What is a Super Team?
The NBA has taken a major shift due to the Warriors overload of talent. Now every team in the NBA looks add multiple stars to their roster which is now deemed a “Super Team”. The criteria for what a super team even is seems to change and vary depending on the era. My criteria for a super team is:
- Multiple Hall of Famers or All-Stars that have Hall of Fame potential
- At least one of the stars must have been traded or signed
- 2 top-five players or 3 top-ten player on same roster and/or
- A team dominating an era forcing a shift in the league
History of the Super Team
Back in the 60’s super teams were around like Wilt Chamberlain’s Lakers with him, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The super team-era would continue into the 80’s with the Larry Bird-led Celtics and the Magic Johnson-led Lakers. Each team had multiple all stars and Hall of Famers that made the NBA a two-team dominated league.
Michael Jordan’s Bulls squad are looked at as a super team being that they had three Hall of Famers including Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. And even Charles Barkley tried to form one in ’96 with the Rockets who also had HOFs Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler but couldn’t get over the hump. After two years of the Rockets not winning a ring, Drexler retired and Pippen joined after Jordan’s retirement but no ring for Barkley.
Later down the road the Lakers added an aging Gary Payton and Karl Malone to try to capitalize but couldn’t win in 2004. Nearing the end of that decade a few more teams added combined major talent. The Boston Celtics traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to pair with Paul Pierce, who would capture one ring.
To beat that highly skilled team LeBron James and Chris Bosh took their talents to Miami to play with Dwayne Wade. Out of their four years together they managed to win two rings.
The Super Teams of Today
LeBron made free movement to whatever team you wanted more acceptable in today’s NBA. With this came more teaming up to better their chances at winning a championship. After leaving the Heat, LeBron would go back to his hometown team with Kyrie Irving who later added Kevin Love. I wouldn’t deem that squad a super team due to Kevin Love not looked at as a future HOFer but some would think so.
Now come the Warriors who had a naturally built team not deemed super since they were all drafted. But the loss to the Cavaliers in the 2026 Finals made Golden State acquire former MVP Kevin Durant. They are loaded with firepower now and after running thru the NBA last season every team is gearing to beat them.
The Western Conference
This offseason has added a few more super teams to the mix. The Oklahoma City Thunder team meets the criteria adding Carmelo Anthony and Paul George to last season’s MVP Russell Westbrook. Also, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler to pair with Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Adding these two teams in the West along with the already dominant Warriors makes the league highly unbalanced. The Rockets are close to a super team with James Harden and Chris Paul but are just missing that third piece. In San Antonio is a talented team but not one with multiple HOFers. Even the New Orleans Pelicans are close to meeting the criteria only need one more piece to add to DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.
The Eastern Conference
Believe it or not, a few people deem the Celtics a super team adding Kyrie Irving and Gordan Hayward to a roster with Al Horford. I wouldn’t go that far because a lot of players on Boston are unproven at the elite level. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers seem to have a super team due to the amount of quality players on the team.
Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, and Dwyane Wade are just a few names to join the Cavs. Bringing on this much talent with LeBron makes them formidable enough to be given the title.