Every summer, NBA teams go crazy over free agency. We can all think of moments like LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach or Dwyane Wade shocking the league by announcing he’s leaving Miami to go to his hometown Chicago Bulls. But the fact is that the best teams are built not by signing players but by drafting them. So, we did an interesting exercise. What would the NBA look like if teams were constructed only of players who they originally drafted?
We took all 30 NBA teams and made up a starting five based solely on players they picked in the NBA Draft — whether or not those players actually played a game for that team (i.e. Kobe would have been listed in Charlotte if he was still playing) — and ranked them from worst to best.
30. Dallas Mavericks
C: A.J. Hammons
F: Tyler Zeller
F: Kelly Olynyk
G: Justin Anderson
G: Jordan Hamilton
Oh, wow. This is a bad team. It was hard to even put together a starting five of players drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, and in fact Jordan Hamilton — who didn’t play in the NBA in 2016–17 — had to be included to make it work. For those thinking that we forgot Dirk Nowitzki, check again. He wasn’t actually drafted by the Mavericks, despite never playing in any other NBA uniform.