The United States is a nation of ballers. Honest to God, you could put together an NBA team out of players that came from each city and they could compete at the highest level. Obviously, things don't work like that, although some players often dream of coming back home.
Even if they play for their rivals, every single NBA player grew up rooting for one team. Most of them actually rooted for their hometown team, as they could attend their games and camps, meet their players, and dream about playing with them one day.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have always found a way to put together a competitive roster but surprisingly, they don't have any players actually born and raised in Oklahoma. Today, we're going to let you know about how that team could play if it consisted just of players from their hometown.
PG - Josh Richardson
Josh Richardson can play at both guard spots. He's not exactly an elite playmaker but he's more than capable of running a simple offense. He's a solid three-point shooter and an explosive scorer but obviously, his biggest trait is his defense.
Richardson's length, lateral quickness, and athleticism give him a huge edge when it comes to guarding the other team's best player. He's got quick hands to pile up steals and blocks at a high rate and can guard both guard spots and even some small forwards.
SG - Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal doesn't get enough credit for his game but the guy is a walking bucket. He was criticized for being the worst defender in the league this season but to be fair with him, he didn't have much of an incentive to play D with the Wizards underperforming every night.
Every single team in the league would kill for having a player like Beal. He can light it up from all three levels, run the point, and contrary to popular belief, he can actually play some decent defense when he's focused, which should happen more often on a winning team.
SF - Jayson Tatum
People talk non-stop about Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, and Trae Young and for very good reasons. But make no mistake, Jayson Tatum may be the best young player in the league, as he can actually get the job done on both ends of the floor.
Tatum has the whole offensive package as a scorer and has proved to be able to play lockdown defense night in and night out. His game is almost flawless and has an elite basketball IQ already, although he must do a better job as a creator for others.
PF - Blake Griffin
It's pretty safe to state that Blake Griffin hasn't lived up to the expectations that came with him when he entered the league as the first overall pick but it's hard to blame him. He's often been hurt and most recently has been playing on a very bad team.
Griffin is the ultimate power forward. He developed a nice shooting stroke from beyond the arc and is a great creator and facilitator for others. He can put the ball on the floor and hurt you in a variety of ways, although he's still sloppy in the defensive end of the floor.
C - Willie Cauley-Stein
When he first entered the league most people thought that Willie Cauley-Stein was going to be a perennial candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Obviously, he's been far from that and never truly lived up to his potential as a rim-running big man.
Cauley-Stein is an elite athlete that could still become an impactful player in the right environment. His offense is limited, to say the least, but has the physical traits to become a dominant force down low as a rim protector. The clock is ticking on him, though.