NBA Homegrown Rosters (2015-16)

By woyafa8
Jun. 03, 2016

Ever wonder what it would be like if your team couldn't make any trades, or if your favorite player couldn't sign elsewhere? In other words, the NBA was shaped solely by the draft (and undrafted free agents when necessary). Well, I have your answers here, such as who would be really good, and who would be really bad. In order to do this, I needed to make up a few ground rules.

1) All pre-draft trades (such as the ones the Celtics acquired in the Garnett-Pierce deal), would still belong to the Celtics, because there is no way of knowing if Brooklyn would make that same selection. 2) However, all trades on draft day (such as the Dirk Nowitzki trade) do not happen. Trades such as the Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota trade don't happen either. All players are with the team that drafted them. 3) With selecting the players, I TRIED to keep the retired players retired, and stay out of the undrafted NBA free agent market whenever possible. But with some teams, that was impossible to make a complete 13 man roster. Or even a 10 man roster. Also, I played it a little looser with the undrafted free agent pool, as some undrafted players (like Xavier Munford) are on teams that didn't sign them undrafted. Since I could not find another quality option for those players, I had to make a few exceptions, but not many. 4) I based my analysis (and rankings) off of the players skill sets from 2015-16, so having Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett doesn't make you a much better team. 5) The first player on each position in the depth chart is who I would start at each position, not necessarily who I think is the best. (and please comment on how to bold on here if possible, I'm a new guy)

So, from worst to first, here are your 2015-16 homegrown NBA rosters

Kelly Olynyk

30) Dallas Mavericks

C-Tyler Zeller, Mike Muscala, Satnam Singh

PF-Kelly Olynyk, Byron Mullens, Nick Fazekas

SF-Josh Howard, Jordan Hamilton

SG-Justin Anderson, JJ Barea, Maurice Ager

PG-Darius Johnson-Odom, JR Pinnock

BEST 5: Kelly Olynyk, JJ Barea, Tyler Zeller, Josh Howard, Justin Anderson

CLUTCH 5: Same

Leading scorer options: JJ Barea, Josh Howard, Kelly Olynyk

All-star caliber: Ha

ANALYSIS: See what I mean by not being able to make a 10 man roster? There is a 36 year old Josh Howard who hasn’t been in the league since 2013 (scoring 6.7ppg, which was his strength), an aging JJ Barea who we had to bring in off the undrafted pool, and then who in the world are some of these guys? I believe Maurice Ager played for Michigan State a WHILE back, Satnam Singh is on Dallas’ D-League, and I can’t even begin to think of who JR Pinnock AND Nick Fazekas are. Would Josh Howard still be a capable player? Is JJ Barea their go-to guy? Is the three-headed monster in the paint...I can’t even finish that without laughing. C’mon, it’s Kelly Olynyk, Mike Muscala and Tyler Zeller. Give me a break, this team would struggle to beat the sixers.

Derrick Favors

29) BROOKLYN NETS

C-Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee, Tibor Pleiss, Jordan Williams

PF-Derrick Favors, Chris McCullough, Kenyon Martin

SF-Ryan Anderson, Terrence Williams

SG-Kyle Korver, Chris Douglas-Roberts

PG-Pat Connaughton, Jordan Crawford

BEST 5: Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Anderson, Kyle Korver

CLUTCH 5: Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors, Ryan Anderson, Kyle Korver, Chris Douglas-Roberts

Leading scorer options: Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors, Ryan Anderson

All-star caliber: Brook Lopez, maybe Derrick Favors

ANALYSIS: So it’s a toss up between this team and the Heat and Lakers, but those teams have a legit super-star/All-NBA player, so I had to choose the Nets. They also have more unknowns than those teams (Tibor Pleiss, Jordan Crawford), and have Kenyon Martin being forced to stay active. And the sad thing is, this team only has a second rounder this year. They also have a very large big-man bias, since I was forced to start Ryan Anderson at SF due to the lack of legitimate wing options. Point guard is worse, since none of the PG’s on the depth chart are actual PG’s, and Chris Douglas-Roberts is the clutch PG, but I don’t even remember if that’s a position he's ever played. These teams are why free agency/trades is necessary.

Marc Gasol

28) LA LAKERS

C-Marc Gasol, Robert Sacre

PF-Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Ryan Kelly

SF-Anthony Brown, Devin Ebanks

SG-D’Angelo Russell, Sasha Vujacic

PG-Patrick Beverley, Toney Douglas, Jordan Farmar, Andrew Goudelock

BEST 5: Marc Gasol, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Patrick Beverley, Larry Nance

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Marc Gasol, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell

All-star caliber: Marc Gasol, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell

ANALYSIS: That reaction by Marc Gasol in the picture probably shows how he feels about being here. This team would probably stack up pretty evenly with the real 2015-16 Lakers, but without all the Kobe drama, the Nick Young drama, and the general attention of the mass public. Defensively, these Lakers could cause a few problems, but they would struggle going through Julius Randle every play on offense, and then they have no depth as Larry Nance is their 5th best player, and then it’s a toss-up from there. Brandon Ingram, the projected pick by the Lakers, would be even more of a fit for this team, and potentially this could be a team on the rise as well. I wonder how the Anthony Brown jersey would sell.

Jason Smith

27) MIAMI HEAT

C-Jason Smith, Dexter Pittman

PF-Udonis Haslem, Michael Beasley, Jarvis Varnado

SF-Justise Winslow, PJ Hairston, Caron Butler, Dorell Wright

SG-Dwayne Wade, Bojan Bogdanovic, Marcus Thornton

PG-Josh Richardson, Travis Trice

BEST 5: Dwayne Wade, Justise Winslow, Bojan Bogdanovic, Marcus Thornton, Josh Richardson

CLUTCH: Jason Smith, Justise Winslow, Bojan Bogdanovic, Dwayne Wade, Josh Richardson

Leading scorer options: Dwayne Wade, Dwayne Wade, Dwayne Wade

All-star caliber: Dwayne Wade, Dwayne Wade, maybe Justise Winslow

ANALYSIS: If you don't know who that guy is, it's okay, I don't expect you to. It's Jason Smith, he plays backup center on Orlando in real life. It shows how good Pat Riley is at drafting. Anyways, the Heat are set on the wings, but not much else. C’mon, Udonis Haslem is still starting for this team, unless Michael Beasley takes his spot one day, Jason Smith is the only viable center option, and Josh Richardson is the only viable point guard option unless you play Dwayne Wade there all the time. Without Wade, this team would still be better than the Mavericks though, which is sad for Mark Cuban. And having Richardson and Winslow in the top 5 means the Heat would be headed back toward relevance, except they don’t have a pick this year...In other words, 25 wins or less for a few years at least.

2006 #1 pick Andrea Bargnani

26) TORONTO RAPTORS

C-Jonas Valanciunas, Roy Hibbert, Andrea Bargnani

PF-Ed Davis, Charlie Villanueva, Quincy Acy

SF-Terrence Ross, PJ Tucker, Bruno Caboclo

SG-DeMar DeRozan, DeAndre Daniels

PG-Xavier Munford, Delon Wright

BEST 5: DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross, PJ Tucker, Ed Davis

CLUTCH: Jonas Valanciunas, PJ Tucker, Terrence Ross, DeMar DeRozan, (ghost of Kyle Lowry) Xavier Munford

Leading scorer options: DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Jonas Valanciunas

All-star caliber; DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas

ANALYSIS: Xavier Munford is on this team due to lack of point guards, and undrafted point guards in Raptors history. Anyways, this team would need consistent play from Ed Davis, a huge step-up from Terrence Ross, and Kyle Lowry to come back to keep this team out of the cellar. The future at point guard looks bright at least, with Delon Wright having high hopes and Munford, who actually, is on a similar path to Kyle Lowry. However, the backup big men are getting old and worn out, forcing PJ Tucker to play more 4 and Bruno Caboclo to switch positions. This team still has Big V and DeRozan, but not much else. This also shows the big mistake of taking Andrea Bargnani, although he did "alright" in his early years.

Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler

25) NEW YORK KNICKS

C-Nene, Jordan Hill

PF-Kristaps Porzingis, Channing Frye, David Lee

SF-Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Kostas Papanikolaou, Cleanthony Early

SG-Trevor Ariza, Tim Hardaway

PG-Iman Shumpert, Pablo Prigioni

BEST 5: Kristaps Porzingis, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Trevor Ariza, Nene

CLUTCH: Kristaps Porzingis, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Trevor Ariza, Iman Shumpert

Leading scorer options: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Kristaps Porzingis

All-star caliber: Maybe Kristaps Porzingis and Danilo Gallinari

ANALYSIS: Okay, here’s where we start to see rosters resembling NBA teams. Except, this one is not very good, but it's still a complete-ish roster. Iman Shumpert, a SG by trade is forced to play PG and a group of aging big men surround Porzingis in the lineup. Or they could go small, which would probably work best for them, but then they would lack defense. Does this team have playoff potential? Possibly, but probably not. I just don’t see a Porzingis-Gallinari-Chandler group making it work yet, when Faried-Gallinari-Chandler doesn’t work in Denver (to be fair, Gallinari/Chandler have each missed a full year).

Shaqtin MVP JaVale McGee

24) WASHINGTON WIZARDS

C-JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche

PF-Nemanja Bjelica, Jan Vesely

SF-Otto Porter, Chris Singleton

SG-Bradley Beal, Jordan Clarkson, Nick Young

PG-John Wall, Devin Harris, Jerian Grant, Steve Blake

BEST 5: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Jordan Clarkson, Otto Porter, Devin Harris

CLUTCH: Andray Blatche, Otto Porter, Bradley Beal, Jordan Clarkson, John Wall

Leading scorer options: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Jordan Clarkson

All-star caliber: John Wall, Bradley Beal

ANALYSIS: Like I said, it’s the START of seeing NBA rosters. But this backcourt is so good, that they probably would have to play Otto Porter at the five and Nick Young at the four. That’s the only way they could get more than 30 wins. Seriously though, who is in the frontcourt? Rookie Nemanja Bjelica? (Shaq voice) JaVaaaalllleee McGee? An even wilder ex-Wizard in Andray Blatche? Or how about a giant bust in Jan Vesely? Like I said, every single player in that backcourt is worth having, but that frontcourt rivals the Mavs and Heat. It might even be worse.

Kawhi Leonard

23) INDIANA PACERS

C-Myles Turner, Miles Plumlee

PF-Paul George, Tyler Hansborough, Shawne Williams

SF-Kawhi Leonard, Solomon Hill, Danny Granger

SG-Lance Stephenson, James Jones

PG-Jerryd Bayless, Joseph Young, AJ Price

BEST 5: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Myles Turner, Jerryd Bayless

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Myles Turner

All-star caliber: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard

ANALYSIS: Okay, so this is where we start showing teams that ACTUALLY have a fighting chance to make the playoffs. Even if it’s only because of two players, two very, very good two-way players in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Maybe they even have the ability to will them to a top four seed, but more likely than not this team needs to build more around it’s stars. I’m sure you took a quick glance say Kawhi and Paul, and thought "great team". Then you looked around to see AJ Price, Shawne Williams, and Danny Granger. And then you looked closer at Joseph Young, Tyler Hansborough, James Jones, Solomon Hill, Miles Plumlee. And you finally realized, this team can’t win 41 or more games with those two guys and Lance Stephenson blowing into LeBron's ear. Also, Myles Turner could become one hell of a player down the road, just saying.

2004 #1 pick Dwight Howard

22) ORLANDO MAGIC

C-Dwight Howard, Zaza Pachulia, Anderson Varejao

PF-Aaron Gordon, Dario Saric, Kyle O’Quinn

SF-Mario Hezonja, Andrew Nicholson, Romero Osby

SG-JJ Redick, Courtney Lee, Mike Miller

PG-Victor Oladipo, Scottie Wilbekin

BEST 5: Victor Oladipo, Dwight Howard, JJ Redick, Aaron Gordon, Courtney Lee

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Victor Oladipo, Dwight Howard, JJ Redick

All-star caliber: Dwight Howard, maybe Victor Oladipo

ANALYSIS: Hear me out, this team has a chance on being very good soon, but with a rookie in Hezonja starting at small forward, Scottie Wilbekin as an emergency true point guard, and Romero Osby somehow on the roster, it may be time to take another look at things. Yeah, a one-two punch of Howard and Oladipo could be dynamite, it could also be disaster with Dwight Howard’s somewhat childish behavior. Dario Saric is a ghost, as he’s forced to play in Europe still, meaning the only real options on the bench are Zaza Pachulia and Courtney Lee. Like I said, it’s a work in progress, and maybe Dwight Howard can get a ring with this team down the road, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen anytime soon. And imagine a world without a Dwightmare. It's nice, isn't it?

Tyson Chandler

21) LA CLIPPERS

C-DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler, Chris Kaman

PF-Blake Griffin, Furkan Aldemir, Trey Thompkins

SF-Al-Farouq Aminu, Reggie Bullock

SG-Eric Gordon, CJ Wilcox, Willie Warren

PG-Shaun Livingston, Travis Leslie

BEST 5: Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Gordon, Tyson Chandler, Al-Farouq Aminu

CLUTCH: DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon, Shaun Livingston

Leading scorer options: Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan

All-star caliber: Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan

ANALYSIS: Both LA teams and the New York team all in the bottom 10? What has the world come to without these cities being able to spend like crazy? However, this Clipper team does have some firepower with Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan, and some nice role players in Al-Farouq Aminu, Shaun Livingston and Tyson Chandler. It’s actually like a worse version of the current team, all starters and no depth behind them. These unknowns like Willie Warren, Travis Leslie and Furkan Aldemir aren’t enough to weigh this team down too much, but this team still needs a piece or three to make the playoffs.

Rajon Rondo

20) PHOENIX SUNS

C-Marcin Gortat, Robin Lopez, Alex Len

PF-Markieff Morris, Amare Stoudemire

SF-Luol Deng, TJ Warren, Earl Clark

SG-Devin Booker, Rudy Fernandez, Bogdan Bogdanovic

PG-Rajon Rondo, Tyler Ennis, Kendall Marshall, Andrew Harrison

BEST 5: Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat, Luol Deng, Devin Booker

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Markieff Morris, Devin Booker, Marcin Gortat

All-star caliber: Rajon Rondo, maybe Devin Booker

ANALYSIS: Anybody know Rondo was drafted by the Suns? This is a team that really lacks a go-to scoring option, with Rondo being their only all-star caliber player. It’s a lot like that Celtics team that ended up trading him to the Dallas Mavericks, and would probably yield a similar result. The only difference is they have solid players around him, like the 3-headed monster at center, four solid wings (assuming Rudy Fernandez stays in Phoenix), and Markieff Morris as the closest thing to a go-to player. Backup point guard is a weakness, and Amare is aging, but there is a lot of versatility on this team to overcome the lack of depth at positions. I think with a good year of Luol Deng this team would have a shot to be in the playoff hunt in April, but doubtfully would make the playoffs.

Tobias Harris

19) CHARLOTTE HORNETS

C-Frank Kaminsky, Alexis Ajinca, Cody Zeller

PF-Noah Vonleh, Brandan Wright, Dwight Powell

SF-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tobias Harris, Jared Dudley

SG-Gerald Henderson, Aaron Harrison

PG-Kemba Walker, Raymond Felton, DJ Augustin, Shabazz Napier

BEST 5: Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Brandan Wright, Raymond Felton

CLUTCH: Brandan Wright, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tobias Harris, Jared Dudley, Kemba Walker

Leading scorer options: Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

All-star caliber: Kemba Walker

ANALYSIS: The first eastern conference playoff team, with about an equal record to the 11th place team in the west. How the NBA has changed...But seriously, look at this team and tell me that it can’t make the playoffs despite being #19. Is there even a player on there that you wouldn’t take for your team? Even Aaron Harrison has potential, and he is the only guy who wouldn’t crack the rotation. Kemba Walker would continue to be the main scorer, and I would have Tobias Harris come off the bench playing starter minutes, because right when the game begins it’s all about defense and he's a good scorer for the fourth quarter. I also believe that, despite Brandan Wright’s skills, his injury history would place Vonleh in the starting lineup, and I believe (with bias, as I grew up in Madison) that Frank Kaminsky has long-term potential to make the All-Star game in a few years. This is a team on the rise, no doubt.

Carmelo Anthony

18) DENVER NUGGETS

C-Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic

PF-Kenneth Faried, Quincy Miller, Leon Powe

SF-Carmelo Anthony, Doug McDermott, Devyn Marble

SG-Evan Fournier, Julius Hodge

PG-Emmanuel Mudiay, Jarrett Jack, Jameer Nelson

BEST 5: Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gobert, Kenneth Faried, Evan Fournier, Emmanuel Mudiay

CLUTCH: Kenneth Faried, Carmelo Anthony, Evan Fournier, Jarrett Jack, Emmanuel Mudiay

Leading scorer options: Carmelo Anthony, Evan Fournier, Kenneth Faried

All-star caliber: Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gobert, maybe Emmanuel Mudiay

ANALYSIS: You know, I was honestly thinking about having Fournier come off the bench, but then I looked at the depth chart and wondered who that guy was. And then I looked at Carmelo’s lack of defense, and said, probably not a good idea. This is a team that is on the rise, but if Carmelo wasn’t happy with winning the Northwest division year after year, imagine how he’d feel being on the bottom, even though it is the second best division in this version of the NBA. Denver clearly is a team on the rise, however, with every real basketball player not named (Carmelo, Jarrett or Jameer) under 30. Four years ago, it would be very incredible to see just how bad this team is, though. I’d say that they’d be what I have the Heat as now. I do feel that this team is not that far off from the teams above them, especially since this team is oozing with future potential.

The Spurs big 3: Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and 1997 #1 pick Tim Duncan

17) SAN ANTONIO SPURS

C-Tiago Splitter, Ian Mahinmi, DeJuan Blair

PF-Tim Duncan, Luis Scola, Cory Jefferson

SF-Kyle Anderson, James Anderson, Nikola Milutinov

SG-Goran Dragic, Manu Ginobili, Leandro Barbosa, Jordan McRae

PG-Tony Parker, George Hill, Beno Udrih

BEST 5: Goran Dragic, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, George Hill, Manu Ginobili

CLUTCH: Tim Duncan, Kyle Anderson, Manu Ginobili, Goran Dragic, Tony Parker

Leading scorer options: Goran Dragic, Tony Parker, George Hill

All-star caliber (currently): Goran Dragic

ANALYSIS: This team drafted Goran Dragic??? I wonder why they would’ve traded him??? (Kidding). But seriously, San Antonio is getting the benefit of the doubt again being rated this high, as this team actually shows the end of the Duncan Spurs. C’mon, next year this team has nobody good taller than 6‘4“. This also makes you love the Kawhi Leonard trade even more. I just wonder if this team still has 5 rings with this roster, and I know for a fact it does not make the Finals after 2007 without Kawhi Leonard. This team would be fun, fast, and energetic, and would take small-ball to a whole other meaning. Unfortunately, the terrible options at small forward in the short term and limited center options hold them back. Last thought, imagine Scola as a lifelong backup for Tim Duncan. That’s what a real insurance policy is.

Kevin Garnett and 2015 #1 pick, Karl-Anthony Towns

16) MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

C-Karl-Anthony Towns, Donatas Motiejunas, Nikola Pekovic

PF-Kevin Garnett, Trevor Booker, Derrick Williams

SF-Andre Roberson, Corey Brewer, Wesley Johnson

SG-Zach LaVine, OJ Mayo

PG-Ricky Rubio, Trey Burke, Mario Chalmers, Ty Lawson

D-LEAGUE-Luke Babbitt, Glenn Robinson, Wayne Ellington

BEST 5: Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Trey Burke, Mario Chalmers

CLUTCH: Karl-Anthony Towns, Andre Roberson, Zach LaVine, Mario Chalmers, Ricky Rubio

Leading scorer options: Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, Trey Burke

All-star caliber: Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio

ANALYSIS: I really don’t know where to begin. Four of the six best players on this team are point guards, and yet they still have viable options elsewhere. Some may argue that they lack wing depth, but in order to keep enough bigs (and Kevin Garnett) on the roster, along with all those point guards, they had to put a few guys in the D-League that are wing players. So they have more than enough depth across the board. This team is definitely trending upwards, but they need to figure out the power forward position coming up in the draft. About the point guards, I really don’t know how that rotation would work. Even with forcing LaVine and Roberson to the 3 and 4, you still have two of those guys on the bench, and that’s without OJ Mayo, who was (at a time) the second best player on the real Mavericks. Two final thoughts, Ray Allen used to be on this team, and imagine if Jonny Flynn turned out, instead of being a bust.

Joe Johnson

15) BOSTON CELTICS

C-Al Jefferson, Lucas Nogueira

PF-Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Jordan Mickey

SF-Tony Allen, Gerald Green, Paul Pierce

SG-Avery Bradley, Joe Johnson, RJ Hunter

PG-Marcus Smart, Randy Foye, E’Twaun Moore, Terry Rozier

D-LEAGUE-James Young (SG)

BEST 5: Avery Bradley, Al Jefferson, Joe Johnson, Marcus Smart, Jared Sullinger

CLUTCH 5: Al Jefferson, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart

Leading scorer options: Joe Johnson, Al Jefferson, Avery Bradley

All-star caliber: none currently

ANALYSIS: This team’s narrative would read, looking for a superstar (in the present), as they would have had some good years with a big 3 of Pierce, Joe Johnson and Al Jefferson. This team, however, is in dire need of a superstar to keep things going, as this might be the last year for the former two of that big 3. And, Avery Bradley is their best current player, and they have a lot of random pieces working together to push them to a 44-38 to 48-34 range, which is what Boston actually looks like now. This team would be a boring, defensive minded team, like the current Celtics. They also lack big man depth, like the current Celtics. Only this time, they can’t trade Pierce and Johnson, yet they still get the Nets picks in this exercise, which is kind of weird.

Pau Gasol

14) ATLANTA HAWKS

C-Al Horford, Boris Diaw

PF-Pau Gasol, Mike Scott, Josh Smith, Adreian Payne

SF-Marvin Williams, Kelly Oubre, James Ennis

SG-Dennis Schroder, John Jenkins

PG-Jeff Teague, Raul Neto, Jason Terry, Shane Larkin

D-LEAGUE-Walter Tavares (C)

BEST 5: Pau Gasol, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Dennis Schroder, Boris Diaw

CLUTCH: Al Horford, Pau Gasol, Marvin Williams, Dennis Schroder, Jeff Teague

Leading scorer options: Pau Gasol, Al Horford, Jeff Teague

All-star caliber: Pau Gasol, Al Horford, Jeff Teague

ANALYSIS: Anybody know Pau was drafted as a Hawk? I didn’t. I also barely remember when Jason Terry was the only good player on the real Hawks back before he went to Dallas. You also add Boris Diaw, bring back Josh Smith and Marvin Williams and you got a top 10 roster, right? Nope, look who the starting shooting guard is. Yeah, I don’t want John Jenkins to start for me either, and I sure as hell don’t want it to be James Ennis, and I sure as hell don’t trust Kelly Oubre yet. Which brings me to small forward, a rotation of probably Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Boris Diaw. This team has a big frontcourt for sure, and they have enough point guard depth to get by and get to the playoffs. They just have no solid players between 6-4 and 6-7. That’s something NBA teams need to win a championship (see Jordan, Michael and Bryant, Kobe).

Zach Randolph

13) PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS

C-Meyers Leonard, Omer Asik, Jeff Withey

PF-Zach Randolph, Josh McRoberts, Joel Freeland

SF-Dante Cunningham, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Martell Webster

SG-CJ McCollum, Will Barton, Brandon Rush

PG-Damian Lillard, Patty Mills

BEST 5: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Zach Randolph, Meyers Leonard, Will Barton

CLUTCH: Zach Randolph, Dante Cunningham, Will Barton, CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard

Leading scorer options: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Zach Randolph

All-star caliber: Damian Lillard, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum

ANALYSIS: Just wanted to prove that, yes, Zach Randolph was indeed a Trailblazer. This team is not even a full 15 man roster, yet they are 13th and in the west playoffs. They have three go-to players, a good support system at every position on the bench, and a good combination of youth and veterans. So why is this team not higher? You know why, but I’ll spell it out. I never once said the word great, this team is a star-caliber piece away from being a true title contender, but this is a classic pretender. On a good day, this team could beat anybody, but when Lillard and/or McCollum get cold, Zach Randolph is too old to win games by himself (see the Memphis-San Antonio series this year). I also didn’t know if Omer Asik would be good enough in this NBA to start for this team either. One last thought, this team would be a top 5 defense.

Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul

12) NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

C-Nerlens Noel, Cole Aldrich, Josh Harrellson

PF-Anthony Davis, David West, Brandon Bass, Darrell Arthur

SF-JR Smith, Darius Miller, Branden Dawson

SG-Kobe Bryant, Austin Rivers

PG-Chris Paul, Darren Collison

BEST 5: Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Nerlens Noel, David West

CLUTCH: Anthony Davis, David West, JR Smith, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul

Leading scorer options: Anthony Davis, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul

All-star caliber: Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant

ANALYSIS: I despise those of you who think that the Charlotte Hornets are connected with this franchise just because the Pelicans used to be the Charlotte Hornets. Kobe Bryant was drafted by the franchise now known as the New Orleans Pelicans, not the CHARLOTTE BOBCATS. Now that I got that off my chest, this team definitely has the pieces to make one last title run for Kobe, and a first one for CP3. I don’t think that they would get there, but they would give anybody a run for it’s money. C’mon, even without Kobe, CP3 and Anthony Davis are more dangerous than the Clippers. Then you throw in David West, Darren Collison, Nerlens Noel, JR Smith and you have a real, serious playoff team. Actually, is this the LA Clippers?

Nicolas Batum

11) HOUSTON ROCKETS

C-Clint Capela, Montrezl Harrell

PF-Nikola Mirotic, Marcus Morris, Terrence Jones, Patrick Patterson

SF-Rudy Gay, Chandler Parsons, Sam Dekker, Steve Novak

SG-Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lamb, Richard Jefferson

PG-Aaron Brooks, Isaiah Canaan

D-LEAGUE-Nick Johnson (SG)

BEST 5: Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gay, Chandler Parsons, Marcus Morris, Nikola Mirotic

CLUTCH: Terrence Jones, Marcus Morris, Rudy Gay, Nicolas Batum, Aaron Brooks

Leading scorer options: Rudy Gay, Nikola Mirotic, Nicolas Batum

All-star caliber: Rudy Gay, Nicolas Batum

ANALYSIS: Exactly, Nicolas, when were you on the Rockets? Probably one of those sign-and-trade, draft rights sort of thing. Anyways, the Wolves were full of point guard depth, and this team is full of wing depth. I really like the assortment of wings, possible mixes and matches, defense, offense, shooting, passing. They have everything on the wing, a key scorer, a stopper, an all around player, a microwave, a shooter, a rising star, and a twin. They have everything. Why are they not higher? Nobody can truly play center or point guard in that group. Aaron Brooks and Clint Capela are good enough to get them to the playoffs, but I don’t think they can help them win a title. Maybe you have Chandler Parsons learn how to play point guard and Terrence Jones center, but they still don’t have the natural ability to play those positions. It would just be exciting to see all of them on the floor, together, but probably improbable.

Deron Williams

10) UTAH JAZZ

C-Enes Kanter, Gorgui Dieng, Kosta Koufos

PF-Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles, Kris Humphries

SF-Gordan Hayward, Shabazz Muhammed, Jeremy Evans

SG-Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, CJ Miles

PG-Deron Williams, Dante Exum, Mo Williams

D-LEAGUE-Jarnell Stokes (PF)

BEST 5: Paul Millsap, Gordan Hayward, Deron Williams, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Paul Millsap, Gordan Hayward, Alec Burks

All-star caliber: Paul Millsap, Gordan Hayward

ANALYSIS: This is a fully loaded 13 man roster, with no glaring holes needed to be filled. They have veteran leadership in Millsap and Deron Williams, young players like Gordan Hayward and the rest of the roster, and all different types of ways to come at you. Big, small, young, quick, defense. This team lacks a true superstar, however, and maybe had D-Will stayed, he would still be at Chris Paul level, making the Jazz potentially better than I think they are. But since this is based off of how the players are playing today, it is what it is. This is still a scary team, and I think that 3 years down the road at most, it could be a perennial contender.

Hassan Whiteside (drafted in the same year as DeMarcus Cousins?!?!)

9) SACRAMENTO KINGS

C-Hassan Whiteside, Bismack Biyombo, Willie Cauley-Stein

PF-DeMarcus Cousins, Thomas Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson

SF-Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi

SG-Kevin Martin, Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas

PG-Isaiah Thomas, Ray McCallum

BEST 5: DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, Hassan Whiteside, Kevin Martin

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans

All-star caliber: DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Hassan Whiteside

ANALYSIS: Anybody think that they have enough post defense? Really, does anybody think they need help with rebounding or protecting the rim? No? Me either. I think having Hassan Whiteside by himself is enough, but imaging trying to score with him and Bismack Biyombo on the floor together. And what about guarding DeMarcus Cousins? Who does that? And then you have Isaiah Thomas to worry about, Tyreke Evans is no joke and an (small) array of shooters. It’s definitely enough for pretender status. I’m just not huge on the guard depth, but if McLemore and Stauskas prove us wrong one day, then nevermind. This is, all in all, a young team, and remember Kevin Martin is two years away from 18ppg. This team is dangerous.

Andre Iguodala

8) PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

C-Nikola Vucevic, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid

PF-Thaddeus Young, Marressee Speights, Lavoy Allen

SF-Andre Iguodala, Maurice Harkless, Jerami Grant

SG-Evan Turner, Lou Williams, Thabo Sefolosha

PG-Jrue Holiday, Elfrid Payton, Michael Carter-Williams

D-LEAGUE: Richaun Holmes (PF), JP Tokoto (SF), KJ McDaniels (SG)

BEST 5: Nikola Vucevic, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Jahlil Okafor

CLUTCH: Nikola Vucevic, Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner, Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday

Leading scorer options: Nikola Vucevic, Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams

All-star caliber: maybe Jahlil Okafor

ANALYSIS: One day, Jahlil Okafor will be the best player on this team, and then you all have a real problem, because, maybe Joel Embiid will be that guy too. It really, says a lot though, that a current NBA playoff teams starting power forward (Lavoy Allen) is the worst player on this roster, and that the active roster’s worst player is Thabo Sefolosha. Andre Iguodala would have no trouble filling his glue guy status he has with the Warriors, the bench depth is great with Okafor, Lou Williams and Elfrid Payton (not to mention Mo Speights), and the starting group is good as well. They are two years away from being one of the best in the business, and imagine if they never traded anybody if they would actually be this good.

Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe

7) DETROIT PISTONS

C-Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe

PF-Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko

SF-Khris Middleton, Stanley Johnson, Kyle Singler, Tayshaun Prince

SG-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Arron Afflalo, Chase Budinger

PG-Brandan Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Spencer Dinwiddie

D-LEAGUE-Darrun Hilliard (F)

BEST 5: Andre Drummond, Brandan Knight, Khris Middleton, Greg Monroe, Arron Afflalo

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Andre Drummond, Brandan Knight, Khris Middleton

All-star caliber: Andre Drummond, Brandan Knight, maybe Khris Middleton

ANALYSIS: This is probably what Stan Van Gundy wants to have as the GM-coach of the Pistons. Two dominant big men with shooters all around that play defense too, and a scoring point guard. Afflalo, Middleton and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope provide a great 3 man wing group and Stanley Johnson and Chase Budinger provide nice depth, and Rodney Stuckey is an elite backup point guard. Power forward is weak offensively, but defensively they are strong (and this team doesn’t need them to play offense). About the centers, imagine the effectiveness of Drummond-Monroe when you do a 60-40 playing time split (28 minutes for Drummond). They won’t be tired, and honestly both could average a double double and rarely play together. And we know that the other could hold down the fort if the other is in foul trouble. The only issue with this roster is, if a big gets hurt they have nowhere to turn as a third center. You must wonder how this team is in fourth in the central.

Kevin Love and Kyle Lowry

6) MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

C-Joffrey Lauvergne, Kendrick Perkins, Jarell Martin

PF-Kevin Love, Drew Gooden

SF-DeMarre Carroll, Matt Barnes, Xavier Henry

SG-Kyle Lowry, Jordan Adams, Jamaal Franklin

PG-Mike Conley, Greivis Vasquez, Tony Wroten

BEST 5: Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, Kevin Love, DeMarre Carroll, Matt Barnes

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley

All-star caliber: Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley

ANALYSIS: Maybe I have the Grizzlies as a bit of an overrated team, but anybody with three all-stars in their primes is usually a top 5 team (and I have them 6th). These Grizzlies are a team that is built to last, as they have youth (Jordan Adams, Joffrey Lauvergne, Greivis Vasquez) and aging veterans (Kendrick Perkins, Drew Gooden, Matt Barnes) balancing out their big 4. The center position is a bit of a weak link, but I can see this team as one that only goes 8 deep on a regular basis. The only problem with that is potential injury, but the core guys are young enough and everybody else is replaceable. I just can’t quite see them as a title contender like these next five.

The worst kept secret in sports, Dirk Nowitzki was drafted by the Bucks

5) MILWAUKEE BUCKS

C-Andrew Bogut, John Henson, Jon Leuer

PF-Dirk Nowitzki, Ersan Ilyasova, Luc Mbah a Moute, Johnny O’Bryant

SF-Jabari Parker, Norman Powell, Lamar Patterson

PG-Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jodie Meeks, Rashad Vaughn

PG-Brandon Jennings, Ramon Sessions

D-LEAGUE-Damien Inglis

BEST 5: Dirk Nowitzki, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Brandon Jennings, Andrew Bogut

CLUTCH: Probably the same

Leading scorer options: Dirk Nowitzki, Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo

All-star caliber: Dirk Nowitzki, Giannis Antetokounmpo, maybe Jabari Parker

ANALYSIS: This team is in a unique spot, but definitely better set up for the future than being a team that is falling off. Giannis and Jabari are still the future of the franchise, but in this case Dirk is the past. The Bucks are in a fatal position, hoping that this team (at furthest next year) can get Dirk a ring. The bench is solid, not great, but I think a lot of those guys can help this team win. The other good thing about the Bucks is you can play Giannis anywhere, so when Jennings or Bogut gets hurt you have a good option there. People also forget that Bogut was a 3rd team All-NBA player, so that 2009 squad had to be pretty good as well.

2003 #1 pick LeBron James

4) CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

C-Tristan Thompson, JJ Hickson

PF-Jae Crowder, Anthony Bennett

SF-LeBron James, Danny Green, Allen Crabbe

SG-Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Crawford, Dion Waiters, Sergey Karasev

PG-Kyrie Irving, Tyus Jones, Andre Miller

BEST 5: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, Jamal Crawford

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins

All-star caliber: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins

ANALYSIS: This team is also built for future success, as everybody relevant except Jamal Crawford and LeBron James were drafted by this team after LeBron went to Miami, but can also win now. Wing depth is not an issue at all, but depth at the 1, 4, and 5 is. Maybe if they didn’t waste a pick on Anthony Bennett, this team would be number one. And remember, having LeBron James by himself can be good enough to get you to the finals. Adding Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins all but ensures it. Plus, I love having Jae Crowder and Danny Green on this team. No lack of options for wing scoring either. And yet, they’re only second in my Eastern Conference rankings.

LaMarcus Aldridge

3) CHICAGO BULLS

C-Joakim Noah, Jusuf Nurkic, Cameron Bairstow

PF-LaMarcus Aldridge, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, Kevin Seraphin

SF-Tony Snell, James Johnson

SG-Jimmy Butler, Gary Harris

PG-Derrick Rose, Norris Cole, Kirk Hinrich

BEST 5: LaMarcus Aldridge, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson

CLUTCH: LaMarcus Aldridge, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Norris Cole, Derrick Rose

Leading scorer options: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, LaMarcus Aldridge

All-star caliber: LaMarcus Aldridge, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah

ANALYSIS: Everybody in that second team unit has at least 10 games of starting experience, and four of the five starting have had MVP consideration. That’s why this team is better than LeBron’s team. They have an MVP in Rose, the best power forward in the game in Aldridge, a great two-way player in Butler, and defense all around. It’s almost as if Tom Thibodeau actually coached this team still. I’m not a huge fan of the small forwards, but they can defend the guy Butler is not defending making him have an easier time on offense. The bench is also deeper than most Bulls’ benches, and you still have a motivated Noah protecting the paint.

The winner of the last 2 MVP's, Stephen Curry

2) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

C-Festus Ezeli, Andris Biedrins

PF-Draymond Green, Ekpe Udoh, Kevon Looney

SF-Harrison Barnes, Mike Dunleavy, Vince Carter

SG-Klay Thompson, Marco Belinelli, Jason Richardson

PG-Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis

BEST 5: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Monta Ellis

CLUTCH: Same

Leading scorer options: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green

All-star caliber: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green

ANALYSIS: It’s a testament to how good the Warriors are, that this team looks a lot worse on paper than the real team, and they are still number two on the rankings. If it wasn’t for how insanely good the top team is, this team would be the best. They still have the splash brothers, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli (actually, their top 5 scorers) and add shooters in Belinelli and Dunleavy. You also add Monta Ellis’ volume scoring off the bench and in crunch time, and maybe it’s splash triplets. This team actually drafted Vince Carter as well. But the depth is nowhere near what it is, as Jason Richardson has to un-retire, Vince Carter is old, and the backup bigs are non-existent. Yet, having Curry-Thompson-Green still makes this a 60 win team.

Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kevin Durant

1) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

C-Steven Adams, Mitch McGary

PF-Serge Ibaka, Carl Landry, Nick Collison

SF-Kevin Durant, Quincy Pondexter, Josh Huestis

SG-James Harden, Reggie Jackson, Archie Goodwin

PG-Russell Westbrook, Eric Bledsoe, Cameron Payne

BEST 5: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Reggie Jackson, Eric Bledsoe

CLUTCH: Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Reggie Jackson, Russell Westbrook

Leading scorer options: Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook

All-star caliber: Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Eric Bledsoe, Reggie Jackson

ANALYSIS: Eric Bledsoe-best player on the Phoenix Suns. Reggie Jackson-all star point guard for the Detroit Pistons. James Harden-top 5 NBA player, and runner-up in MVP voting in 2014-15. The best part for OKC? Having two more top 5 players in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, not to mention Serge Ibaka too. And Steven Adams really came on strong this year. They also have more quality bench depth, and can go nine deep without missing a beat. This team would win the title, and probably break Golden State’s 73 win record. This team is better than LeBron’s Heat, the 2000‘s Lakers, all those Spurs teams. And if you were to pluck away Harden, Durant or Westbrook it would still be the clear-cut NBA title favorite. This team could probably win the 2016 Summer Olympics as well, even when Steven Adams becomes ineligible for being a New Zealander.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It's kind of weird to see how some teams have such different scopes of success, such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks, and yet three of the four teams to make a conference finals this year are still in great position to do the same. My NBA finals is probably the Thunder vs. the Bulls, and the Thunder would win it in 5. C'mon, none of these rosters have a real shot at taking the Thunder to 7, let alone beating them. (Again, all rosters are courtesy of basketballreference.com)