Every young basketball player dreams of playing for their hometown team. Bringing a championship to your actual hometown is what every player would love to do during their careers. Sadly, very few players are lucky enough to represent their hometown every time they take the court. The NBA is a business, and players are swapped from city to city on a regular basis. Even though these players are beloved by the fans, it’s just not the same knowing you’re winning for a different city than your own.
But what if every player did in fact, have to play for their home team? The NBA would be incredibly different, and some teams that usually struggle could end up being dynasties. I know I would love to see this take place, and I bet a good number of players in the league would like this as well.
In this article, I have collected the best five current players from each team’s local area. I have placed them with their hometown team. Maybe your team will be stacked with stars or maybe not, but in this article you will learn a little bit about some of your favorite players. With only players playing for their own city, NBA teams such as the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz would not even exist because they cannot fill a team. This concept of “real hometown teams” is only make believe, but this is what every NBA team would look like and I will try to determine how they would stack up to the rest of the teams in the league.
This is every NBA team if players played for their hometown.
21. Atlanta Hawks
Starting lineup: Malcolm Brogdon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jaylen Brown, Derrick Favors, Dwight Howard
First on this list is the Atlanta Hawks. If all NBA players played for their hometown, the Hawks wouldn’t be as talented as some of the other teams on this list, however they do have some nice young players that could be NBA stars in a few years. Malcolm Brogdon and Jaylen Brown are both some of the league’s top rookies, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is having a breakout season in Detroit this year. The best part of the Hawks team is their front court, as they have some solid players in Derrick Favors and Dwight Howard down low. The Hawks are not one of the best teams in this new look league, however in a few years the Hawks would probably be a solid squad.
20. Boston Celtics
Starting lineup: Michael Carter-Williams, Shabazz Napier, Jake Layman, Nerlens Noel, Noah Vonleh
The Celtics have one of the winningest and richest histories in all of the NBA’s long history. However their native team in Boston would not bring home any extra championships to the city, as by looking at their starting lineup, the Celtics would easily be one of the worst teams in this new league of hometown players. There are only about 7 NBA players from Boston in the league, which was a bit surprising. Their best player is Nerlens Noel, who is a solid shot blocker and a good defensive presence down low. Even with his defensive skills, the Celtics would have trouble winning any games if players played for their hometown.
19. Brooklyn Nets
Starting lineup: Isaiah Whitehead, Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Taj Gibson, Chris McCullough
In today’s real league, the Brooklyn Nets definitely have one of the worst rosters around. However their team would be upgraded at a few positions if players played for their hometowns. The Nets starting point-guard is Isaiah Whitehead in real life, and he would still be manning the position in this new league. They have some scorers they could go to in Carmelo and Rudy Gay at the small forward position, but their big men probably couldn’t stack up with the rest of the league. The Nets are probably the worst team in the league right now, so fans in Brooklyn would probably be happy if players played for their hometown, as even hough they wouldn’t bring home any championships, at least they would be in a better position than they are now.
18. Charlotte Hornets
Starting lineup: Chris Paul, John Wall, Stephen Curry, T.J. Warren, Hassan Whiteside
Wow. If you’re a fan of Charlotte basketball, you would be in for a total treat if players played for their hometowns. I mean look at this team the Hornets would have. Three of the league’s best guards on the same team paired up with Hassan Whiteside, one of the league’s most dominant centers, the rest of the league would have a hard time winning games against these guys. T.J. Warren may look like an outlier compared to his superstar teammates, and even though he is a bit of an outlier, he is a solid scorer and still has room to develop into an NBA star.
Chris Paul and John Wall would absolutely rack up the assists, as they could dish it to Curry for the three, Hassan for the lob, or anything in between. Charlotte would be competing for championships for years and years to come.
17. Chicago Bulls
Starting lineup: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Andre Iguodala, Jabari Parker, Anthony Davis
One of the few teams that could give Charlotte a run for its money would be the Chicago Bulls. While some of their starting guys are out of their prime such as Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, the winning attitude and experience both those guys would bring to the table would help the Bulls be one of the most winningest team in this new league. Andre Iguodala is one of the best defenders in the league, as he would fit in nice with these guys as a glue guy who did it all.
The Bulls front court would be very hard to stop, as Jabari Parker has shown flashes of superstardom, and Anthony Davis is already easily one of the best players in the league, as he is dominant on both ends of the court due to his blocking ability and scoring skills. Chicago fans would get to watch their team win more games then not, as their squad really has some stars.
16. Cleveland Cavaliers
Starting lineup: Trey Burke, C.J. McCollum, LeBron James, Larry Nance Jr., Jared Sullinger
The talent supporting King James in this alternate league is not as good as his team in today’s game, however he does have some pieces he could work with, as this team could be solid if LeBron played his best basketball every night. C.J. McCollum is one of the best scorers in the league and can fill it up on any given night. LeBron and McCollum would make a deadly duo, as James would find him all night for open looks.
The rest of the team is relatively weak, however Nance Jr., Sullinger, and Burke all have something to bring to the table. Any team that has LeBron is a great basketball team, and the Cavaliers would be a fun team to watch night in and night out.
15. Dallas Mavericks
Starting lineup: Marcus Smart, C.J. Miles, Julius Randle, LaMarcus Aldridge, Myles Turner
The Dallas Mavericks used to be one of the best teams in the league a few years ago, and are now beginning to show signs it’s time for a rebuild. However if NBA players played for their hometown, Dallas would not be in need of a rebuild, as they have some solid pieces that would make them a solid team in this league. Their backcourt isn’t great, but Marcus Smart is a scrappy player and C.J. Miles can really shoot the ball from deep. They have three very good big men in Julius Randle, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Myles Turner. All three of those players are some of the best players on their respective teams in the league today, and pairing them all up together would make Dallas a very solid team in this hometown league.
14. Detroit Pistons
Starting lineup: Tyler Ullis, Devin Booker, Denzel Valentine, Draymond Green, Deyonta Davis
The Motor City wouldn’t have one of the best teams in the league, however they’d have a lot of nice young players and would be led by NBA all-star Draymond Green. Devin Booker is one of the best shooters in the league, and would have to carry a lot of the load if Detroit expected to win any games. They are definitely missing a true center, as many opposing centers would dominate the young Deyonta Davis in the post. Tyler Ullis is having a nice rookie season in Phoenix, and would have to man the point-guard position for his hometown of Detroit.
Even though the Detroit Pistons hometown team wouldn’t be a championship contender right now, a few years into the future this could be a pretty solid team.
13. Golden State Warriors
Starting lineup: Damian Lillard, Jeremy Lin, Paul Pierce, Matt Barnes, Ryan Anderson
Damian Lillard is one of the NBA’s best superstars today, however his hometown team in Golden State does not pair up talent wise to the rest of the teams on this list. While Damian could easily average over 30 points per game with this team, the Warriors would be hard-pressed to find wins as the rest of their team other than Lillard just isn’t up to par. Paul Pierce is an NBA legend, however at this point he is way past the player he used to be.
Ryan Anderson is a solid stretch four for the Rockets in real life, but he would be absolutely dominated at the center position, as there are no other solid big man options coming out of the Bay Area. Unlike the current Golden State Warriors, this native team would be one of the worst teams in the league.
12. Houston Rockets
Starting lineup: Tim Frazier, Jonathon Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Gerald Green, DeAndre Jordan
The hometown Houston Rockets would be one of the better teams in the league, as they are balanced throughout their starting lineup and also have some star power to compete. Jimmy Butler is one of the best two way players in the league, as he can fill it up on the offensive side and also lock down the best players in the league defensively. Tim Frazier is a great option for the Rockets at the point, as he is a solid distributor and would be racking up the assists as the rest of his teammates can all score the ball at a steady rate.
DeAndre Jordan is one of the league’s most dominant players in the paint, and I would expect him and Frazier to connect on more than a few alley oops over the course of their season together playing for their hometown.
11. Indiana Pacers
Starting lineup: Jeff Teague, Eric Gordon, Gordon Hayward, Zach Randolph, Mason Plumlee
The Pacers would be solid at all five starting positions if players played for their hometown, and I think this would be a team that could really string together some wins against the other teams on this list. Jeff Teague is one of the most dynamic guards in the league, and pairing him up with sharpshooter Eric Gordon would give the Pacers a deadly backcourt. Their real star power comes from the small forward position, as Gordon Hayward really is a great player to have on your roster as he has gotten significantly better every year he has been in the association.
Zach Randolph is one of the most seasoned veterans in the league, and Mason Plumlee is very athletic for a 7-footer. The Pacers are a very good hometown team, capable of winning a solid amount of games.
10. L.A. Clippers
Starting lineup: Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, James Harden, Robin Lopez, Brook Lopez
Another incredible hometown team like the Hornets or Bulls, the Clippers are absolutely stacked with NBA stars. Possibly the best team in the entire hometown league, the Clippers would be fighting for a championship every single year for years to come. Starting with the point guard position, the Clippers would be amazing with Russell Westbrook at the point, as he is a triple double machine and would be doing a lot for their team. He would need to be able to play with other stars, as he may have gotten accustomed to doing everything in OKC this past year.
The Clippers would have their own splash brother duo of their own with Klay Thompson and James Harden, as the Clippers would be reigning down threes all night long. The Lopez brothers would hold it down in the paint for the Clippers, but the two are both solid passers and would rack up the assists from their star teammates. The Clippers would be a dominant team, however would they be better than their rival area team the Lakers?
9. L.A. Lakers
Starting lineup: Jrue Holiday, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Love
Los Angeles is full of NBA superstars, and as you can see, the Lakers are just as stacked as their L.A. counterparts. The Lakers have an NBA star at every single one of the their starting positions, which would make them a seriously dangerous team as they have no weak spots which is something a lot of the teams on this list are suffering from. Jrue Holiday is a great facilitator, and would be having a great time running the Lakers offense as his teammates are all amazing offensive players.
Filled with dynamic players on the offensive and defensive ends such as DeRozan, George, and Leonard, the Lakers team would probably be the hardest team to beat in the league. Kevin Love would be L.A’s big man to hold it down, however with all the help he would be getting from his elite teammates, the Lakers wouldn’t have very much trouble on the defensive end.
8. Memphis Grizzlies
Starting lineup: Cameron Payne, J.J. Redick, Lou Williams, Stephen Zimmerman, Tarik Black
You can’t expect much talent coming out of Memphis. The Grizzlies do have some nice players on their team, but would sadly be one of the worst teams in the league. Cameron Payne is a nice player in his own right at the point guard position, and the Grizzlies do have some nice shooters with J.J. Redick and Lou Williams. The Grizzlies’ front-court is bad to be honest, as Stephen Zimmerman and Tarik Black would not stack up against the rest of the talented bigs in the league, meaning the Grizzlies would most likely lose their fair share of games throughout the season. Even with their talented shooters, the Grizzlies are no match to most of the other hometown teams.
7. Miami Heat
Starting lineup: Brandon Knight, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jordan Clarkson, Trevor Ariza, Udonis Haslem
I expected the Heat to have more talented Florida natives on their team, however the Miami Heat hometown team is one of the worst teams in the league. They have some players who are solid role players are on their real NBA teams, but this team would definitely not be able to match up with most of the other hometown teams due to the lack of talent at every starting position. Jordan Clarkson and Tim Hardaway Jr. are the team’s best two players, which really isn’t saying much to be honest.
They are lacking any real big men, as their front court would consist of Trevor Ariza and Udonis Haslem. The native players of Miami wouldn’t be able to win very many games throughout the season as they are lacking any real superstars or a solid front court to contend.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
Starting lineup: Tyus Jones, Rashad Vaugn, Jon Leuer, Kris Humphries, Cole Aldrich
What would you expect from Minnesota? This is obviously one of the worst teams in this new look league, as none of these players would be able to compete with the rest of the starting fives you can find on this list. Most of these players are deep bench players for their respective teams in real life, and while their stats would increase being inserted into the starting role for the Wolves, this team would lose every single game they would play, possibly picking up wins against another awful hometown team such as the Grizzlies or Boston even though I doubt it as this is the absolute worst team in this fantasy hometown league.
5. New Orleans Pelicans
Starting lineup: Elfrid Payton, D.J. Augustine, Thaddeus Young, Paul Millsap, Greg Monroe
The Pelicans have recently become one of the best teams in the league in real life with their recent acquisition of superstar big man DeMarcus Cousins, however their hometown team, even though talented, is not as good as their regular squad. Elfrid Payton is a young player in this league and would have trouble matching up night after night against the talented other backcourts in this league. To put it simply, the Pelicans’ hometown backcourt is pretty bad. The Pelicans’ strength would come from its bigs, as Young, Millsap, and Monroe can all score the ball nicely, and would make the Pelicans a solid team to watch night in and night out. The Pelicans aren’t one of the best teams in the league, but they definitely aren’t one of the worst either.
4. New York Knicks
Starting lineup: Kemba Walker, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joakim Noah, Andre Drummond
With stars such as Kemba Walker and Andre Drummond from New York, the Knicks hometown team would be something to watch on a nightly basis. Kemba Walker is an NBA all-star, and is a great shooter and slasher who can put up over 30 points a night for this team. Andre Drummond is easily known as one of the best rebounders in all of the NBA, and pairing him up with the savvy Joakim Noah down low would make taking it into the paint against New York a hard thing to do.
Danny Green and Tobias Harris are both nice glue guys to have on your team, as they would complement the team’s two stars very nicely. While New York’s hometown team probably wouldn’t be raising any championship trophies, this team would definitely do better than the current Knicks.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Starting lineup: Kyle Lowry, Dion Waiters, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris
Instead of the Lakers, Philadelphia fans would be the ones missing Kobe this season, as the legend would have played for them his whole career if players played for their hometowns. Even with the Black Mamba’s retirement, the native Philadelphia team would not be a push over in this league, as they have some solid players and have star power with Kyle Lowry running the point. Dion Waiters is having a breakout season in Miami this year, as he is showing he can score constantly and close out games like a pro.
The Morris brothers are definitely one of the most talented brother duos in the league, and pairing them both on Philadelphia would be nice. Philly would be lacking a real big man however, which could really come into play against some of the other teams on this list.
2. Toronto Raptors
Starting lineup: Cory Joseph, Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Trey Lyles, Kelly Olynyk
Toronto has bred some serious NBA talent over the past few seasons, and Toronto’s hometown team would be pretty solid after a few years to develop. The best player on this team is Andrew Wiggins, who is still very young and is not in his prime yet. He is already an excellent scorer, and in a few years he could easily be one of the most dominant players in the league. Jamal Murray was a lottery pick in this year’s draft, but he has already shown he can shoot the ball very well and pass the ball nicely. Trey Lyles is also very young, and could end up being a very solid scorer down low in the post. Kelly Olynyk is an offensive minded big as well. The Raptors would have trouble winning games now, however they could be a dangerous team in a few years.
1. Washington Wizards
Starting lineup: Ty Lawson, Rodney McGruder, Kevin Durant, Patrick Patterson, Ed Davis
The Washington Wizards may get Kevin Durant on their team if they were to get their homegrown players, but he’d essentially be carrying the team. Ty Lawson (from nearby Maryland) would be feeding him the ball, which would obviously be a huge downgrade from what KD has now in Golden State. The Wizards would likely still be able to contend for a playoff spot, as Durant is capable of dominating opponents, but it’s likely this team would be an easy first round matchup for anybody in the league. They just wouldn’t be able to stack up against the likes of Charlotte or Chicago and KD would likely leave his hometown team in the dust if he could.