When you think defense, who are some of the players that immediately come to mind? Would you think of Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Paul, and Willis Reed? Some legendary teams had some of the most proficient defensive stars in the league. If you pair the offense that the teams had as well, then you are talking about a true legendary superteam that nobody would beat.
Some teams like the Knicks and Kings have been futile in raising new talent, while the short-lived tenures of James Harden and Kevin Durant make the Nets a dangerous team. Take a look at the final group of superteams that nobody could compete if all the talent from franchise history banded together.
Trae Young (PG), Lou Hudson (SF), Dominique Wilkins (PF)
Bob Pettit (C), Dikembe Mutombo (C)
Trae Young is in the midst of his fourth season in the league but cuts leading the team to their first Conference Finals win since the days of Bob Pettit. Young owns a career average of 24.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 8.9 assists. He is potentially the best guard to ever play as an Atlanta Hawk and he is only 23 years old.
Lou Hudson retired as the 12th leading scorer in all-time history at the time of his retirement. He averaged 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in his career. Hudson owned such a beautiful jump shot that it earned him the nickname “Sweet Lou.” With some of the talent around both Young and Hudson, the two would likely not even be the primary scorers.
That title goes to Dominique Wilkins and Pettit. Wilkins is the all-time leading scorer in team history, while Pettit is second. Both players scored over 20,000 career points while wearing a Hawks uniform. Pettit is the all-time leading rebounder with over 12,000. With both Pettit and Mutombo, a four-time Defensive Player of the Year, opposing teams would have to buy a rebound.
Jason Kidd (PG), James Harden (SG), Kevin Durant (SF)
Julius Erving (PF), Buck Williams (PF)
Buck Williams cuts Brook Lopez despite Lopez being the all-time leader in points scored in franchise history. Williams is also the all-time leading rebounder. Instead of having two players that are like centers, we made room for some dynamic scoring to help with the offensive load.
That starts with James Harden and Kevin Durant. Harden joined the team via trade last season, but he is one of the best overall players the team has ever had take the floor in team history. The same goes for Durant, who is playing only his second full season, due to injury, since joining the team in the 2019 offseason. Durant and Harden own MVPs with Durant contending for an award this season, while Harden is a triple-double threat on most nights.
That leaves the legacy players in Jason Kidd and Julius Erving. Kidd is second all-time in NBA history in assists as well as the franchise record holder. Kidd was a member of the last Nets team that made the NBA Finals, having qualified in 2003. As for Erving, he is a member of the last championship team in 1976, when the Nets were a member of the ABA.
Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul (PG), Paul George (SF), Kawhi Leonard (SF)
Blake Griffin (PF), Bob McAdoo (C)
When it comes to all-time point guards, Chris Paul is right up there as one of the best. Paul not only leads the New Orleans Pelicans in assists and steals but also the Clippers. While Magic Johnson is synonymous with the Lakers franchise, Paul should also always be mentioned in Los Angeles basketball lore too, but on the other side.
With players like Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Blake Griffin, Paul would have a field day with Lob City 2.0. George and Leonard have short tenures with the Clippers since joining the team in the 2019 offseason but are easily two of the best players to ever wear a Clippers uniform. George is playing like a fringe MVP candidate this season, while Leonard is a two-time Finals MVP. Had Leonard not been injured last year, the two would have led the Clippers to their first appearance in the NBA Finals in franchise history.
Griffin’s pinnacle of his career came when he was with the Clippers. He was the main compliment to Paul during the Lob City years. Griffin, a former Slam Dunk Contest champion, displayed these acrobatics each night. As for DeAndre Jordan’s snub, there is a reason. Jordan is the all-time leader in rebounds and blocks, but McAdoo was a multi-time All-Star when the Clippers were based in Buffalo. McAdoo also led the league in scoring three consecutive seasons, while finishing his career as the all-time leader when he left.
New York Knicks
Walt Frazier (PG), Earl Monroe (SG), Bernard King (SF)
Willis Reed (C), Patrick Ewing (C)
The Knicks have struggled to find talent in the last 20 years outside of Carmelo Anthony, but not even Melo would make this superteam. Let’s start at point guard with Walt Frazier, who is the all-time leader in assists in franchise history. Frazier was a seven-time All-Star while playing with the Knicks, which included winning two championships. Frazier and Reed are the lone members of the last Knicks championship in 1973.
Frazier and Reed are the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked scorers in team history. Reed was more of a defensive presence though, which is what led him to win Finals MVP in 1970 and 1973. Reed is also ranked second in career rebounds. The combination worked in the 1970s, so we are assuming the chemistry would carry over. The only player that is ranked above both of these players is Patrick Ewing, the leader in points, rebounds, blocks, and the star of the last Knicks team to make the NBA Finals in 1999.
Anthony won one scoring title while playing with the Knicks. Another former Knick that won a scoring title is Bernard King, who had more overall success playing with the team in the 80s. King once set a single-game scoring record of 50 points at Reunion Arena in Dallas, while becoming the first player since Rick Barry to score 50 points in consecutive games. The next season, King scored 60 points on Christmas Day. As for the final piece, Earl Monroe was a scoring fiend with the Knicks in the 70s, making the All-Star team three times.
Oscar Robertson (PG), Nate Archibald (PG), Mitch Richmond (SG)
Chris Webber (PF), DeMarcus Cousins (C)
You can’t talk about the Kings without talking about the man that averaged a triple-double with the team. Before Russell Westbrook, there was only one man that had averaged a triple-double in a season. Robertson was on an island of his own when he won the MVP in 1964 when the Kings were still dubbed as the Cincinnati Royals. After all this time, Robertson remains the franchise leader in points, assists, and owns a whopping 176 triple-doubles in franchise history.
Right next to Robertson is another great guard in Nate “Tiny” Archibald, who was a three-time All-Star with the Kings. Archibald led the league in scoring in 1973, the same year he led the league in assists. Either player could command the ball and make something happen. The main beneficiary would likely be Mitch Richmond, who ranks third all-time in points as a three-time All-NBA selection in the 1990s. Richmond owns a career average of over 21 points per game.
That leaves the frontcourt with a deadly pair with Chris Webber and DeMarcus Cousins. Weber would be Robertson’s go-to man in the paint. Webber’s Hall of Fame career featured a run with the Kings to the Conference Finals. Many believe to this day that bad officiating cost the Kings a chance to play in the NBA Finals, while the Kings haven’t been the same ever since he left the franchise. As for Cousins, the Kings were a doormat team, but Cousins was a three-time All-Star that made two All-NBA teams with a typical 20-point, 10-rebound slash line.