Every kid dreams of playing basketball for their hometown team. Bringing a championship to your actual home is what every player would love to do. 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 then your own. Being from Philadelphia, I can’t really imagine playing for any other city and I bet that NBA players feel the same exact way that I do.
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.
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, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, 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.
Starting lineup: Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Jae Crowder, Josh Smith, Derrick Favors, Dwight Howard
First on this list is the Atlanta Hawks. Surrounding the two talented big men of Howard and Favors, Crowder, Smith, and KCP would all be good options in scoring. The Hawks would lack a true point guard, but any of these non big men can handle the pressure with the ball. In this hometown league, the Hawks would be a decent team, but I don’t think they have the guard talent to compete for the championship.
Starting lineup: Michael Carter-Williams, Shabazz Napier, Pat Connaughton, Noah Vonleh, Nerlens Noel
Boston has quite a rich history. Some of the best players of all time have worn Celtics green. But this year, its native players are not very accomplished yet. Only time will tell if these players will succeed in this league. With the lob connections of MCW and Noel, the Celtics would have some flash, but they definitely don’t have the talent to compete in this league.
Starting lineup: Randy Foye, Lance Stephenson, Taj Gibson, Al Harrington, Kenneth Faried
The Nets have some true talent at all their positions, but with Lance and Faried leading the team, they wouldn’t be very good. They do have some solid players, but without a true star to actually control the team they would have problems closing the deal late in the game. On the bright side for Brooklyn, maybe this team would be better then the real Nets.
Starting lineup: Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall, P.J. Hairston, Hassan Whiteside
This is just unfair. Arguably the best team in the league, if you’re from Charlotte you would be watching a team that could win the championship for years to come. With maybe the best backcourt ever assembled, and one of the best big men in the league with Hassan Whiteside, it would be hard for the Hornets to lose. I wouldn’t be surprised if this team went on to beat the Bulls regular season win record just like Steph Curry is attempting to do with the Warriors this year.
Starting lineup: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Andre Iguodala, Anthony Davis, Jahlil Okafor
Another incredible team full of NBA stars. This is a team that could give Charlotte a run for their money, but I think the wear and tear on most of Chicago’s players will hurt them. Wade still has great offensive ability, but Davis and Okafor are the only players on their team not in the second half of their careers. But fans in this hometown would have nothing to complain about when rooting for the new look Bulls.
Starting lineup: LeBron James, Trey Burke, C.J. McCollum, Larry Nance Jr, Jared Sullinger
The talent supporting LeBron is weaker from his hometown than with his current teammates, but I think this team could have as much success. Without Kyrie and Love, LeBron would be the only star to lead the team. James would have full reign to be the head of the team and would still have talented players around him with Burke, McCollum, and Sullinger. The hometown Cleveland squad would be a pretty good team, and LeBron would be able to shine without other big personalities to compete with him.
Starting lineup: Deron Williams, Welsey Johnson, C.J. Miles, Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge
Deron Williams already has the luxury of playing for his hometown, but he would now have a great front court with Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Mavs would be weak at the SG and SF positions, but with a great facilitator and some high capacity big men, the Mavs would be a worthy opponent. They could put up a good fight in the Western Conference.
Starting lineup: Jordan Crawford, Devin Booker, Draymond Green, Javale McGee, Chris Kaman
Plain and simply, the Motor City would not be a very good team in this new NBA league. Other than the still developing Devin Booker, Draymond Green would have almost no talented offensive players that he could work with like he has in Golden State. Sadly for natives in Detroit, the Pistons would likely be one of the worst teams in the league.
Golden State Warriors
Starting lineup: Damian Lillard, Jeremy Lin, Paul Pierce, Matt Barnes, Drew Gooden
Unlike the real Warriors, this hometown team would be not be having the historic season that Golden State is having. Similair to Damian Lillard’s current situation in Portland, he would still be carrying most of the load every night on his home team. With some pretty reliable scoring guards, Lin, and Pierce, the three would be the main scorers with Barnes and Gooden not being consistent scorers in the league.
Starting lineup: Jimmy Butler, Gerald Green, Justice Winslow, Kendrick Perkins, DeAndre Jordan
With just the native players of Houston, the Rockets would be a great team in the West and could be the team to beat. Gerald Green and Winslow tend to get the job done and Perkins would be a nice veteran presence. Now let’s get to the stars. Jimmy Butler is a star in this league and with DeAndre Jordan’s rebounding and inside presence, this team would have a great inside-out game.
Players: Jeff Teague, Mike Conley, Gordon Hayward, Zach Randolph, Mason Plumlee
Maybe the most balanced team in the league, the Pacers would be a very competitive team in the midst of this new look league. With a valuable backcourt in Teague and Conley, these two would have no problems with passing it to scorers like Gordon Hayward and Zach Randolph. With Mason Plumlee playing hard D in the middle, the Pacers would be a dangerous team.
Starting lineup: Jrue Holiday, Klay Thompson, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Brook Lopez
This is another incredible team, as the Clippers would be stacked from top to bottom. Arguably the best team in the league, the hometown Clippers are the only team with every player having been an all star. The scoring would be ridiculous as all players can fill it up and the other end of the court would be led by former Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard. While competing for the championship it would be awesome to see the Clippers battle the only other powerhouse in the Hornets.
Starting lineup: Arron Afflalo, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Robin Lopez, Tyson Chandler
With NBA stars Derozan and George, the Lakers would be a fast paced offense who could score from anywhere. Arron Afflalo would stretch the floor and that would open up some driving lanes. They also wouldn’t have to worry about getting rebounds with Lopez and Chandler down low. Another fine team from California.
Starting lineup: Cameron Payne, Lou Williams, J.J. Reddick, Corey Brewer, Brendan Wright
The Grizzlies would have some good 3-point scorers with Williams and Reddick, unfortunately besides that they would be very weak. I couldn’t see the Grizzlies winning many games against some of the other teams in the league but with Williams or Reddick, it is always possible for one of them to catch fire.
Starting lineup: Brandon Knight, Jordan Clarkson, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trevor Ariza, Udonis Haslem
The Heat would be a pretty solid team led by Brandon Knight. The rest of the team is definitely not bad with all of them having the ability to score. The Heat would not have a strong presence down low with Haslem being their big man. That would create a big problem for the hometown Heat players. I just don’t think the Heat would have enough talent other than Knight to do some real damage.
Starting lineup: Devin Harris, Wesley Matthews, Caron Butler, Sam Dekker, Carl Landry
The Bucks would be a bad team. You wouldn’t except much more coming from a small city like Milwaukee and if anything I am a little surprised that they couldn’t even fill a team. We had to include all of the state of Wisconsin just to fill this team. They would have to really rely on Wesley Matthews shooting to even stay in games. The Bucks would be one of the weakest teams in the league.
Starting lineup: Tyus Jones, Alan Anderson, Jon Leuer, Kris Humphries, Cole Aldrich
I didn’t think it could get worse then the Bucks but it just did. None of the players for these fictional Wolves are really any good on any of their own teams. This is barely even a real team. I couldn’t see these five guys getting more then five wins. Actually, I really doubt these players could string together one win at all. They might look a lot like the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats
New Orleans Pelicans
Starting Lineup: D.J. Augustin, Elfrid Payton, Kelly Oubre, Thaddeus Young, Paul Millsap
They could have done worse. This version of the New Orleans Pelicans has a very balanced team but they would really shine in the front court. Thad Young and Paul Millsap have very nice touch around the rim and D.J. Augustin can hit threes from anywhere on the court. The Pelicans would be pretty good in the hometown league led by two strong big men.
New York Knicks
Starting lineup: Kemba Walker, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joakim Noah, Andre Drummond
New York has grown some incredible basketball players, and their hometown starting lineup is no different. The Knicks would be a great team that consisted of NBA superstars such as Andre Drummond and Kemba Walker. Scoring would be a breeze for the Knicks, but they would also have an inside force with Drummond down low. New York would be back on the map in with this new league.
Starting lineup: Nick Calathes, Vince Carter, Chandler Parsons, Amar’e Stoudemire, Marreese Speights
Chandler Parsons is an impact player in the NBA, but he would be surrounded by many aging players. The question, if Chandler Parsons would be able to lead the Magic being the only real solid player. The Magic would be on the lower end of the East but at least they would not at the bottom. This hometown only league would also see veterans Vince Carter and Amar’e Stoudemire make their way down south.
Starting lineup: Kyle Lowry, Kobe Bryant, Tyreke Evans, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Marcus Morris
Imagine if Kobe Bryant played his career for Philly instead of L.A, the 76ers would likely have won multiple championship. Adding All Star Kyle Lowry and Tyreke Evans to Kobe, would create some great basketball chemistry. Kyle Lowry would be the new face of this team while Kobe transitions into his retirement. The Sixers would still be a pretty good team at this point, but I don’t think they would still have the power to win a championship.
Starting lineup: Jerami Grant, Kyle Singler, Ronnie Brewer, Terrence Ross, Terrence Jones
You can’t expect many great players coming out of Portland, hence the starting lineup you see here. Not many of these guys can score on a consistent basis, the Blazers would have a lot of trouble on offense and defending against the rest of the league. This team would have to play well to keep themselves from being one of the worst team in the West.
Starting lineup: Cory Joseph, Nik Stauskas, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell
In the past few years, Canada has produced some very good NBA players including a few 1st overall draft picks. This team doesn’t have any major stars but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Every player on this team has a different skill which would overall help the Raptors. Joseph’s veteran leadership, Stauskas’ shooting, Wiggins’ athleticism, Olynk’s floor stretching ability, and Powell’s inside explosive ability would come together to make a very solid team. Like the current Raptors, they could be proud with what their team could accomplish.
Starting lineup: Ty Lawson, Rudy Gay, Avery Bradley, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony
The Wizards are targeting Kevin Durant this offseason and in this alternate universe they wouldn’t have to. On the Wizards, Durant, Melo, and Gay would be one of the best scoring trios in the league. Adding a solid pair of two way guards with Lawson and Bradley would help the Wizards tremendously. The small lineup of the hometown Wizards could hurt them against certain teams but their fast paced offense could quickly put other teams away. Another championship contender.
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