Each NBA Team’s All Time Starting 5 : Southwest Division
Rules for these Selections: Players will be placed into positions according to where they played while they were in the NBA. They must have played at least 2 seasons in a position with that team to be considered for a position. Example, players like Kareem and Hakeem will not be placed in the power forward slot just so they can start next to guys like Yao Ming and Shaq. However players like Tim Duncan (9 seasons as PF and 10 seasons at C) can be placed at either position. Accolades will reflect what the player did for that team, not their career as a whole.
New Orleans Pelicans / New Orleans Hornets
*Players like Glen Rice, Dell Curry, Alonzo Mourning, and other Charlotte Hornets won’t be included. While technically that franchise moved to New Orleans, and are the modern day Pelicans, their history belongs to the current Charlotte Hornets franchise.
Point Guard : Chris Paul
6 seasons : 18.7 points 4.6 rebounds 9.9 assists 2.4 steals
Accolades : Rookie of the Year, 4 All-Star selections, 4 All-NBA selections, 4 All-Defensive selections
Back when the Pelicans were still the Oklahoma City Hornets (because of hurricane Katrina), Chris Paul was the player that put New Orleans on the map. Paul was a force on both ends of the court, boasting All-NBA and All-defensive selections in 4 straight seasons for the hornets. He was also top 6 in the league for assists every season (leading the league twice), as well as leading the league in steals 4 times while playing for New Orleans.
Shooting Guard : Jrue Holiday
6 seasons : 17.4 points 3.8 rebounds 6.9 assists 1.5 steals
Accolades : 2 All-Defensive Selections
With the departure of Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday is now the Pelicans best player. He’s never been known as a star player, but he’ll have to opportunity to become one as the leader of New Orleans. The 28 year old is coming off his best averaging 21.2 points and 7.7 assists. He’s a very versatile player, and will be able to lead the Pelicans on both sides of the floor. Not only that, but he seems to also have the support of the front officeas well, as David Griffin has been quoted as saying “This is Jrue Holiday’s team”.
Honorable Mentions : Eric Gordon, Baron Davis
Small Forward : Jamall Mashburn
2 seasons : 21.5 points 6.1 rebounds 5.0 assists
Accolades : 1 All-Star selection
Mashburn was a part of the inaugural 2002-03 season for New Orleans Hornets, a season in which they finished 47-35 and qualified for the playoffs. The 2003-04 season was a different story however. In a season that saw the teams three All-Stars (Baron Davis, Jamal Mashburn, Jamaal Magolire) battling injuries, the Hornets finished with a measly 18-64 record.
Honorable Mentions : Peja Stojakovic
Power Forward : Anthony Davis
7 seasons : 23.7 points 12.0 rebounds 3.9 assists 1.4 steals 2.4 blocks
Accolades : 6 All-Star selections, All-Rookie 1st team, 3 All-Defensive selections, 3 All NBA selections
Despite the fact that Anthony Davis was only able to lead New Orleans to the postseason twice, he’s still by far the franchise’s most talented player of all time. “The Brow” can do it all. Whether it’s running the fast break, shoot mid range jumpers, or blocking shots, he’s got you covered. He’s averaged 24 or more points per game and 10 or more rebounds per game every year since his sophomore season. He’s one of the best player in the league today, and he’s by far the most Talented Hornet/Pelican of all time.
Honorable Mentions : David West
Center : Tyson Chandler
3 seasons : 10.2 points 11.3 rebounds 0.9 assists 1.4 blocks .611 FG%
Accolades : N/A
Chandler was an athletic 7’1 defensive stud for Dallas. While he would win his first DPOY award elsewhere, it was with the Hornets that Chandler averaged his career high in Rebounds (12.4) and blocks (1.8) for a season. Young Chandler was effective on the offensive end as well, throwing down the ball whenever he had the chance. He was one of the most important players on the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks team, and without him, they likely wouldn’t be champions.
Honorable Mentions : Jamall Magloire
Point Guard : Jason Kidd
8 seasons : 10.5 points 5.5 rebounds 8.4 assists 1.9 steals
Accolades : Rookie of the Year, 3 All-Star selections, NBA Championship
One of the best passers in NBA history, Jason Kidd had two stints with the Mavs (from 1994-1996 and 2008-2012). While young Jason Kidd was a more all around player, it was the older Kidd who won a ring with the Mavericks. Older Kidd also developed a more potent three point shot shooting 40% or more 3 times. Kidd is also the franchise leader in Assists per game (8.4) and steals per game (1.9).
Honorable mentions : Derek Harper, Steve Nash, and Jason Terry
Shooting Guard : Rolando Blackman
11 Seasons : 19.2 points 3.6 rebounds 3.2 assists
Accolades : 4 All-Star selections
Blackman, alongside running mate Derek Harper, were members of the Dallas’ first playoff team. Together, they would lead the Mavericks to 6 straight playoff appearances. They would also take the eventual NBA Champions to 7 games in the 1987-88 Conference Finals.
Honorable Mentions : Jim Jackson
Small Forward : Mark Aguirre
8 seasons : 24.6 points 5.7 rebounds 3.8 assists
Accolades : 3 All-Star selections
Mark Aguirre was the focal point of a Mavericks team that also featured Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper. Aguire’s best season resulted in averages of 29.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, shooting 52% from the field. He’s also the franchise’s first All-Star representative.
Honorable Mentions : Michael Finley, Jamal Mashburn
Power Forward : Dirk Nowitzki
21 seasons : 20.7 points 7.5 rebounds 2.4 assists
Accolades : MVP, Finals MVP, 14 All-Star selections, 12 All-NBA selections, NBA Championship
This guy was pretty good for Dallas. In what was one of the most impressive playoff runs of all time, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat big three to bring the franchise it’s first ever NBA championship. Armed with his patented fade away and lethal three point shot, Dirk became the Franchise’s all team leading scorer and sits #6 on the all time NBA leading scorer list with 31,560 points (he’s one of only 7 players in history to score 30,000 points).
Honorable Mentions : Sam Perkins, Jay Vincent
Center : Roy Tarpley
6 seasons : 12.6 points 10 rebounds 1 assists 1 block
Accolades : Sixth Man of the Year, All Rookie 1st Team
Roy Tarpley saw limited time on the court due to off court issues, but when he was on the court he was able to put up big numbers. Tarpley’s best season saw him average 16.8 points and pull down 13.1 boards per game. Tarpley remains the franchise’s biggest what if, as he was banned from the NBA because of his drug and alcohol abuse.
Honorable Mentions : Erick Dampier, Tyson Chandler
Point Guard : Mike Conley
12 seasons : 14.9 points 3 rebounds 5.7 assists 1.5 steals
Accolades : 1 All Defensive Selection
Conley (now a member of the Utah Jazz) was the last member standing of the trio that was Randolph, Gasol, and Conley. Together, these three saw good success and would reach the playoffs 5 years in a row. Although he has yet to make an all star appearance, Conley has proved he is one of the league’s best point guards, finishing his last and best season with the Grizzlies averaging 21.1 points and 6.4 assists.He also finished as the Grizzlies all time leading scorer.
Honorable Mentions : Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Shooting Guard : Tony Allen
7 seasons : 8.9 points 4.3 rebounds 1.4 assist 1.7 steals
Accolades : 6 All Defensive selections
Tony Allen’s career stats may seem subpar, but stats don’t always tell the whole story. Known by many as “The Grindfather”, Tony Allen was feared for his stingy defense. Allen would always take it upon himself to guard the opposing team’s best player, he was the heart and soul of the grit and grind era for the Grizzlies.
Honorable Mentions : Mike Miller
Small Forward : Rudy Gay
7 seasons : 17.9 points 5.8 rebounds 1.3 assists 1.3 steals
Accolades : All Rookie 1st Team
A scoring machine, Rudy Gay made it look easy only averaging less than 17 points once during his time Memphis. Gay sits in the top 5 five in almost every category for the franchise. He may not have had the most memorable run with Memphis, but it was a very good one nonetheless.
Honorable Mentions : Shane Battier
Power Forward : Zach Randolph
8 seasons : 16.8 points 10.2 rebounds 2 assists
Accolades : 2 All Star selections,1 All NBA selection
Spending time with 5 different teams, Randolph has played 18 seasons in the NBA, with his most successful seasons being played in a Grizzlies jersey. Z-Bo’s impact was felt right away as he averaged 20.8 points and 11.7 rebounds during his first stint in Memphis. Randolph would help the Grizzlies make the playoffs 7 straight seasons.
Center : Marc Gasol
11 seasons : 15.2 points 7.7 rebounds 3.4 assists 1.5 blocks
Accolades : 3 All-Star selections, Defensive Player of the Year, 2nd All-Rookie Team, 2 All-NBA selections, 1 All-Defensive selection
His ability to pass, stretch the floor and score in the post makes him extremely dangerous on offense. He’s no slouch on defensive either, winning defensive player of the year in the 2012-13 season.
The franchise leader in Defensive win shares and 2nd in Offensive win shares, Gasol can do it all. He also brought the franchise the western conference finals, something his older brother Pau couldn’t do.
Honorable Mentions : Pau Gasol
Point Guard : Calvin Murphy
13 seasons : 17.9 points 2.1 rebounds 4.4 assists 1.5 steals
Accolades : 1 All Star selection, All Rookie 1st team
Murphy is unknown for most NBA fans, as he when he played for the Rockets, they were still calling San Diego home. Murphy was a great defender and scorer. His best season resulted in a 25.6 points per game. His steals stat also suffers from the fact that the NBA had yet to start counting them in his first three seasons.
Honorable Mentions : Steve Francis, Kenny Smith, Sleepy Floyd
Shooting Guard : James Harden
7 seasons : 29.0 points 5.2 rebounds 7.7 assists 1.6 steals
Accolades : MVP, 7 All Star selections, 6 All NBA selections
James Harden continues to impress. “The Beard” is coming off his best season to date averaging an absurd 36.1 points 6.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists. He’s improved his scoring numbers all while maintaining the same level of efficiency in each of his seasons with the Rockets. He’s finished top ten in MVP shares in every season with the Rockets. He also has an All NBA selection for each year spent with the Rockets except one (his first season with them). If the beard can bring a couple of championships to Houston, he’ll have a strong case for the franchise’s best player of all time.
Honorable Mentions : Clyde Drexler
Small Forward : Tracy McGrady
6 seasons : 22.7 points 5.5 rebounds 5.6 assists 1.3 steals
Accolades : 3 All Star selections, 3 All NBA selections
T-Mac only played two seasons listed as a small forward for the rockets, but those were his best statistical seasons with them. At the three he put 25.2 points 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Alongside Yao Ming, T-Mac brought the Rockets back into relevance. He’s on of the biggest question marks in NBA history, with nagging injuries ending his career before it could really get started. Despite the talent on their team, they were never able to make it past the first round of the playoffs together.
Power Forward : Ralph Sampson
5 seasons : 19.7 points 10.5 rebounds 2.7 assists 1.9 blocks
Accolades : Rookie of the Year, 4 All Star selections, 1 All NBA selection
Ralph Sampson was 7’4 which is unconventional for a power forward. He was a center in nature, but he started at the power forward position for four seasons to make way for Hakeem at the 5 spot. He would go on to make 4 straight All-Star appearances for the Rockets. He would later be plagued by injuries during the tail end of his Rockets career. Sampson was never able to recreate the same level of productivity after being traded to the Golden State Warriors, but in his Houston prime, he was one of the best big men in the league.
Honorable Mentions : Elvin Hayes
Center : Hakeem Olajuwon
17 Seasons : 22.5 points 11.1 rebounds 2.5 assists 1.8 steals 3.8 blocks
Accolades : MVP, 2 time Finals MVP, 2 Time Defensive Player of the Year, 12 All NBA selections, 8 All Defensive selections, 12 All Star selections, 2 NBA championships
Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, is one of the best players to ever lace them up. His name is all over the Rockets record books. Armed with his dazzling array of post moves (most notably the dream shake), Olajuwon gave the Rockets their first two championships, winning back to back in 1994 and 1995. He’s in the top 15 all time list for Rebounding and Scoring and he the league’s all time leader in blocks.
Honorable Mentions : Yao Ming
San Antonio Spurs
Point Guard : Tony Parker
17 seasons : 15.8 points 2.8 rebounds 5.7 assists
Accolades : Finals MVP, 4 All NBA selections, All Rookie 1st team, 6 All Star selections, 4 NBA championships
This French floor general helped the Spurs reached 17 straight playoffs and win 4 NBA Championships throughout his playing career. He remained effective throughout his entire stint with the Spurs, even through old age.
Honorable mentions : James Silas, Avery Johnson
Shooting Guard : George Gervin
12 seasons : 26.3 points 5.4 rebounds 2.8 assists 1.3 steals 1.0 blocks
Accolades : 7 All NBA selections, 2 All ABA selections, 12 All Star selections
George Gervin was the Spurs first bonafide star. The Iceman terrorized opposing defenses for his entire Spurs career winning the scoring title four times. He only averaged less than 20 points once for the Spurs and that was while they were still in the ABA. Gervin topped out his best season averaging 33.1 points on 53% shooting.
Honorable mentions : Manu Ginobili
Small Forward : Kawhi Leonard
7 seasons : 16.3 points 6.2 rebounds 2.3 assists 1.8 steals
Accolades : Finals MVP, 2 time Defensive Player of the Year, 4 All Defensive team selections, 2 All NBA selections, 2 All Star appearances, NBA championship
Traded to the San Antonio Spurs from the Pacers in exchange for George Hill, Kawhi Leonard was one of the biggest one sided trades in NBA history. Kawhi showed potential to be a defensive powerhouse from the start. Under the tutelage of one of the greatest coaches of all time, Kawhi continued to develop into the star we know him as today. He was set to take over the Spurs Mantle after the retirement of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli but the disgruntled star would eventually request a trade away from the Spurs due to disagreements about his injury.
Honorable Mentions : Bruce Bowen, Sean Elliott
Power Forward : Tim Duncan
19 seasons : 19 points 10.8 rebounds 3 assists 2.2 blocks
Accolades : 2 time MVP, 3 time Finals MVP, Rookie of the Year, 15 All Star selections, 15 All NBA selections, 15 All Defensive team selections, 5 NBA championships
Regarded by many as one of the greatest power forwards of all time, “The Big Fundamental” was the physical embodiment of consistency. Tim Duncan averaged at least 18 points and 10 rebounds, 13 times in his career. During his prime years Tim Duncan was a double double machine, his best year came in the 2001-02 season where he averaged 25.5 points12.7 rebounds 3 assists and 2.2 blocks. He is by far the greatest player in Spurs history, which is a special thing because of how much talent have played in the Alamo City.
Honorable Mentions : LaMarcus Aldridge
Center : David Robinson
14 seasons : 21.1 points 10.6 rebounds 2.5 assists
Accolades : MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, 10 All Star appearances, 10 All NBA selections, 8 All Defensive team selections, 2 NBA championships
“The Admiral” was the number 1 pick in the 1987 NBA Draft but did not play for another two years so he could serve in the United States Navy. His impact was felt the second he stepped foot on the NBA hardwood.
Robinson would go on to average 24.3 points and 12 rebounds in just his rookie season. He would lead the Spurs to a 56-26 record, a drastic improvement from their previous record of 21-61. Robinson is also a member of the 1989 Spurs who started the Spurs consecutive playoff appearance streak, a streak which is still alive today, sitting at 22 straight playoff appearances.
Honorable Mentions : Artis Gilmore