calderon
BN — Jerome Williams

Total Win Shares: 343.9

#27. Minnesota Timberwolves

PG — Terrell Brandon
 SG — Wally Szczerbiak
 SF — Sam Mitchell
 PF — Kevin Love
 C — Kevin Garnett
 BN — Tom Gugliotta
 BN — Sam Cassell
 BN — Tony Campbell
 BN — Christian Laettner
 BN — Stephon Marbury
 BN — Ricky Rubio
 BN — Al Jefferson

Total Win Shares: 393

#26. Memphis Grizzlies

PG — Mike Conley
SG — Tony Allen
SF — Shane Battier
PF — Zach Randolph
C — Marc Gasol
BN — Pau Gasol
BN — Shareef Abdur-Rahim
BN — Rudy Gay
BN — Mike Bibby
BN — Michael Dickerson
BN — Jason Williams
BN — Mike Miller

Total Win Shares: 402.6

#25. Brooklyn Nets

PG — Jason Kidd
 SG — Vince Carter
 SF — Julius Erving
 PF — Buck Williams
 C — Brook Lopez
 BN — Derrick Coleman
 BN — Drazen Petrovic
 BN — Kenyon Martin
 BN — Richard Jefferson
 BN — Keith Van Horn
 BN — John Williamson
 BN — Deron Williams

Total Win Shares: 454.6

#24. Los Angeles Clippers

PG — Chris Paul
SG — Randy Smith
SF — Danny Manning
PF — Blake Griffin
C — Bob McAdoo
BN — Elton Brand
BN — DeAndre Jordan
BN — World B. Free
BN — Norm Nixon
BN — Corey Maggette
BN — Terry Cummings
BN — Chris Kaman

Total Win Shares: 482.3

#23. Orlando Magic

PG — Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway
 SG — Tracy McGrady
 SF — Grant Hill
 PF — Dwight Howard
 C — Shaquille O’Neal
 BN — Horace Grant
 BN — Nick Anderson
 BN — Dennis Scott
 BN — Scott Skiles
 BN — Rashard Lewis
 BN — Jameer Nelson
 BN — Hedo Turkoglu

Total Win Shares: 505.8

#22. Denver Nuggets

PG — Fat Lever
SG — David Thompson
SF — Alex English
PF — Carmelo Anthony
C — Dikembe Mutombo
BN — Bobby Jones
BN — Kiki Vandeweghe
BN — Dan Issel
BN — Marcus Camby
BN — Ralph Simpson
BN — Larry Jones
BN — T.J. Dunn

Total Win Shares: 529.4

#21. Miami Heat

PG — Tim Hardaway
 SG — Dwyane Wade
 SF — LeBron James
 PF — Chris Bosh
 C — Alonzo Mourning
 BN — Shaquille O’Neal
 BN — Glen Rice
 BN — P.J. Brown
 BN — Eddie Jones
 BN — Rony Seikaly
 BN — Ray Allen
 BN — Udonis Haslem

Total Win Shares: 549.3

#20. Washington Wizards

PG — John Wall
SG — Gilbert Arenas
SF — Gus Johnson
PF — Elvin Hayes
C — Wes Unseld
BN — Caron Butler
BN — Greg Ballard
BN — Jeff Ruland
BN — Paul Chenier
BN — Rod Strickland
BN — Chris Webber
BN — Walt Bellamy

Total Win Shares: 552.8

#19. Cleveland Cavaliers

PG — Mark Price
 SG — Kyrie Irving
 SF — LeBron James
 PF — Larry Nance
 C — Brad Daugherty
 BN — Terrell Brandon
 BN — Zydrunas Ilgauskas
 BN — Austin Carr
 BN — World B. Free
 BN — Shawn Kemp
 BN — Jim Brewer
 BN — Hot Rod Williams

Total Win Shares: 595.8

#18. Portland Trail Blazers

PG — Terry Porter
SG — Brandon Roy
SF — Clyde Drexler
PF — LaMarcus Aldridge
C — Bill Walton
BN — Maurice Lucas
BN — Sidney Wicks
BN — Damian Lillard
BN — Jim Paxson
BN — Rasheed Wallace
BN — Geoff Petrie
BN — Jerome Kersey

Total Win Shares: 605.4

#17. Sacramento Kings

Chris Webber (No. 4) jokes with Sacramento Kings teammate Peja Stojakovic.

PG — Oscar Robertson
SG — Mitch Richmond
SF — Jack Twyman
PF — Jerry Lucas
C — Chris Webber
BN — Tiny Archibald
BN — Otis Birdsong
BN — Wayne Embry
BN — Peja Stojakovic
BN — DeMarcus Cousins
BN — Tom Van Arsdale
BN — Sam Lacey

Total Win Shares: 658.3

#16. Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks guard Ray Allen (right) shoots over Toronto Raptors guard Alvin Williams while teammate Glenn Robinson looks on.

PG — Oscar Robertson
SG — Sidney Moncrief
SF — Marques Johnson
PF — Vin Baker
C — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
BN — Ray Allen
BN — Ricky Pierce
BN — Terry Cummings
BN — Bob Dandridge
BN — Glenn Robinson
BN — Michael Redd
BN — Brian Winters

Total Win Shares: 661.8

#15. New York Knicks

PG — Walt Frazier
 SG — Earl Monroe
 SF — Carmelo Anthony
 PF — Willis Reed
 C — Patrick Ewing
 BN — Bernard King
 BN — Richie Guerin
 BN — Dave DeBusschere
 BN — Michael Ray Richardson
 BN — Allan Houston
 BN — Charles Oakley
 BN — Bill Cartwright

Total Win Shares: 685.2

#14. Indiana Pacers

PG — Freddie Lewis
SG — Reggie Miller
SF — Paul George
PF — George McGinnis
C — Jermaine O’Neal
BN — Mel Daniels
BN — Danny Granger
BN — Roger Brown
BN — Billy Knight
BN — Dale Davis
BN — Detlef Schrempf
BN — George Hill

Total Win Shares: 689

#13. Dallas Mavericks

PG — Steve Nash
 SG — Rolando Blackman
 SF — Mark Aguirre
 PF — Dirk Nowitzki
 C — James Donaldson
 BN — Michael Finley
 BN — Derek Harper
 BN — Josh Howard
 BN — Jason Kidd
 BN — Jason Terry
 BN — Roy Tarpley
 BN — Jay Vincent

Total Win Shares: 699.8

#12. Houston Rockets

PG — Steve Francis
SG — James Harden
SF — Tracy McGrady
PF — Moses Malone
C — Hakeem Olajuwon
BN — Clyde Drexler
BN — Yao Ming
BN — Ralph Sampson
BN — Rudy Tomjanovich
BN — Elvin Hayes
BN — Calvin Murphy
BN — Otis Thorpe

Total Win Shares: 720.3

#11. Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics

PG — Gary Payton
 SG — Russell Westbrook
 SF — Kevin Durant
 PF — Spencer Haywood
 C — Jack Sikma
 BN — Ray Allen
 BN — Detlef Schrempf
 BN — Shawn Kemp
 BN — Lenny Wilkins
 BN — Dennis Johnson
 BN — Gus Williams
 BN — Serge Ibaka

Total Win Shares: 722.8

#10. Atlanta Hawks

PG — Pete Maravich
SG — Lou Hudson
SF — Dominique Wilkins
PF — Bob Pettit
C — Dikembe Mutombo
BN — Bill Bridges
BN — Al Horford
BN — Kevin Willis
BN — Dan Roundfield
BN — Mookie Blaylock
BN — John Drew
BN — Joe Johnson

Total Win Shares: 757.3

#9. Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash (left) and teammate Shawn Marion sit on the bench during a game in 2006.

PG — Steve Nash
SG — Kevin Johnson
SF — Shawn Marion
PF — Charles Barkley
C — Alvan Adams
BN — Paul Westphal
BN — Jason Kidd
BN — Walter Davis
BN — Amar’e Stoudemire
BN — Connie Hawkins
BN — Dick Van Arsdale
BN — Dan Majerle

Total Win Shares: 759.8

#8. Golden State Warriors

PG — Stephen Curry
 SG — Chris Mullin
 SF — Rick Barry
 PF — Nate Thurmond
 C — Wilt Chamberlain
 BN — Neil Johnston
 BN — Paul Arizin
 BN — Latrell Sprewell
 BN — Tim Hardaway
 BN — Tom Gola
 BN — Klay Thompson
 BN — Draymond Green

Total Win Shares: 775.7

#7. Chicago Bulls

PG — Derrick Rose
SG — Michael Jordan
SF — Scottie Pippen
PF — Bob Love
C — Artis Gilmore
BN — Joakim Noah
BN — Jerry Sloan
BN — Luol Deng
BN — Horace Grant
BN — Jimmy Butler
BN — Norm Van Lier
BN — Reggie Theus

Total Win Shares: 781.2

#6. Detroit Pistons

PG — Isiah Thomas
 SG — Joe Dumars
 SF — Grant Hill
 PF — Ben Wallace
 C — Bob Lanier
 BN — Chauncey Billups
 BN — Bill Laimbeer
 BN — Tayshaun Prince
 BN — Dave Bing
 BN — Dennis Rodman
 BN — Gene Shue
 BN — Richard “Rip” Hamilton

Total Win Shares: 814.4

#5. San Antonio Spurs

PG — Tony Parker
SG — George Gervin
SF — Kawhi Leonard
PF — Tim Duncan
C — David Robinson
BN — Manu Ginobili
BN — Sean Elliott
BN — Alvin Robertson
BN — Bruce Bowen
BN — John Beasley
BN — Larry Kenon
BN — James Silas

Total Win Shares: 916

#4. Utah Jazz

PG — John Stockton
 SG — Pete Maravich
 SF — Adrian Dantley
 PF — Karl Malone
 C — Mark Eaton
 BN — Andrei Kirilenko
 BN — Deron Williams
 BN — Jeff Hornacek
 BN — Carlos Boozer
 BN — Mehmet Okur
 BN — Bryon Russell
 BN — Paul Millsap

Total Win Shares: 923.5

#3. Philadelphia 76ers

PG — Allen Iverson
SG — Hal Greer
SF — Julius Erving
PF — Dolph Schayes
C — Wilt Chamberlain
BN — Charles Barkley
BN — Moses Malone
BN — Maurice Cheeks
BN — Billy Cunningham
BN — George McGinnis
BN — Larry Costello
BN — Andre Iguodala

Total Win Shares: 950.9

#2. Los Angeles Lakers

PG — Earvin “Magic” Johnson
 SG — Kobe Bryant
 SF — Elgin Baylor
 PF — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
 C — Shaquille O’Neal
 BN — Jerry West
 BN — George Mikan
 BN — James Worthy
 BN — Pau Gasol
 BN — Gail Goodrich
 BN — Jamaal Wilkes
 BN — Michael Cooper

Total Win Shares: 1,259.5

#1. Boston Celtics

PG — Bob Cousy
SG — John Havlicek
SF — Paul Pierce
PF — Larry Bird
C — Bill Russell
BN — Robert Parish
BN — Kevin McHale
BN — Bill Sharman
BN — Dave Cowens
BN — Sam Jones
BN — Tom Heinsohn
BN — Kevin Garnett

Total Win Shares: 1,271.5

MORE: 30 Facts About Golden State Warriors Superstar Steph Curry

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