Today is the day. It is time to kick off a brand new column called “Creating NBA Lineups.” Every Monday, a new lineup will be released. However, each week there will be different rules to follow when I create the lineups. To open up the new column today, I am “Creating the best NBA Lineup from Non-Playoff Teams.” I am basing the lineup off of the players’ performances last season, and I am assuming full health for each player. Let’s jump right into it.
PG: Kemba Walker
What better way to start off a team than with a two-time All-Star running the show. Kemba Walker is one of the most fascinating point guards in the NBA, and with more talent around him, the Hornets would be a fixture in the postseason every year. Perhaps the biggest knock on Kemba’s game is his passing ability, which won’t be a problem on this team with all the talent surrounding him. In addition, Kemba gives this team someone to go to when the team is in desperate need of a bucket. Kemba has a killer mentality, exactly what a franchise needs in their star point guard.
In Consideration: Jamal Murray
SG: Devin Booker
What other direction can you go? Devin Booker has the potential to be one of the next great NBA players of all-time. Booker is just 21 years old and has already shown that he has what it takes to be very successful in the NBA. Averaging 24.9 points per game on 38.3% shooting from three-point range, Booker is the perfect backcourt fit next to Walker. Similar to Walker, Booker has a killer mentality. When the team needs a bucket, all you need to do is call an iso for the Kentucky product. There isn’t a more perfect fit at shooting guard for this team, exactly why a young star is the direction to go.
In Consideration: Lou Williams
SF: Tobias Harris
Welcome to the first shock of the “Creating NBA Lineups” series. Most people would probably think a young and still developing Brandon Ingram would be the way to go here. However, I think Tobias Harris is exactly what this team needs at small forward. Coming off his best season in the NBA, averaging 18.6 points per game on 41.1% shooting from deep, Harris complements a ball-dominant backcourt well. Harris has the ability to spot up outside the three-point line and knock down shots when defenses collapse on the driver. In addition, Harris’ savviness will get him easy buckets making back-door cuts when the defense puts their attention on other threats. Finally, Harris’ size and defensive abilities give the team someone who can match-up with the opposing team’s star player. Harris fits the build for exactly what this super team needs at small forward.
In Consideration: Harrison Barnes/Brandon Ingram
PF: Kristaps Porzingis
“Unicorn.” “Porzingod.” Whatever you want to call him, this man can flat out ball. The 22-year-old All-Star is the prototypical modern NBA big. Porzingis can score from anywhere on the floor. He can put the ball on the deck, he can post-up and he can launch it from deep. Not only can he do it all on offense, his size and length allows him to block a flurry of shots each game. Porzingis’ abilities on both ends of the floor make him the perfect fit at power forward for this super team.
In Consideration: Blake Griffin
C: Nikola Jokic
What a frontcourt we have here. Can you even imagine Kristaps Porzingis and Nikola Jokic on the same team? That is the definition of an opposing team’s worst nightmare. Like Porzingis, Jokic can do it all on offense, but he adds an additional element: his passing. Jokic is possibly the best passing big in the NBA. He sees things that a lot of point guards don’t see, and this man is over seven feet tall. His ability to handle the ball and make passes like a guard add a whole new dynamic to this team.
In Consideration: DeAndre Jordan/Andre Drummond
To close it off, this team would be good, really good. Having a Kemba/Booker backcourt, a Porzingis/Jokic frontcourt and Harris to tie it all together is unfair. In addition, a mixture of veteran leadership and young talent spells for this team to be very good for a very long time. If I were to make a prediction for this lineup over 10 seasons, I would put them at winning five championships over that time period. Other super teams still dominate in the present, but once some of these young guys get in their prime, this non-playoff super team would rule the association.
Be sure to come back next week when a new “Creating NBA Lineups” column is posted!
Photo Credits: The Ringer, Blazer’s Edge