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
20 Boston Celtics
Starting lineup: Michael Carter-Williams, Shabazz Napier, Jake Layman, Nerlens Noel, Noah Vonleh
19 Brooklyn Nets
Starting lineup: Isaiah Whitehead, Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Taj Gibson, Chris McCullough
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.
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.
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.
15 Dallas Mavericks
Starting lineup: Marcus Smart, C.J. Miles, Julius Randle, LaMarcus Aldridge, Myles Turner
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8 Memphis Grizzlies
Starting lineup: Cameron Payne, J.J. Redick, Lou Williams, Stephen Zimmerman, Tarik Black
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.
6 Minnesota Timberwolves
Starting lineup: Tyus Jones, Rashad Vaugn, Jon Leuer, Kris Humphries, Cole Aldrich
5 New Orleans Pelicans
Starting lineup: Elfrid Payton, D.J. Augustine, Thaddeus Young, Paul Millsap, Greg Monroe
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.
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.
2 Toronto Raptors
Starting lineup: Cory Joseph, Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Trey Lyles, Kelly Olynyk
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.
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