When looking back at a player's career, fans are always eager to bring up championships. Individual awards show a lot about a player, but it is important that a player has the ability to help lead a team to a championship at least once throughout their time in the league. It really is a big accomplishment winning a title in the always competitive association, so winning a championship is something that is on every player's mind.
In this article, we will be looking at 20 current NBA stars and determining if they will win a championship before they retire or not. Looking at things such as age, mentality, skillset, and other things, this list will give you a pretty good idea on how these careers will end up going.
There will be some players on this list that will surprise some, as many feel all of these players are worthy stars and will surely bring home a championship at some point. But think about names like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing and Dominique Wilkins. These were all legendary players, but due to different circumstances, they retired ringless. So, it's normal to expect many of the NBA's current stars to undergo the same fate.
As always, feel free to leave any comments you have on this matter below, as we would love to hear your thoughts on these players we have listed.
Here are 10 NBA stars who will win a championship before retiring and 10 who will not.
20 Will: Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons is primed for an excellent NBA career. Before entering the league, he was compared to the likes of LeBron James and Magic Johnson, and his rookie season showed a lot of potential in his game.
He can do it all on the court and uses his massive height at the point guard position to dominate.
He is one of the 76ers' most prized young pieces, and the core is bound to win a championship during their time in Philadelphia. While it may not be for a few years or more, Ben Simmons will win an NBA championship and possibly even more throughout his career.
19 Won't: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis is another incredible young star in the league. Playing for the Pelicans, Davis is going to have a hard time winning series in the playoffs, as the talent in the West is arguably the best it has ever been since the league began.
DeMarcus Cousins also left the team and signed with the Golden State Warriors, which is obviously going to only make things harder for the Pelicans going forward. Davis is going to have a great career statistics-wise, but he won't be retiring with an NBA championship to his name if he stays in New Orleans.
18 Will: Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum became one of the bigger stars in the league during his rookie season, as an injured Celtics team allowed him to show his skills, which really were impressive. It looks like Tatum could be one of the best scorers in the league in a very short amount of time, and his scoring is going to propel the great Celtics team he is on to at least one championship during his years there. The Celtics have done very well in gathering their pieces to be a contender for years to come and it is a good time to be a Celtics fan right now.
17 Won't: Karl Anthony-Towns
Karl Anthony-Towns was the 1st overall selection back in 2015, and has done a lot of good things for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Paired up with Andrew Wiggins, the team went out on sold good young talent for All-Star player Jimmy Butler.
Last year didn't go very well for the team, however, as they struggled to win games, with Butler even saying he was disappointed with the young guys' attitudes and asking for a trade this summer.
That doesn't look like a good sign for the team moving forward, and Towns is going to suffer when it comes to winning in the Western Conference.
16 Will: Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball came into the league with some very high expectations, due to the fact that his father, LaVar, was making very big statements about his game. Ball had a solid rookie season despite not shooting the ball very well from deep. For his sophomore season, Ball now finds himself on a very talented team led by the likes of LeBron James. The Lakers may not win any championships for a couple of years or so, but if this core stays together, with an additional superstar, then we definitely could see titles being brought back to Los Angeles for the first time in a while, with Lonzo at the point position.
15 Won't: James Harden
James Harden is seriously one of the best players to ever grace the NBA hardwood, and he has been close to winning a title a few times. He was in the Finals with the Thunder a few years ago, and has come very close to taking down the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
The West just keeps getting better, however, and while the Rockets will continue to be an excellent team, Harden will most likely end his career without a championship, sadly. The Warriors just added DeMarcus Cousins, and the Lakers just added LeBron. Need I say more?
14 Will: Giannis Antetokounmpo
We have seen Giannis Antetokounmpo transform from a skinny prospect to easily one of the strongest, best players in the association.
Giannis is only 23 years of age which a lot of people don't understand; we are not only going to see him dominate for years to come, but he hasn't even played his best basketball yet.
Giannis hasn't led the Bucks very deep into the playoffs yet, but that will come, as we believe that he will end his career with at least one championship, as his talent will be too much for teams to handle in the playoffs for one year.
13 Won't: Damian Lillard
It looks as though Damian Lillard will be spending his entire career in Portland playing for the Trail Blazers, which is why we have him on this side of the list. Damian Lillard and the Blazers honestly don't have a chance to come up big in the Western Conference Playoffs with the roster they have, as the West is just too good to slip up and let a team like the Blazers get to the championship.
If Lillard jumps ship to another team his chances may go up, but he may end up being another great player to never win a championship.
12 Will: DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins would have most likely ended up on the won't part of this list if he didn't make his move this summer to join the Golden State Warriors. Now, however, it looks as though he will certainly be winning a championship before the time his career ends. DeMarcus shocked the entire NBA world as he decided to join already the best team of all-time in the Golden State Warriors, signing only for $5 million in order to play with the best constructed roster in the NBA.
The Warriors are most likely going to cruise to a championship title this season and the question is how long they want to stay together in Golden State.
11 Won't: Vince Carter
Vince Carter has had an excellent NBA career, but at 41 years of age at this point, it looks as though Vince will be retiring without an NBA ring on his accomplishments. Carter has taken a different approach then a lot of aging veterans take when it comes to choosing which team to play for.
A lot of NBA contenders such as the Warriors or Rockets would love to have a guy like Carter on their team.
Vince has spent the past few years on struggling teams, however, as it seems as though he would rather get more playing time on a bad team then sit out and win a ring with a really good franchise, while riding the bench.
10 Will: Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic was probably the biggest prospect to ever come from Europe, as he really did dominate the competition at a very young age across the world. Doncic's play was so good that the Mavericks traded up with the Atlanta Hawks to acquire him, to pair with Dennis Smith Jr., creating a very good and young backcourt. Only time will tell how Luka and the Mavericks play together for the up and coming years, but Luka was a winner overseas, and he will definitely win a championship in the NBA, as he really is primed for a great career here in the United States.
9 Won't: Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is a top ten player in the NBA, that is without question. His ability to score, pass, and rebound at the level he does is almost unrivaled when looking back at the entire history of the NBA. and he is certainly incredibly talented on the court. His time with Kevin Durant and James Harden on the Thunder is over, and while that team almost won a championship, it never happened. He is now paired with Paul George with the hopes of a championship, but it seems as though it isn't going to happen for Westbrook.
8 Will: Chris Paul
Chris Paul has yet to win a championship despite being in the league over 10 years, and we know that winning an NBA title is something Paul has his mind. His time with the Hornets was flashy for his young days, and while the Clippers had a great team, he wasn't able to do much with them come playoff time.
Now with the Rockets, Paul's injury against the Warriors may have cost them, as once he went down, the Warriors came back and won the series.
While the Rockets could win a championship, Paul will end up joining another team at one point if they don't win soon in Houston, as he wants to win a ring before retiring.
7 Won't: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is in the same boat as Chris Paul, as Melo has also been a great player for over a decade in this league but has yet to win a championship. Melo is now on the Houston Rockets, and while this team could potentially beat the overpowered Golden State Warriors, Melo's championship window is closing fast. Also, he doesn't bring the same skillset to a team that Paul does, so it will be harder for him to find another team he fits on well enough for them to win a championship. We may be adding Melo to the list of the greatest players to never have a ring.
6 Will: Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo was a top draft selection a few seasons ago and played for a few different teams before really coming into his own with his first season with the Indiana Pacers last year. Oladipo turned into a star player and led the team to the playoffs, where they just lost to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in seven games in the first round.
The Pacers are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and have some really good young talent to build around, and they could win a championship for Indiana despite not many fans taking them as serious as they should.
5 Won't: Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell took the league by storm this past season with his rookie season with the Jazz.
He averaged over 20 points per game for the team and became the main option for Utah as he really shot the ball well and used his athleticism to pick his spots on the court nicely.
Donovan has made it a point of emphasis that he wants to stay in Utah for a long, long time, and while that may be best for him when it comes to individual stats, he won't be winning any championships in Utah if he decides to stay there his entire career.
4 Will: Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic is one of the league's most talented big men, and the Nuggets got an absolute steal when they selected young Jokic with the 41st pick back in the 2014 NBA Draft. Jokic has shown talents that not many big men possess, such as excellent dribbling skills and a passing vision of a point guard.
He is currently on the Denver Nuggets, who are building a nice young team around him. The Nuggets still have a few years until they are a serious contender, but they will be raising a banner before the time Jokic retires.
3 Won't: Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond has been a solid center in this league for a few years now, but a lot of fans in Detroit feel as though he has another level to reach, but each season he kind of stays stagnant when it comes to his stats. Some games he can off for 30 points and 20 rebounds while other games he looks completely disinterested and goes for 8 points and 7 rebounds. The Pistons won't be winning any championships anytime soon, and if Drummond decides to stay with them, he will be ending his career with no championships to his name.
2 Will: Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler went from a solid defensive prospect to one of the best all-around players in the league on the Chicago Bulls. He was then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he was paired with Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Expectations were high for the team, but they have yet to gel.
Butler has expressed frustrations with the younger players in Minnesota, saying they didn't take the season as serious as they should have.
While this isn't a good sign for the Wolves, it is a good sign for Butler, as it shows he wants to play for a serious contender. Butler will find his way to the right team and win a championship at least one time.
1 Won't: Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker has made it clear he wants to stay in Charlotte for the rest of his career and "create something special" there. Walker has silently one of the best guards in the NBA for years now, and he really is a great offensive threat for Hornets.
While it's great for him that he has found a home in Charlotte that he wants to stay in before he retires, it's not going to be good for his legacy if he is even concerned about that, as he is not going to win any championships with the Hornets for as long as he is with them.