From all-time great franchises to small-market teams, there have been superstars that found homes in all cities. If those superstars came together to form one team, it would still be enough to compete for an NBA championship.
Take teams like the Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Denver Nuggets who have never won an NBA championship. You can bet that their starting five would have blown past the competition on route to a championship. The Houston Rockets would have won more than their two NBA titles. The real question is would any of these teams be able to stop the Celtics all-time starting five. Even without this team, the Celtics have won 17 championships with many of these pieces being key contributors.
Charlotte Hornets Superteam
(PG) Kemba Walker, (SG) Dell Curry, (SF) Glen Rice
(PF) Larry Johnson, (C) Alonzo Mourning
This team starts with the all-time leader in points and three-point field goals and that is point guard Kemba Walker. When Walker played in Charlotte, he kept the city relevant among the NBA. He was a three-time NBA All-Star and helped guide the team to their only playoff appearance last decade. The team didn’t want to resign Walker for max money, so they let him walk in the middle of his prime seasons. If Walker stayed, he would have padded these stats to unbreakable points.
In the backcourt with Walker, Dell Curry, the all-time leader in games, owns the second-most three-pointers. With these two players leading the guard positions, it would keep opposing defenses on their toes to watch the wings. Glen Rice would provide the team with the ultimate swingman. His three All-Star appearances were all with the Hornets. During the 1996-1997 season, Rice led the league in three-point field goal percentage (47.0%) and added 26.8 points per game. With these three players, the ultimate three-point shooting would be on display.
Down low, Larry Johnson, was the all-time leader in rebounds before Emeka Okafor broke it by just 37 rebounds. Johnson was a two-time All-Star and the 1992 Rookie of the Year during his time. At the center, the Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning would provide the ultimate defensive force. Mourning is the all-time franchise leader in blocks (684). Despite leaving out Okafor and the franchise leader in assists and steals Muggsy Bogues, this is an all-around solid team.
Minnesota Timberwolves Superteam
(PG) Jimmy Butler, (SG) Andrew Wiggins, (PF) Kevin Love
(PF) Kevin Garnett, (C) Karl-Anthony Towns
Since Butler has played in Miami, he has been able to create his own shot. While being able to create his own offense, Butler would thrive in making his team better. This super team would be considered beatable by other superteams but with Butler’s leadership style, this team would get the most out of them. Not to mention, he would have a second voice in the locker room in Kevin Garnett holding individuals accountable. Garnett owns every major record in T-Wolves history, so nobody would get away with slacking off.
At their full potential, this would be a lethal defensive team. While Andrew Wiggins and Butler could score from outside, this team would primarily look to attack the paint. Karl-Anthony Towns (529) leads the franchise in made three-point field goals. Defensively, Butler, Love, and Garnett are all capable of making All-NBA Defensive Team. If Tom Thibodeau was brought back to coach this team, there’s a real possibility that this team would hold opponents to under 100 points per game.
Denver Nuggets Superteam
(PG) Allen Iverson, (SG) David Thompson, (SF) Carmelo Anthony
(SF) Alex English, (C) Nikola Jokic
This Nuggets squad would have one of the most potent offenses around. Starting with the Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson, who came over and recorded three All-Star appearances with the Nuggets. Iverson made an All-Star team with Carmelo Anthony all three seasons and helped the Nuggets make the Western Conference Finals. With Iverson and Anthony in their primes, that is potentially 60 points alone each night from those two players.
Nikola Jokic, a potential MVP candidate this season, would give the team the ultimate center. Jokic can score, rebound, and assist. His 8.5 assists per game lead all centers this season, but his ability to shoot from outside would keep defenders close. Alex English would benefit the most given that teams would need to pay close attention to both Iverson and Anthony. English, the all-time leader in points (21,645) would be the open man. English is also the franchise leader in assists, so the passing duo of English and Jokic would generate instant offense and open shots.
Thompson is the glue to the team. The four-time All-Star averaged 24.1 points and shot over 50% from the field during his seven-year career in Denver. Can he replicate that performance with all these shooters on the team? That’s hard to say given the egos of Iverson and Anthony alone. Thompson would have to be the ultimate role player but when a potential 25-point per game scorer is considered your fifth-best player, that proves that you have a dangerous team on your hands.
Houston Rockets Superteam
(PG) James Harden, (SG) Tracy McGrady, (PF) Moses Malone
(C) Hakeem Olajuwon, (C) Yao Ming
This team features potentially the best 1-2 punch out of any team with James Harden and Hakeem Olajuwon. Currently, Harden is the leader in assists in the NBA and is a former three-time scoring champion. As for Olajuwon, he guided the Rockets to two NBA championships and is the all-time leader in points (26,511). Olajuwon is the all-time leader in rebounds, steals, and blocks, while Harden is the all-time leader in triple-doubles. With these two players on the court, the Rockets will always have a fighting chance.
What Harden has lacked in his career is clutchness, which is where Tracy McGrady comes into play. McGrady is a better shooter than Harden, which is scary when you think about it. If injuries never slowed him down, McGrady would have made a run for the scoring title in Houston. At power forward, Moses Malone could do it all and would be the perfect complement to the offense.
At the center position, the 7-foot Yao Ming, the eight-time All-Star would form the twin towers with Olajuwon. Rebounding would be this team’s strong suit. Teams would have to beat the Rockets from outside because with Ming and Olajuwon down low, nobody is getting into the paint.
Boston Celtics Superteam
(PG) Bob Cousy, (SG) Paul Pierce, (SF) Larry Bird
(SF) John Havlicek, (C) Bill Russell
This is probably the easiest all-time starting five to ever be assembled. Starting at point guard, Bob Cousey was a six-time NBA champion and the 1957 Most Valuable Player. Cousey led the NBA in assists for eight straight seasons (1953-1961). He is the all-time leader in assists for the Celtics and still living strong at 92 years old. Next to prime time, Cousey would be “The Truth” Paul Pierce, who is the leader in three-point field goals for the Celtics. The 2008 NBA Finals MVP owns the second-most points (24,020) in franchise history. The Cousey to Pierce three-point shot would be automatic for this team.
The true MVP of the team would be Larry Bird, the only player to register three consecutive MVP awards (1984-1986). Of his three NBA championships, Bird was a two-time NBA Finals MVP. He is the all-time leader in triple-doubles (59), and one of these players to finish with more than 20,000 points in his career (21,791). Alongside Bird, the all-time leader in points for the Celtics, John Havlicek, would also be an automatic bucket. The 26,395 points scored by Havlicek were part of eight championships he won with the Celtics. Havlicek was primarily used as a small forward, but we could go small ball by moving him to be a stretch four.
Patrolling the center position will be the 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, and all-time leader in rebounds for the Celtics in Bill Russell. With Russell leading the defense, most teams would only get one shot down the floor. Russell would bring a championship pedigree to the team given that he owns more rings than fingers.