Each franchise has a set of players that can make a formidable team, even expansion franchises. Even though some of these teams have never won an NBA championship if their superteam assembled, there's a high chance that would not be the case anymore. Dirk Nowitzki, Ben Wallace, and Wilt Chamberlain are just a few of the names that represent this list.
The Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans have never won an NBA championship but boast some talented prospects, current and old. The Detroit Pistons could bring some "Bad Boys" swagger and outmuscle just about any team. The Dallas Mavericks feature some of the best guard play and a once in a lifetime player on its lineup. The Philadelphia 76ers are so stacked in their history that some great players might have been left out of the starting lineup.
Memphis Grizzlies Legendary Superteam
(PG) Mike Conley, (SG) Shareef Abdur-Rahim, (PF) Zach Randolph
(PF) Pau Gasol, (C) Marc Gasol
This starting lineup features players that make up nearly all of the records that the Memphis Grizzlies franchise has. Five of the top six players rank in the top five in all-time points. The only outlier for this rotation is Rudy Gay but we decided to go with size by playing Randolph at the power forward position because he brings more to the table.
Starting at point guard, current Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley leads the way. Conley was such a great piece that he became the highest-paid player during the 2016 season. Conley is the record holder in points (11,173), games (788), assist (4,509), steals (1,161), and is the only player in franchise history with over 1,000 three-point field goals, holding that record with 1,086. He is the complete package and teamed up with former Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol, to lead Memphis to their first-ever Western Conference Finals appearance in 2013.
Speaking of Gasol, he is the all-time leader in minutes, field goals (4,341), free throws (2,701), rebounds (5,942), and blocks (1,135). Gasol anchored the Raptors defense in 2019 during Toronto's title run. His brother, Pau, was an All-Star with the Grizzlies before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won two NBA championships. Pau ranks second in rebounds and blocks, making the brothers a formidable defense. On the offensive glass, Randolph is the all-time leader in offensive rebounds, meaning that Memphis would have a high chance of having at least two shots per possession. The combination of Randolph and the Gasol brothers would force teams to shoot from outside because there would be no easy baskets in the paint. Rounding out the lineup is Abdur-Rahim, who played for the Grizzlies when they were based in Vancouver. He finished his five-year career averaging 20.8 points per game.
Dallas Mavericks Legendary Superteam
(PG) Steve Nash, (PG) Jason Kidd, (SF) Luka Doncic
(PF) Dirk Nowitzki, (C) Kristaps Porzingis
There are at least two names on this list that are making you question the validity of this team but we will get to that in a second. Starting off this rotation is former two-time MVP Steve Nash at point guard. Even though Nash won his MVP awards with the Phoenix Suns, don't forget that Nash spent six seasons with the Mavericks, where he averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 assists per game. Another easy choice was Luke Doncic, who already owns the record for triple-doubles (30) in his third season. Doncic is a human highlight reel that could finish as the greatest Maverick ever if he keeps up this type of production and if he stays in Dallas.
Mr. Maverick would be Dirk Nowitzki, who owns nearly every franchise record possible. He holds the record for games, minutes, rebounds, blocks, and scored a whopping 31,560 career points during his 21-year career. He led the Mavericks to 15 playoff appearances and won a Finals MVP trophy as he led Dallas to its only NBA championship over the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh-led Miami Heat.
Let's get to the questionable names. Starting with Jason Kidd, there is an argument that Derek Harper should be here. After all, Harper is the franchise leader in assists and steals. However, Harper played 11 seasons with the Mavericks, while Kidd played five seasons. Kidd ranks third all-time in assists and steals, so when it comes to yearly production, Kidd is the superior guard. As for Porzingis, he has a small sample size but in today's NBA, having a 7-foot center that can pull up from 20-feet is lethal. The Mavericks could use James Donaldson or Rolando Blackman potentially but Porzingis brings more to the table.
New Orleans Pelicans Legendary Superteam
(PG) Chris Paul, (SG) Jrue Holiday, (SF) Zion Williamson
(PF) Anthony Davis, (C) DeMarcus Cousins
Chris Paul hasn't played for the Pelicans since 2012 but he remains one of the greatest guards to ever play in New Orleans. He would lead this young underdog squad into any battle and would give fans hope that New Orleans could pull off the upset. He has proven time and time again that he can lead a team into contention. Don't believe us? Look at last year's Oklahoma City Thunder roster and season. Paul remains the franchise record holder in assists (4,228) and steals (1,010) and the runner-up isn't even close.
Anthony Davis is another great one that got away because the Pelicans weren't title contenders. For the same reasons Paul left for the Clippers back then, Davis was traded to the Lakers, so he could try and win a title. Davis teamed up with LeBron to win in 2020, but that was after a standout career in New Orleans. Davis holds the record for points (11,059), rebounds (4,906), and blocks (1,121). Davis would provide this team with a standout rim protector and a dominant force inside. Pair Davis next to a healthy DeMarcus Cousins and this team could be exceptional. Before Cousins tore his Achilles in 2018, the Pelicans were on their way to a top-3 seed in the Western Conference. Cousins was averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds and was named an All-Star despite missing the rest of the season. It's one of the worst "what if" scenarios for New Orleans.
As for the rest of the rotation. Jrue Holiday ranks second in assists and would be the team's primary defender. Holiday also brings the capability of scoring 20 points each night. Zion Williamson has shown us glimpses of becoming the next best superstar in the league. He is currently averaging 23.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in his second season. We could have put David West in this position and went with size. West holds the record for games played in New Orleans and is second all-time in points, rebounds, and points. When it comes to an experienced superteam, New Orleans is lacking given that all five players are currently playing in the NBA, but make no mistake that this team would be a deadly force.
Detroit Pistons Legendary Superteam
(PG) Isiah Thomas, (SG) Joe Dumars, (SF) Grant Hill
(PF) Dennis Rodman, (C) Ben Wallace
If anybody asked the late 1980s Pistons teams, those teams alone would say that they could contend with any team. The "Bad Boys" crew has at least two members in this rotation. Isiah Thomas was the leader of the two-time NBA championship teams and is the all-time leader in points (18,882), assists (9,061), and steals (1,861). Thomas had a way of getting under his opponents' skin and was sometimes labeled as a pest. Alongside Joe Dumars, the backcourt was a fixture for those contending Pistons teams. Dumars is the all-time leader in three-pointers and played the most games for Detroit. The duo would continue to be the heart and soul of this team.
At small forward, a young, healthy Grant Hill would challenge Thomas as the best player on the team. Hill spent six seasons in Detroit and averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. He holds the record for most triple-doubles with 29. Thomas ranks second with just five. Hill wasn't the same when he left Detroit but if these Pistons were able to get his vintage self, this would be a dangerous addition to the team.
As for the frontcourt, Dennis Rodman patrolling the paint is an obvious insertion. Rodman ranks in the top-5 in rebounds and is a former three-time rebounding champion. He could guard anybody on the court and brought the energy. As for the center, this was the hardest decision out of all the positions. We could have gone with Andre Drummond, who was a rebounding machine and big-time shot blocker. There was Bill Laimbeer, potentially the worst of the bad boys back in the day and the franchise record leader in rebounds. In the end, we decided to hold to the identity of the "Bad Boys," which was a hard-nosed defense. Ben Wallace leads the franchise in blocks (1,486) and was a four-time defensive player of the year. Good luck to anybody that wanted to get to the lane against this team.
Philadelphia 76ers Legendary Superteam
(PG) Allen Iverson, (SG) Julius Erving, (PF) Charles Barkley
(C) Joel Embiid, (C) Wilt Chamberlain
There are some absolute studs in this franchise and this constructed team even has a few names that would be starring on other franchises. Philly owns an identity for toughness, grit, and fighting through any obstacle. There's a chip on the shoulder when you are associated with Philly, so that chip would potentially lead to a championship if all five of these players played together.
Starting with Allen Iverson, the 76ers would have one of the toughest players ever leading the way. Iverson ranks second all-time with 19,931 points and steals with 1,641. Iverson won an MVP during the team's NBA Finals appearance in 2001. Without him, Philly would have never made it. He also gives this team their best shot from outside as he leads the franchise in made three-point field goals (885).
We could have gone with Maurice Cheeks, the franchise leader in assists and steals, as the team's second guard but this squad is going to be long and tall. That's primarily a reason why 6-foot-2 Hal Greer, the all-time franchise leader in points (21,586) is off the list. Julius Erving was primarily a forward but in this lineup, we will move up to be the team's second guard. Erving could play anywhere and he ranks third and fourth in assists and steals respectively. He could pull up or drive into the lane and pull off his signature hook shot. The best part about this lineup is that Erving leads the franchise in blocks (1,293). There would be no easy shots here.
Charles Barkley was more of a power forward but to make room for two other great 76ers players, he would need to play small forward. Barkley is the best rebounder out of the group and ranks third all-time. With the offensive firepower on this team, Barkley could play more of a role. He could rebound, defend, and do the dirty work, which he would have had no problem doing because he was a team player. Besides, with Joel Embiids ability to shoot from outside, Barkley could play inside on offense and Embiid would stretch the floor, giving both players a chance for quality shots. Embiid and Barkley would be two of the most electrifying personalities on the court. The trash talk would be as good as the box score.
Rounding out the lineup is Wilt Chamberlain, who holds the record for points in a game (100). Wilt was originally a member of the Philadelphia Warriors, which eventually moved to San Francisco and became the Golden State Warriors. During that time, he averaged 41.5 points per game. Then, he played four seasons with the 76ers and averaged 27.6 points and 11.4 rebounds. To this day, Wilt is the all-time franchise leader in triple-doubles with 62. In comparison to Dolph Schayes, the all-time leader in rebounds (11,252), how can you go against the great Wilt Chamberlain?