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Some NBA franchises can draw upon their depth of historical talent and put together a contender for the best starting lineup in league history. Others, primarily those that joined the Association at a more recent date, are left scraping together depth charts that have no hope of competing against those of the traditional powerhouses.

But everyone, whether it’s the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics brimming over with Hall of Famers or the Toronto Raptors making the most of their recent success, has at least one five-man unit worthy of recognition.

To build both the best starting lineup and the ideal depth chart for each of the 30 organizations, we’re turning to the total points added (TPA) metric I developed and helped popularize at NBA Math. TPA looks at both defensive and offensive effectiveness on a per-possession basis and then incorporates playing time into the equation such that a score of 0.0 represents league-average contributions and higher numbers are better.

For every team, we looked at the highest single-season TPAs (limit of one per player for each franchise, though the same player can appear on multiple depth charts) and categorized players at the positions at which they spent the most time during the season in question.

You’ll see some surprises as we proceed alphabetically from the Atlanta Hawks to the Washington Wizards, but remember that subjectivity is, quite intentionally, not part of the process here. Disagreements are fine. Encouraged even. After all, this is intended, more than anything else, to be a celebration of myriad hyper-talented players throughout NBA history, some of whom may not have survived the final cuts.

Atlanta Hawks

Mookie Blaylock of the Atlanta Hawks | Clive Brunskill/Allsport via Getty Images
PG1997 Mookie Blaylock
367.55 TPA
1987 Doc Rivers
312.76 TPA
2022 Trae Young
275.29 TPA
SG2002 Jason Terry
181.9 TPA
1974 Lou Hudson
172.88 TPA
1998 Steve Smith
157.56 TPA
SF1987 Dominique Wilkins
331.35 TPA
1976 John Drew
248.95 TPA
1959 Cliff Hagan
202.73 TPA
PF1961 Bob Pettit
320.99 TPA
2010 Josh Smith
271.88 TPA
2016 Paul Millsap
221.95 TPA
C2016 Al Horford
200.51 TPA
1980 Tree Rollins
172.47 TPA
1960 Clyde Lovellette
171.68 TPA

Perhaps Trae Young will one day work his way into the starting lineup — or even the bench unit — at point guard. But for now, he’s still looking up at Doc Rivers (yes, he used to be a player) and the ever-underrated Mookie Blaylock (who doesn’t receive any credit for inspiring Mookie Betts’ name).

Otherwise, the all-time starting five isn’t flashy but is effective.

Dominique Wilkins provided plenty of memorable dunks during his time with the Hawks, but Bob Pettit and Al Horford were more productive and efficient than highlight-reel mainstays. Jason Terry, for all the aviation-inspired celebrations, wasn’t exactly a nightly SportsCenter threat, either.

2022-23 Entries: None

Boston Celtics

Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics | Getty Images
PG2017 Isaiah Thomas
348.27 TPA
2019 Kyrie Irving
325.14 TPA
2010 Rajon Rondo
201.95 TPA
SG1965 Sam Jones
235.03 TPA
2009 Ray Allen
216.33 TPA
2019 Frank Ramsey
208.15 TPA
SF1985 Larry Bird
586.05 TPA
2002 Paul Pierce
380.1 TPA
2023 Jayson Tatum
308.34 TPA
PF2008 Kevin Garnett
358.36 TPA
1987 Kevin McHale
320.06 TPA
1967 Bailey Howell
230.61 TPA
C1964 Bill Russell
347.53 TPA
1981 Robert Parish
258.52 TPA
1952 Ed Macauley
253.39 TPA

Unsurprisingly, the Boston Celtics’ starting five — and the bench and third string, really — is loaded.

Bill Russell and Larry Bird are two of the 10 greatest players in NBA history, and peak Kevin Garnett was an otherworldly two-way force.

But the point guard rotation may be a head-scratcher.

Bob Cousy, Dennis Johnson, Rajon Rondo, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, K.C. Jones, and Jo Jo White are often featured as the greatest 1-guards in franchise history, but that’s at least partially due to the lengths of their tenures. In a single-season setting like this one, Isaiah Thomas receives a ton of credit for a 2016-17 season in which he averaged 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists while slashing 46.3/37.9/90.9.

2022-23 Entries: Jayson Tatum

Brooklyn Nets

Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets | James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
PG2003 Jason Kidd
374.37 TPA
1985 Micheal Ray Richardson
267.62 TPA
2021 Kyrie Irving
215.18 TPA
SG2006 Vince Carter
271.28 TPA
2003 Kerry Kittles
169.67 TPA
1993 Drazen Petrovic
95.65 TPA
SF2022 Kevin Durant
299.75 TPA
1997 Kendall Gill
178.46 TPA
2006 Richard Jefferson
176.82 TPA
PF1994 Derrick Coleman
236.53 TPA
1983 Buck Williams
127.79 TPA
2004 Kenyon Martin
78.15 TPA
C2023 Nic Claxton
144.18 TPA
1986 Mike Gminski
136.07 TPA
2013 Brook Lopez
133.54 TPA

Shoutout to 2022-23 Nic Claxton for displacing Mike Gminski to become the starting center on the all-time depth chart, but that wasn’t a particularly high bar to clear. Fortunately for the Brooklyn Nets, the path to the top is tougher at the other four positions.

Jason Kidd, one of the original triple-double machines, is the headliner of this roster, but Kevin Durant wasn’t far behind during his brief tenure with the franchise.

The other bit of good news? A rebuilding Nets outfit has plenty of candidates — both on the roster and sure to be acquired in the near future — to take over other spots on the relatively lackluster depth chart.

2022-23 Entries: Nic Claxton

Charlotte Hornets

Eddie Jones of the Charlotte Hornets | Andy Lyons/Getty Images
PG2019 Kemba Walker
248.46 TPA
2002 Baron Davis
228.92 TPA
2022 LaMelo Ball
176.6 TPA
SG2000 Eddie Jones
266.82 TPA
1995 Hersey Hawkins
128.55 TPA
1994 Dell Curry
124.22 TPA
SF2007 Gerald Wallace
185.67 TPA
2008 Jason Richardson
181.04 TPA
2001 Jamal Mashburn
116.91 TPA
PF1997 Anthony Mason
196.3 TPA
1996 Larry Johnson
176.35 TPA
2016 Marvin Williams
120.72 TPA
C1997 Vlade Divac
134.15 TPA
2014 Al Jefferson
132.19 TPA
2007 Emeka Okafor
92.93 TPA

When the Charlotte Bobcats became the Charlotte Hornets on May 20, 2014, team officials announced they were also reclaiming the history, stats, and records from the earlier era that took place from 1988-2002, effectively taking them from the New Orleans Pelicans, who retroactively became a 2002 expansion team.

That’s great news for the Hornets here since they can lay claim to three of five members of the starting five: Eddie Jones, Anthony Mason, and Vlade Divac. Plus, Larry Johnson, Hersey Hawkins, Baron Davis, Dell Curry, and Jamal Mashburn also make the cut.

Aside from Kemba Walker and LaMelo Ball, though, the most recent iterations of this organization haven’t been particularly notable.

2022-23 Entries: None

Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls | Mike Powelll/Allsport via Getty Images
PG2011 Derrick Rose
386.94 TPA
2007 Kirk Hinrich
153.76 TPA
1996 Steve Kerr
123.09 TPA
SG1988 Michael Jordan
850.73 TPA
2017 Jimmy Butler
405.18 TPA
1972 Chet Walker
298.07 TPA
SF1995 Scottie Pippen
423.95 TPA
1996 Toni Kukoc
218.79 TPA
2007 Luol Deng
178.06 TPA
PF1992 Horace Grant
296.4 TPA
2015 Pau Gasol
226.24 TPA
1969 Bob Boozer
170.02 TPA
C1979 Artis Gilmore
285.98 TPA
2014 Joakim Noah
276.97 TPA
1974 Clifford Ray
175.43 TPA

An MVP-winning Derrick Rose, a GOAT frontrunner in Michael Jordan, and one of NBA history’s greatest second fiddles in Scottie Pippen make for a great foundation. But the Chicago Bulls are quite talented even beyond the leading triumvirate.

Artis Gilmore was a seven-foot menace, the bespectacled prime version of Horace Grant could have starred if handed his own roster, and the rest of the roster ain’t bad.

DeMar DeRozan, Zach Lavine, Nikola Vucevic, and the rest of the present-day Bulls have the talent necessary to join the lineup, but that’s a tall task given the many successful versions of the Windy City representatives.

2022-23 Entries: None

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers | Nick Laham/Getty Images
PG1996 Terrell Brandon
329.14 TPA
1994 Mark Price
291.64 TPA
2002 Andre Miller
227.83 TPA
SG2023 Donovan Mitchell
1989 Ron Harper
270.73 TPA
1998 Wesley Person
225.89 TPA
SF2009 LeBron James
740.69 TPA
1979 Campy Russell
98.87 TPA
1996 Dan Majerle
76.94 TPA
PF1992 Larry Nance
294.31 TPA
2016 Kevin Love
155.2 TPA
1976 Jim Brewer
116.02 TPA
C1993 Brad Daugherty
259.45 TPA
1992 Hot Rod Williams
171.9 TPA
2022 Jarrett Allen
141.25 TPA

How good was Donovan Mitchell during the 2022-23 season?

The 2-guard averaged 28.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists while turning the ball over a career-low 2.6 times per contest. Pair that with remarkable scoring efficiency (48.4/38.6/86.7) while taking 9.3 triples and 5.4 free-throw attempts per game, and Mitchell had such a sterling combination of volume and efficiency that he posted the starting lineup’s third-best score, behind only LeBron James and Terrell Brandon.

Larry Nance and Brad Daugherty (especially early in his career before back injuries took their toll) round out an impressive starting five, but this is all about laying claim to the peak version of James and surrounding him with upper-tier talent.

2022-23 Entries: Donovan Mitchell

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks | Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
PG2023 Luka Doncic
433.07 TPA
1987 Derek Harper
276.98 TPA
2003 Steve Nash
241.17 TPA
SG2007 Jason Terry
212.16 TPA
1998 Rolando Blackman
151.27 TPA
2013 Vince Carter
122.85 TPA
SF1984 Mark Aguirre
228.75 TPA
1998 Michael Finley
153.34 TPA
2007 Josh Howard
141.53 TPA
PF2006 Dirk Nowitzki
462.86 TPA
1990 Sam Perkins
94.01 TPA
2010 Shawn Marion
86.21 TPA
C2015 Tyson Chandler
117.69 TPA
1987 James Donaldson
107.39 TPA
2019 Dwight Powell
98.78 TPA

Prior to the 2022-23 season, Luka Doncic … was still the starting point guard, thanks to the 375.01 TPA he’d earned during the 2021-22 campaign. And prior to that, well, it was still Doncic with 354.85 TPA in 2019-20.

The do-everything 1-guard has clearly established himself as the best player at his position in franchise history — apologies to Derek Harper, Steve Nash, and Jason Kidd — but he’s still fighting to catch the peak version of Dirk Nowitzki.

Now, if only Dallas could find a true game-changing talent at the 5.

2022-23 Entries: Luka Doncic

Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets | Justin Tafoya/Getty Images
PG1988 Fat Lever
346.82 TPA
1991 Michael Adams
295.32 TPA
2010 Chauncey Billups
182.76 TPA
SG1978 David Thompson
329.19 TPA
2008 Allen Iverson
193.04 TPA
2013 Andre Iguodala
141.58 TPA
SF1983 Alex English
322.13 TPA
1992 Reggie Williams
171.21 TPA
2006 Carmelo Anthony
150.65 TPA
PF1977 Bobby Jones
382.56 TPA
1984 Kiki Vandeweghe
228.89 TPA
1985 Calvin Natt
191.81 TPA
C2022 Nikola Jokic
691.15 TPA
2007 Marcus Camby
222.11 TPA
1980 Dan Issel
210.9 TPA

Breaking news: Nikola Jokic, the best second-round pick in NBA history, is pretty good at this whole basketball thing. The Denver Nuggets center now has the four best single-season TPA scores in franchise history:

  1. 2021-22 Nikola Jokic: 691.15 TPA
  2. 2022-23 Nikola Jokic: 617.19 TPA
  3. 2020-21 Nikola Jokic: 605.91 TPA
  4. 2018-19 Nikola Jokic: 460.78 TPA

Fat Lever (underrated triple-double producer), Alex English (leading scorer of the ’80s), Bobby Jones (tremendously overlooked defensive force), and David Thompson (relatively underrated Michael Jordan inspiration) fill out a strong starting five, but none have come within sniffing distance of peak Jokic.

Now, if Jamal Murray could put together a regular season on the same level as his postseason bursts of excellence…

2022-23 Entries: None

Detroit Pistons

Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons | Focus on Sport/Getty Images
PG1985 Isiah Thomas
424.05 TPA
2008 Chauncey Billups
352.07 TPA
1971 Dave Bing
158.63 TPA
SG2001 Jerry Stackhouse
324.4 TPA
1991 Joe Dumars
157.34 TPA
2002 Jon Barry
144.17 TPA
SF1997 Grant Hill
445.69 TPA
1963 Bailey Howell
274.49 TPA
1958 George Yardley
219.97 TPA
PF2019 Blake Griffin
271.12 TPA
2006 Rasheed Wallace
184.06 TPA
1992 Dennis Rodman
175.23 TPA
C1974 Bob Lanier
469.23 TPA
1955 Larry Foust
264.46 TPA
2002 Ben Wallace
242.77 TPA

What makes the Detroit Pistons’ starting five particularly fun is the era diversity. Each of the five players comes from a different decade. (To be fair, Joe Dumars and Ben Wallace don’t get enough credit for their defensive contributions due to the limitations of the chosen metric.)

Throw in the backups and third-stringers, and seven different decades are represented in the depth chart: the ’50s (Larry Foust, George Yardley), the ’60s (Bailey Howell), the ’70s (Bob Lanier, Dave Bing), the ’80s (Isiah Thomas), the ’90s (Grant Hill, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman), the ’00s (Jerry Stackhouse, Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Jon Barry, Ben Wallace), and the ’10s (Blake Griffin).

Will the 2020s eventually earn a spot? Cade Cunningham might have the best chance, though no player has hit triple digits during the in-progress decade.

2022-23 Entries: None

Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
PG2016 Stephen Curry
662.87 TPA
1991 Tim Hardaway
305.46 TPA
1987 Sleepy Floyd
279.28 TPA
SG2015 Klay Thompson
221.31 TPA
1997 Latrell Sprewell
174.77 TPA
2006 Jason Richardson
173.6 TPA
SF2017 Kevin Durant
381.11 TPA
1975 Rick Barry
354.75 TPA
1991 Chris Mullin
328.98 TPA
PF2016 Draymond Green
316.06 TPA
2013 David Lee
102.55 TPA
1971 Jerry Lucas
99.07 TPA
C1964 Wilt Chamberlain
613.2 TPA
1954 Neil Johnston
314.32 TPA
1994 Chris Webber
200.21 TPA

If you need any more indication of the Golden State Warriors’ dynastic status, look no further than the presences of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green in the starting lineup of a talent-laden depth chart.

Now, do yourself a favor and imagine the peak version of the modern-era Dubs operating with vintage Wilt Chamberlain at the pivot.

You’re welcome for those thoughts of sheer basketball perfection.

(As an aside, good luck finding many better small forward rotations than Durant, Rick Barry, and Chris Mullin.)

2022-23 Entries: None

Houston Rockets

James Harden of the Houston Rockets | Don Juan Moore/Getty Images
PG2001 Steve Francis
300.15 TPA
2018 Chris Paul
261.51 TPA
1991 Kenny Smith
160.51 TPA
SG2019 James Harden
641.31 TPA
1997 Clyde Drexler
211.03 TPA
2011 Kevin Martin
169.62 TPA
SF2005 Tracy McGrady
392.61 TPA
1985 Rodney McCray
171.21 TPA
1981 Robert Reid
128.63 TPA
PF1974 Rudy Tomjanovich
229.56 TPA
1997 Charles Barkley
217.59 TPA
1996 Robert Horry
115.96 TPA
C1993 Hakeem Olajuwon
473.51 TPA
1982 Moses Malone
305.29 TPA
2006 Yao Ming
156.56 TPA

Memorable as Hakeem Olajuwon, Tracy McGrady, and James Harden may be, this starting five doesn’t quite feature the star power of other jaw-droppingly talented quintets, such as the Golden State Warriors’ starters. But that’s all about perception.

The Bay Area’s leading lineup has a combined TPA of 2,194.55. Houston’s is only slightly behind at 2,037.14.

Steve Francis and Rudy Tomjanovich were just that good at their peaks with the Rockets.

2022-23 Entries: None

Indiana Pacers

Reggie Miller of the Indiana Pacers | Brian Bahr/Allsport
PG2023 Tyrese Haliburton
285.55 TPA
1992 Micheal Williams
207.78 TPA
2013 George Hill
161.37 TPA
SG1997 Reggie Miller
318.97 TPA
2018 Victor Oladipo
294.26 TPA
2008 Mike Dunleavy Jr.
102.42 TPA
SF2016 Paul George
276.6 TPA
2009 Danny Granger
234.02 TPA
1977 Billy Knight
182.67 TPA
PF1993 Detlef Schrempf
204.22 TPA
2021 Domantas Sabonis
182.62 TPA
2013 David West
177.06 TPA
C2003 Brad Miller
129.25 TPA
2019 Myles Turner
101.82 TPA
1987 Steve Stipanovich
100.44 TPA

A franchise that has been around as long as the Indiana Pacers should have a better all-time depth chart. But even with a history that dates back to 1976-77 (ABA contributions are not included), they only have one player who has peaked above 300 TPA: Reggie Miller.

For perspective, 103 different players in the NBA archives have submitted a combined 344 such seasons.

Tyrese Haliburton, fresh off the leading season by a Pacers point guard, has a chance to break past the seemingly unbreakable barrier. And then maybe Indiana can also improve its lagging scores at power forward and center.

2022-23 Entries: Tyrese Haliburton

Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers | Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
PG2015 Chris Paul
449.09 TPA
1993 Mark Jackson
128.57 TPA
1981 Brian Taylor
110.42 TPA
SG1979 World B. Free
191.71 TPA
2018 Lou Williams
129.72 TPA
2005 Corey Maggette
109.07 TPA
SF2020 Kawhi Leonard
345.87 TPA
2001 Lamar Odom
210.56 TPA
2019 Danilo Gallinari
192.39 TPA
PF2006 Elton Brand
394.73 TPA
2014 Blake Griffin
256.58 TPA
1992 Danny Manning
249.01 TPA
C1975 Bob McAdoo
373.86 TPA
2017 DeAndre Jordan
173.99 TPA
2019 Montrezl Harrell
150.23 TPA

Despite the historical lack of team-based success — the Los Angeles Clippers/San Diego Clippers/Buffalo Braves have been to the conference finals just once but lost in six games to the 2021 Phoenix Suns — the franchise has boasted plenty of notable individual talents.

First came Bob McAdoo. Then Elton Brand. Then the Lob City trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and (to a far lesser extent) DeAndre Jordan. Then Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, though the latter hasn’t yet stayed healthy enough to displace Danilo Gallinari as the third-string small forward.

Maybe that NBA Finals appearance will finally come. One day.

2022-23 Entries: None

Los Angeles Lakers

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers | Ross Lewis/Getty Images
PG1990 Magic Johnson
592.97 TPA
1966 Jerry West
380.64 TPA
1979 Norm Nixon
152.09 TPA
SG2006 Kobe Bryant
471.39 TPA
1998 Eddie Jones
225.71 TPA
1988 Byron Scott
212.8 TPA
SF2020 LeBron James
407.16 TPA
1961 Elgin Baylor
296.88 TPA
1990 James Worthy
225.42 TPA
PF2020 Anthony Davis
355.99 TPA
2011 Pau Gasol
274.4 TPA
1952 Vern Mikkelsen
236.58 TPA
C1976 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
641.58 TPA
2000 Shaquille O’Neal
569.26 TPA
1973 Wilt Chamberlain
355.34 TPA

Goodness gracious.

Anthony Davis is rather easily the worst member of the starting five, and he’s still an MVP-caliber talent when healthy. But he pales in comparison to post-peak-athleticism LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But that flat-out ridiculous starting five still might not be the best representation of the Purple and Gold’s historic ability to attract and acquire superstars.

The second string, comprised of Jerry West, Eddie Jones, Elgin Baylor, Pau Gasol, and Shaquille O’Neal, features numerous inner-circle Hall of Famers and could go toe-to-toe with most franchises’ opening lineups. Even a third string highlighted by James Worthy and Wilt Chamberlain would leave many other organizations envious.

2022-23 Entries: None

Memphis Grizzlies

Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies | Elsa/Getty Images
PG2017 Mike Conley
298.98 TPA
2022 Ja Morant
240.78 TPA
2018 Tyreke Evans
140.12 TPA
SG2022 Desmond Bane
132.57 TPA
2006 Mike Miller
121.83 TPA
2011 Tony Allen
100.93 TPA
SF2004 James Posey
171.35 TPA
2000 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
134.93 TPA
2006 Shane Battier
130.83 TPA
PF2006 Pau Gasol
313.68 TPA
2011 Zach Randolph
136.87 TPA
2021 Kyle Anderson
128.72 TPA
C2013 Marc Gasol
264.51 TPA
2021 Jonas Valanciunas
106.68 TPA
2023 Jaren Jackson Jr.
101.63 TPA

Jaren Jackson Jr., despite playing just 63 games, did enough in 2022-23 to join the fray — albeit as a third-stringer. Ja Morant (233.86) and Desmond Bane (131.84) came tantalizingly close to improving upon their own career-best marks, though suspensions and injuries, respectively, held them back.

As one of the NBA’s most recent expansion franchises, the Memphis Grizzlies have a ton of room for growth throughout their depth chart. And given the talent on the current squad, this lineup will likely look quite a bit different in the relatively near future.

2022-23 Entries: Jaren Jackson Jr.

Miami Heat

LeBron James of the Miami Heat | Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
PG1997 Tim Hardaway
356.09 TPA
2005 Damon Jones
146.49 TPA
2017 Goran Dragic
126.9 TPA
SG2009 Dwyane Wade
602.32 TPA
2002 Eddie Jones
222.12 TPA
1994 Steve Smith
141.71 TPA
SF2013 LeBron James
633.39 TPA
2023 Jimmy Butler
373.18 TPA
1995 Glen Rice
193.21 TPA
PF2004 Lamar Odom
158.31 TPA
2016 Chris Bosh
141.8 TPA
2017 James Johnson
114.35 TPA
C2000 Alonzo Mourning
269.87 TPA
2005 Shaquille O’Neal
248.69 TPA
2021 Bam Adebayo
209.57 TPA

Even without the benefit of a magical playoff run — regular-season numbers, much as is the case with career leaderboards for NBA statistics, are all that matter here — Jimmy Butler surged ahead of every small forward in Miami Heat history, save one.

Of course, that one is LeBron James, operating at the peak of his powers alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to win back-to-back championships. Try not to hold that against Butler.

Joining James in the starting five? Tim Hardaway’s killer crossover, Lamar Odom’s point-forward skills, Alonzo Mourning’s physicality, and Wade’s all-around game. It’s already a loaded lineup for one of the NBA’s youngest franchises, and Bam Adebayo might have some future plans for changes to the leading quintet.

2022-23 Entries: Jimmy Butler

Milwaukee Bucks

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Milwaukee Bucks | Focus on Sport/Getty Images
PG1994 Eric Murdock
193.67 TPA
1971 Oscar Robertson
173.79 TPA
2019 Eric Bledsoe
150.38 TPA
SG1986 Paul Pressey
325.02 TPA
2001 Ray Allen
324.57 TPA
1983 Sidney Moncrief
310.06 TPA
SF1979 Marques Johnson
314.46 TPA
2020 Khris Middleton
165.77 TPA
1976 Bob Dandridge
142.32 TPA
PF2019 Giannis Antetokounmpo
523.51 TPA
1985 Terry Cummings
242.31 TPA
1997 Vin Baker
117.92 TPA
C1972 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
623.54 TPA
1989 Jack Sikma
152.59 TPA
1981 Bob Lanier
146.48 TPA

Seeing Eric Murdock over Oscar Robertson might be a shock, especially because The Big O paired up with starting center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to win the first title in Milwaukee Bucks history. It’s a natural reaction.

But don’t forget that Robertson was 32 during his first Brewtown season — or that Murdock capitalized on the shortened three-point arc to average 15.3 points and 6.7 assists on 46.8/41.1/81.3 shooting during the 1993-94 campaign.

In many other places, the Bucks’ depth chart is a collection of underrated talents whose legacies shouldn’t be lost to the passage of time. Peak-athleticism Ray Allen, “point forward” term-coiner Marques Johnson, two-way maestro Sidney Moncrief, and more all deserve their flowers.

2022-23 Entries: None

Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves | Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images
PG2004 Sam Cassell
231.21 TPA
2000 Terrell Brandon
207.5 TPA
1993 Micheal Williams
134.99 TPA
SG2018 Jimmy Butler
246.08 TPA
2005 Fred Hoiberg
95.9 TPA
2022 Anthony Edwards
62.21 TPA
SF2013 Andrei Kirilenko
140.12 TPA
2002 Wally Szczerbiak
83.36 TPA
1991 Tyrone Corbin
54.81 TPA
PF2004 Kevin Garnett
601.04 TPA
2014 Kevin Love
503.91 TPA
2023 Kyle Anderson
102.95 TPA
C2019 Karl-Anthony Towns
318.12 TPA
2009 Al Jefferson
91.53 TPA
1997 Dean Garrett
31.07 TPA

Kyle Anderson averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists while slashing 50.9/41.0/73.5 during a quietly effective season for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2022-23, also overcoming his velocity limitations to play effective and versatile defense. But it’s probably not a good sign for the franchise’s health when that makes the cut on an all-time depth chart.

Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love are doing a lot of heavy lifting here, though that might change as Anthony Edwards continues morphing into a full-fledged star capable of displacing Jimmy Butler from the starting five.

Butler, KG, and Andrei Kirilenko give this lineup plenty of defensive juice, but we’re otherwise left stretching for compliments.

2022-23 Entries: Kyle Anderson

New Orleans Pelicans

Chris Paul of the then-New Orleans Hornets | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
PG2009 Chris Paul
599.77 TPA
2004 Baron Davis
258.76 TPA
2019 Jrue Holiday
155.19 TPA
SG2015 Tyreke Evans
61.67 TPA
2003 David Wesley
55.41 TPA
2023 CJ McCollum
43.76 TPA
SF2003 Jamal Mashburn
136.58 TPA
2021 Brandon Ingram
97.01 TPA
2023 Trey Murphy III
90.98 TPA
PF2015 Anthony Davis
413.85 TPA
2021 Zion Williamson
245.31 TPA
2011 David West
126.26 TPA
C2018 DeMarcus Cousins
169.3 TPA
2022 Jonas Valanciunas
86.18 TPA
2005 Chris Andersen
41.17 TPA

CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy III both gained entry to the depth chart as third-stringers in 2022-23, and they should both have opportunities to ascend even higher as this team continues to progress.

And they’re not alone.

If Zion Williamson can get and stay healthy, he’s capable of challenging Anthony Davis for the highest score in franchise history. Brandon Ingram can keep improving, as well.

The Pelicans don’t have a lengthy history from which they can draw, but at least many members of the current iteration are starting to make their presence felt in some capacity.

2022-23 Entries: CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III

New York Knicks

Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks | Focus on Sport/Getty Images
PG1970 Walt Frazier
287.04 TPA
2005 Stephon Marbury
261.28 TPA
1980 Ray Williams
228.81 TPA
SG1981 Micheal Ray Richardson
217.87 TPA
1962 Richie Guerin
169.85 TPA
1993 John Starks
140.52 TPA
SF2014 Carmelo Anthony
281.41 TPA
1984 Bernard King
242.25 TPA
1953 Ernie Vandeweghe
84.96 TPA
PF1959 Kenny Sears
293.87 TPA
2023 Julius Randle
204.86 TPA
1953 Harry Gallatin
173.45 TPA
C1990 Patrick Ewing
353.75 TPA
1970 Willis Reed
268.69 TPA
1978 Bob McAdoo
218.01 TPA

Putrid playoff performance notwithstanding, Julius Randle enjoyed a fantastic year for the New York Knicks. His stock seemed to be heading down after his star turn in 2020-21, but he bounced back to average a 25-point double-double and make the All-NBA Third Team.

Otherwise, it’s hard to find much modern representation here. In fact, the five most recent entries are as follows:

  1. 2022-23 Julius Randle (backup power forward)
  2. 2013-14 Carmelo Anthony (starting small forward)
  3. 2004-05 Stephon Marbury (backup point guard)
  4. 1992-93 John Starks (third-string shooting guard)
  5. 1989-90 Patrick Ewing (starting center)

That’s, uh, not ideal for a franchise typically portrayed as one of the Association’s bigger draws.

2022-23 Entries: Julius Randle

Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder | Scott Halleran/Getty Images
PG2017 Russell Westbrook
630.91 TPA
2000 Gary Payton
432.24 TPA
2023 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
371.47 TPA
SG2002 Brent Barry
302.54 TPA
2006 Ray Allen
256.1 TPA
1997 Hersey Hawkins
216.2 TPA
SF2014 Kevin Durant
631.14 TPA
2019 Paul George
436.09 TPA
1995 Detlef Schrempf
252.52 TPA
PF1994 Shawn Kemp
224.3 TPA
1974 Spencer Haywood
168.02 TPA
2020 Danilo Gallinari
121.49 TPA
C1982 Jack Sikma
245.53 TPA
1995 Sam Perkins
136.03 TPA
2020 Steven Adams
102.96 TPA

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way: Yes, the Seattle SuperSonics’ history remains absorbed into the archives of the Oklahoma City Thunder, even if the way the franchise changed locations — looking at you, Clay Bennett — was quite unfortunate.

That gives this depth chart a lot more juice, but plenty of Thunder players have joined the fray. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are headliners in the starting five, Paul George is a high-scoring backup, and Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, and the breakout 2022-23 version of Shai Gilgeous Alexander round out the roster.

The best from SGA might be yet to come, too.

2022-23 Entries: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Orlando Magic

Tracy McGrady of the Orlando Magic | Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images
PG1996 Anfernee Hardaway
413.99 TPA
2000 Darrell Armstrong
235.3 TPA
2009 Jameer Nelson
127.5 TPA
SG2003 Tracy McGrady
600.78 TPA
1995 Nick Anderson
209.49 TPA
2010 Vince Carter
88.19 TPA
SF2008 Hedo Turkoglu
158.86 TPA
1996 Dennis Scott
134.48 TPA
2005 Grant Hill
115.13 TPA
PF2000 Bo Outlaw
208.71 TPA
2009 Rashard Lewis
202.29 TPA
2012 Ryan Anderson
150.12 TPA
C1994 Shaquille O’Neal
434.02 TPA
2019 Nikola Vucevic
341.92 TPA
2011 Dwight Howard
292.82 TPA

Are you flabbergasted that Dwight Howard is only the third-string center? Because we’re flabbergasted, dumbfounded, befuddled, and [insert fun synonym here].

In all likelihood, the TPA metric is underselling his defense, though it’s not like 2018-19 Nikola Vucevic was too shabby while averaging 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists to make the All-Star roster and end a six-year playoff drought.

With Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Tracy McGrady, and Shaquille O’Neal in the starting lineup, this squad is all sorts of fun. But it’s still a bit lackluster, which won’t change until the current youngsters hit their strides and make some noise.

Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, and Paolo Banchero all have the upside necessary to provide those decibels sooner than later.

2022-23 Entries: None

Philadelphia 76ers

Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers | Getty Images
PG1995 Dana Barros
307.97 TPA
2018 Ben Simmons
252.72 TPA
1983 Maurice Cheeks
245.41 TPA
SG2001 Allen Iverson
341.73 TPA
2023 James Harden
232.74 TPA
1991 Hersey Hawkins
203.48 TPA
SF1981 Julius Erving
461.43 TPA
2008 Andre Iguodala
242.36 TPA
1967 Chet Walker
145.39 TPA
PF1990 Charles Barkley
507.31 TPA
1958 Dolph Schayes
262.7 TPA
1976 George McGinnis
209.64 TPA
C1967 Wilt Chamberlain
527.95 TPA
2022 Joel Embiid
423.53 TPA
1983 Moses Malone
231.7 TPA

Dear Philadelphia 76ers fans: If you’re reading this before scanning through the depth chart, we recommend that you avoid looking at the backup point guard spot. You’re welcome in advance.

The rest of the roster is a blast. Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, and Wilt Chamberlain give the Sixers a ridiculous amount of star power, and that extends to the bench with James Harden, prime Andre Iguodala, Joel Embiid, Maurice Cheeks, and Moses Malone.

History aficionados should also appreciate Dolph Schayes, and we can’t forget about Dana Barros capitalizing on the shortened three-point arc to knock down 46.4% of his 5.2 triples per game and have an out-of-nowhere 20.6-points-per-game season that yielded his only career All-Star appearance.

2022-23 Entries: James Harden

Phoenix Suns

Shawn Marion of the Phoenix Suns | Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
PG1991 Kevin Johnson
383.65 TPA
2007 Steve Nash
316.03 TPA
2001 Jason Kidd
241.68 TPA
SG1992 Jeff Hornacek
272.39 TPA
1978 Paul Westphal
270.63 TPA
1979 Walter Davis
230.91 TPA
SF2003 Shawn Marion
357.84 TPA
1992 Dan Majerle
211.73 TPA
2021 Mikal Bridges
156.03 TPA
PF1993 Charles Barkley
456.01 TPA
1987 Larry Nance
271.73 TPA
2008 Amar’e Stoudemire
258.21 TPA
C1976 Alvan Adams
255.44 TPA
1994 Oliver Miller
166.17 TPA
1974 Neal Walk
116.76 TPA

The point guard rotation here is just otherworldly, with two-time MVP Steve Nash and triple-double machine Jason Kidd backing up peak Kevin Johnson and his dunk-over-anyone athleticism. The rest of the depth chart may not match other historic franchises from a star power perspective, but the basketball talent is undeniable.

However, there’s a head-scratcher.

Where is Devin Booker?

Booker was absurdly good during the 2023 postseason, producing just shy of 100 TPA in only 11 appearances. Based on that level of play, his 82-game pace would have him at a staggering 744.5 TPA — easily the best mark in Phoenix Suns history.

But Booker’s defensive limitations and undulating efficiency have held him back during the regular season, and his career-best mark remains 199.9 (set in 2021-22).

2022-23 Entries: None

Portland Trail Blazers

Clyde Drexler of the Portland Trail Blazers | Focus on Sport/Getty Images
PG1991 Terry Porter
410.86 TPA
2018 Damian Lillard
391.52 TPA
1997 Kenny Anderson
255.3 TPA
SG1992 Clyde Drexler
491.43 TPA
2009 Brandon Roy
319.38 TPA
1983 Jim Paxson
178.61 TPA
SF2014 Nicolas Batum
197.27 TPA
2000 Scottie Pippen
183.56 TPA
1978 Bob Gross
149.21 TPA
PF2001 Rasheed Wallace
238.9 TPA
1995 Clifford Robinson
186.19 TPA
1975 Sidney Wicks
151.87 TPA
C1978 Bill Walton
336.03 TPA
1996 Arvydas Sabonis
218.93 TPA
1979 Tom Owens
168.59 TPA

Let’s take a step back and highlight what Damian Lillard, fueled by his disdain for ring culture, has done for the Portland Trail Blazers. He may not have the single-season mark at point guard because Terry Porter was simply sensational at the peak of his powers, but his name shows up rather frequently in the overall list of top seasons:

  1. 1991-92 Clyde Drexler: 491.43 TPA
  2. 1987-88 Clyde Drexler: 467.04 TPA
  3. 1988-89 Clyde Drexler: 429.61 TPA
  4. 1989-90 Clyde Drexler: 414.97 TPA
  5. 1990-91 Terry Porter: 410.86 TPA
  6. 1990-91 Clyde Drexler: 409.95 TPA
  7. 2017-18 Damian Lillard: 391.52 TPA
  8. 2019-20 Damian Lillard: 385.03 TPA
  9. 2018-19 Damian Lillard: 369.49 TPA
  10. 1989-90 Terry Porter: 342.2 TPA
  11. 1977-78 Bill Walton: 336.03 TPA
  12. 1976-77 Bill Walton: 333.81 TPA
  13. 1986-87 Clyde Drexler: 331.84 TPA
  14. 2008-09 Brandon Roy: 319.38 TPA
  15. 2022-23 Damian Lillard: 307.29 TPA
  16. 2020-21 Damian Lillard: 306.09 TPA
  17. 2016-17 Damian Lillard: 272.58 TPA
  18. 2014-15 Damian Lillard: 263.7 TPA
  19. 1996-97 Kenny Anderson: 255.3 TPA
  20. 1985-86 Clyde Drexler: 239.77 TPA

For those keeping track at home, that gives Lillard seven of the top 20 single-season marks. And if we look at things from a career perspective, his 2,761.63 lifetime TPA leaves him behind only Clyde Drexler (3,579.93) and well ahead of Porter (1,698.97), Arvydas Sabonis (931.55), and everyone else in Rip City history.

2022-23 Entries: None

Sacramento Kings

Oscar Robertson of the then-Rochester Royals | Getty Images
PG1964 Oscar Robertson
466.88 TPA
1973 Tiny Archibald
193.49 TPA
1977 Brian Taylor
163.77 TPA
SG1997 Mitch Richmond
273.25 TPA
1983 Mike Woodson
182.19 TPA
2003 Doug Christie
168.84 TPA
SF2004 Peja Stojakovic
247.78 TPA
1958 Jack Twyman
153.42 TPA
2007 Metta World Peace
145.09 TPA
PF2000 Chris Webber
337.05 TPA
1964 Jerry Lucas
182.12 TPA
1971 Johnny Green
171.31 TPA
C2023 Domantas Sabonis
337.31 TPA
2014 DeMarcus Cousins
233.53 TPA
1979 Sam Lacey
225.31 TPA

Though the roster’s depth isn’t as impressive as expected from a franchise that has been around since its days as the Rochester Royals during the 1948-49 BAA season, the Sacramento Kings’ starting five is eminently respectable.

Oscar Robertson and Mitch Richmond form a strong starting backcourt, Peja Stojakovic and Chris Webber are offensive explosions waiting to happen at the forward spots, and Domantas Sabonis rounds it out after his sterling 2022-23 efforts.

Plus, reinforcements might be coming after a 2022-23 season that saw the Kings end a playoff drought dating all the way back to a first-round loss in the 2006 postseason. De’Aaron Fox and Keegan Murray both seem like locks to have the true breakout seasons required to displace Brian Taylor and Metta World Peace, respectively.

2022-23 Entries: Domantas Sabonis

San Antonio Spurs

David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs | Jeff Haynes/AFP via Getty Images
PG2022 Dejounte Murray
266.18 TPA
1985 Johnny Moore
207.76 TPA
2009 Tony Parker
163.02 TPA
SG2008 Manu Ginobili
350.67 TPA
1978 George Gervin
311.41 TPA
1986 Alvin Robertson
294.55 TPA
SF2017 Kawhi Leonard
449.36 TPA
2021 DeMar DeRozan
131.41 TPA
2018 Kyle Anderson
110.89 TPA
PF2002 Tim Duncan
471.58 TPA
1977 Larry Kenon
164.82 TPA
1983 Gene Banks
100.19 TPA
C1994 David Robinson
719.23 TPA
2018 LaMarcus Aldridge
194.07 TPA
1983 Artis Gilmore
174.31 TPA

This is what happens when you’re the NBA’s model franchise for a multi-decade stretch.

David Robinson, one of the most devastatingly effective two-way big men in the sport’s history, leads the charge alongside Tim Duncan, who may not have the same level of single-season prowess but is a frequent presence in all-time top-10 lists. Peak-of-his-powers Kawhi Leonard and a Eurostepping Manu Ginobili join them, and Dejounte Murray was pretty darn good before moving on to the Atlanta Hawks.

Sure, the San Antonio Spurs might not have particularly notable depth. Nor do they have many candidates to displace the legends who proceeded them — at least until Victor Wembanyama hits his stride.

But that Robinson-Duncan-Leonard-Ginobili quartet basically serves as a depth chart panacea.

2022-23 Entries: None

Toronto Raptors

Vince Carter of the Toronto Raptors | Otto Greule Jr ./Allsport
PG2016 Kyle Lowry
318.8 TPA
2008 Jose Calderon
209.67 TPA
2022 Fred VanVleet
177.26 TPA
SG2001 Vince Carter
434.28 TPA
2017 DeMar DeRozan
161.29 TPA
2015 Lou Williams
102.06 TPA
SF2019 Kawhi Leonard
305.66 TPA
2000 Tracy McGrady
165.19 TPA
2008 Jamario Moon
75.76 TPA
PF2022 Pascal Siakam
180.46 TPA
2005 Donyell Marshall
155.53 TPA
2015 Patrick Patterson
104.04 TPA
C2008 Chris Bosh
200.14 TPA
2021 Chris Boucher
98.73 TPA
2018 Jonas Valanciunas
84.1 TPA

Considering the Toronto Raptors have only existed since 1995-96, this depth chart could be a lot worse.

Kyle Lowry, Vince Carter, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Chris Bosh were all All-NBA-caliber players during their peak years north of the border, and the bench lineup has some injections of talent in the form of DeMar DeRozan and Tracy McGrady.

For the sake of comparison, the Memphis Grizzlies (then located in Vancouver) entered the league simultaneously. Their all-time depth chart has 1,181.09 TPA in the starting lineup, 741.09 on the second unit, and 602.23 from the third stringers, adding up to a total of 2,524.41.

Those respective numbers stand at 1,439.4 (higher), 790.41 (higher), 543.22 (lower), and 2,773.03 (higher) for the Raptors.

2022-23 Entries: None

Utah Jazz

John Stockton of the Utah Jazz | Focus on Sport/Getty Images
PG1989 John Stockton
533.12 TPA
2008 Deron Williams
227.04 TPA
1984 Rickey Green
180.0 TPA
SG1996 Jeff Hornacek
208.17 TPA
2022 Donovan Mitchell
197.11 TPA
2008 Ronnie Brewer
152.73 TPA
SF2004 Andrei Kirilenko
409.53 TPA
1981 Adrian Dantley
301.06 TPA
2017 Gordon Hayward
244.38 TPA
PF1997 Karl Malone
465.19 TPA
2007 Carlos Boozer
224.26 TPA
2023 Lauri Markkanen
185.61 TPA
C2019 Rudy Gobert
293.42 TPA
1979 Rich Kelley
175.23 TPA
2012 Al Jefferson
146.03 TPA

Making the Utah Jazz’s all-time depth chart is a difficult endeavor, but Lauri Markkanen accomplished exactly that during an out-of-nowhere surge to prominence in 2022-23. For perspective, his career-high TPA was 11.28 for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the prior season.

Otherwise, the inclusions are fairly obvious, particularly in the starting lineup. The pick-and-roll combination of John Stockton and Karl Malone was always going to lead the charge, and Rudy Gobert’s defensive excellence during his Salt Lake City tenure put him in lock territory. (Though speaking of centers, Mark Eaton failing to make the cut is a bit of a surprise until you remember just how much of an offensive non-factor he was.)

Throw in the sharp-shooting prowess of Jeff Hornacek and the defensive versatility of Andrei Kirilenko, and you have a potent unit that would be quite impractical to score against.

2022-23 Entries: Lauri Markkanen

Washington Wizards

Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards | G Fiume/Getty Images
PG2006 Gilbert Arenas
351.39 TPA
2017 John Wall
270.36 TPA
2021 Russell Westbrook
188.94 TPA
SG2005 Larry Hughes
195.31 TPA
2019 Bradley Beal
192.94 TPA
1975 Phil Chenier
181.96 TPA
SF1989 John Williams
230.83 TPA
1982 Greg Ballard
193.1 TPA
1964 Terry Dischinger
179.8 TPA
PF1997 Chris Webber
283.86 TPA
1975 Elvin Hayes
250.1 TPA
1965 Bailey Howell
141.62 TPA
C1962 Walt Bellamy
335.13 TPA
1975 Wes Unseld
253.75 TPA
2023 Kristaps Porzingis
197.25 TPA

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the Washington Wizards — a franchise that dates back to 1961-62, when it existed as the Chicago Packers — has so many recent inclusions?

On one hand, the Wizards have found upper-tier talents in the last decade.

Larry Hughes and Gilbert Arenas are both in the starting lineup alongside John Williams, Chris Webber, and Welt Bellamy. Bradley Beal and John Wall both populate the second-string backcourt, and the former might displace Hughes if he could stay healthy for a full season (and/or not get shut down for maintenance at the end of a campaign). Russell Westbrook and, most recently, Kristaps Porzingis fill out the end of the bench.

On the other hand, that’s six of 15 roster slots dedicated to players who have suited up for Washington during a stretch in which it has won just three playoff series, no two of which came during the same postseason.

2022-23 Entries: Kristaps Porzingis

TPA data provided by Sports Math Network

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