The history of the National Basketball Association goes all the way back to 1946 when it was founded. Members of this league are the highest-paid players of any sport worldwide and the seasons are probably the lengthiest series of any game. Each team plays a total of 82 matches, excluding the playoffs and over time, the NBA has certainly transformed into a brand, more than a game. So we have created this NBA Tier List to help sort each team into their respective ranks.
This association alone generates a very heavy revenue for the nation, which at times is estimated to be more than the revenue of several small countries worldwide. Every team also has its own home stadium, which possesses great historical importance for the location.
A breakdown of teams on the basis of their performances.
All-time legendary players’ contribution to the teams.
These bases have ranked them into S, A, B, C, and D Tiers.
Under this heading, we will quickly explain all the teams in list form that are supposed to lie in the respective tiers.
• Los Angeles Lakers
• Golden State Warriors
• Chicago Bulls
• Boston Celtics
• San Antonio Spurs
• Philadelphia 76ers
• Miami Heat
• Oklahoma City Thunder
• Brooklyn Nets
• New York Knicks
• Portland Trail Blazers
• Atlanta Hawks
• Phoenix Suns
• Los Angeles Clippers
• Minnesota Timberwolves
• Charlotte Hornets
• Detroit Pistons
• Toronto Raptors
You can learn about each team in more detail below.
Tier List Contents
This List is one of the most awaited tier articles by our audience, and so we have delivered it as requested. However, we would like to clarify that this article is open to constructive criticism. We have tried to be as unbiased as possible but no ranking is ever perfect, and we will have made decisions that you will not agree with. There is no favoritism here, and we also want to make sure you understand that the purpose of this ranking is not to dishearten any particular fanbase or to deliberately target some state teams.
So before we begin ranking, let us get familiarized with the pattern on which our classification depends. This articlewill categorize teams into five basic categories, i.e., S, A, B, C, D, and D Tiers. We have tried to keep every major factor in mind when deciding on each place, and we hope you enjoy reading the article.
This category is the highest and the most elite tier of the entire NBA Tier List. This comprises the highest-rated teams, and all of them have the highest reputation globally in Basketball. These teams without a doubt have the best players. Moreover, these teams have a deep and rich history of winning championship titles. Not only that, players of this side have massive fan following.
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers are the most followed team in NBA history. The name of this team is on the tongue of every American, even those who do not follow Basketball. Lakers jerseys are a fashion symbol in the world. The Lakers were luckily associated with the best players in the league at all times. Jersey number 8 and 24 belongs to the symbolic Kobe Bryant. He became the undoubted best player ever in the world. Kobe gave an identity to the team.
With the tragic death of Kobe back in 2020, the team saw its most depressing time. But this team never looked down. It kept on producing the best of the best player like Lebron James, Shaq, Jerry West, etc. We feel so unfair not mentioning all the stars of this team. Some statics of this team is made. The Lakers have a probability of 1.15 years per playoff appearance. All of these facts reflect their consistency in the NBA leagues. The team has 2.23 years per final appearance, showing that out of the groups.
This team goes into the top 2 almost every 2 years. The team saw a lot of lows, particularly in the 2015-16 and the 2022 seasons. But this never dulled the hype of this yellow storm. Lakers are not just a team, but it is a prestige factor in the world of Basketball. The team is trying hard every season to regain its glory and excellence. Lakers has 16 championship titles behind its name. The 1980s was the best era for this team; they were unstoppable then. Even the NBA Symbol comprises the shadowed picture of Jerry West from the Lakers.
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors are the former champions of the NBA title. Unlike the lakers, the team has shown great promise in the last few decades. Steve Kerr’s era is considered a game changer for the team. After that particular moment, the team never looked behind. And this team never stopped moving uphill towards success. In recent times, a team with some of the deadliest scoring weapons in the game.
The team saw success under the lights of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry, the hall of Famers of the Basketball game. Kevin Durrant, an ultimate lethal weapon, played for the team too. Some might object that the team was so out of the picture in the 2020 and 2021 championships. But the reason behind it was the long injuries of the most dependable players. The team was unstoppable in the last season.
The history of Chase Center speaks loud, appreciating this legendary team in every phase of history. Golden State is so good for the world of Basketball. This team qualifies for the playoffs every two years. The team logo reflects the symbolic golden gate bridge located in San Francisco. Steph Curry holds a world record for most three-pointers scored by any individual.
When we talk about Chicago Bulls, we can not end it without talking about Micheal Jordan. The greatest all-time player ever in the history of Basketball. Jordon spent decades of his life on this team. Jordon is a symbol of Basketball. His association with Nike gave the brand a new height of fame. Even today, these Jordon sneakers are the dream shoes for any person to get. Irrespective of their interests in the game.
Micheal Jordon wasn’t the only central figure of the side, but he was supported in by many other legends. Including Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, etc. No different era matches the one which was provided to them by Michael Jordon. Under his excellence, the team never looked down on bad times. They saw exponential growth in terms of their game growth and fame.
The franchise, on average, wins an NBA title every 7 events. The team has an all-time winning percentage of comfortably above 50%. Apart from that, its per-year playoff appearance is 1.17. It is one of the oldest franchises in the circuit, dating back to 1966. The 1990S was the best era for the team. The game won 72 games before the playoffs in the 1995-96 season.
Boston Celtics is a classic, all-time favorite team in the NBA Circuit. Team Celtics have participated in 141 all-star appearances, and it is a fact that will leave you shocked. The franchise has the distinction of having 28 different halls of Famers at other times, at least for one season. No other team in the NBA has done this before. Celtics has 17 NBA titles behind its name.
This number of titles is the most by any team in the championship. Team Boston has the second highest all-time winning percentage, almost 60%, after Team Lakers. Statistical reports suggest they win a title every four years, which is a great achievement. Because the NBA still hosts dozens of teams who do not have a championship.
Bill Russell is one of the recent time halls of fame. At the same time, the Celtics team hero Red Auerbach was a classic gun for the team who made them such a successful Franchise. Celtics is considered to have a historic rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers. This fact was put under a great highlight in the 1960s and then once again in the 1980s.
San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs is the last team on the S Tier. Spurs hold the record for the highest ever winning percentage, at 62.4. Like many other teams, Spurs has not captured many Championship titles. But one thing is for sure, this team, on average, qualifies for the playoffs every season. The second-in-line team, the lakers, can only compete for this by winning 370 straight games, which means 4.5 undefeated seasons.
The team has 5 Championship titles against its name out of the 6 appearances they made. Their only losing year was back in the 2013 title. Spurs have 54 all-star appearances, which is less when discussing S Tier. The team heroes are Tim Duncan, Sean Elliot, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, and the classical giant Artis Gilmore. However, many others have done so much for this legendary team.
The last season was celebrated as the 50th anniversary of this top club. For 18 straight years, ranging from 1999 to 2017, Spur won 50+ games every season. This set up a world record for consecutive 50+ season matches won. From 1985 to 1989 seasons, the franchise saw its lows. But every downfall gives birth to a new hero, And their hero was David Robinson.
The A tier ranks the second tier and includes a set of second-best teams. These teams were so close to being called the S Tier teams. But the slightest of margins differentiate them from the teams of the above Tier.
From the classic era of Wilt Chamberlain, Dolph Schayes, Larry Brown, and Allen Iverson to the recent stars such as Mosses Malone, Ben Simmons, etc. This team always used to reflect true power and determination in the game. Wilt was a center in the team many franchises dream of having. His classical young age rivalry with Bill Russel was an example of determination. It didn’t stop just there. It then moved down to the era of Jordon too. However, the team’s recent form is not very impressive.
Resulting in not qualifying for the playoffs for 2 consecutive series. However, this can’t put a full stop to the tremendous form and history this team carries. This franchise debuted in the NBA back in the 1949-1950 season. The sixers surprisingly made 22 trips to the playoffs in its immature ages. Making it give a perception of a strong team, and rightly so. The team has seen the final pressure four times, winning three all-important titles. 1955, 1967, and 1983 championships were named after them.
Since then, Phili has seen great success and emerged as an incredibly strong team. Julius Erving had a very important role in the 1983 title, serving as their head coach when they swept Los Angeles Lakers. Allen Iverson continued their unbeaten legacy. Iverson has countless efforts for his team. He melted many supporting hearts into hardcore fans who forever supported this Franchise, not only in their highs but also in their lows.
Miami Heat has been a part of the NBA title for 29 years. This makes them a good, young, and fresh side with several achievements behind their name. They have a winning percentage of way above 50 percent. This much less time normally does not make teams achieve this great amount of success. They have five final appearances. Out of these five, they have snatched 3 NBA titles.
Dwayne Wade was a backbone for the team in its middle ages. He played and dedicated 13 good years for this team. At an early age, Pat Riley supported the newly made the team and showed a lot of promise. Heat has an impressive 1.53 championships per playoff qualifying ratio. Making them a great success. The efforts of Pat Riley can not be left unappreciated, as his trades help his team a lot.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder is another American basketball team that deploys from Oklahoma. Thunder has been competing in the National Basketball Association and is known to be a well-known Western Conference Northwest Division member. However, the team uses Paycom Center to play its home games. In the year 2009-2010, Thunder was able to qualify for their first-ever playoff berth. In addition, it was capable of winning its first division title in the year 2010-2011, that too as Thunder.
The team’s known players are Bazley Darius, Dieng Ousmane, Favors Derrick, Gilgeous Alexander, Mann Tre, Muscala Mike, Jerome Ty, Williams Jalen, and Williams Kenrich. Moreover, ‘Thunder up’ is the slogan that’s been commonly used by both the team and its fanbase because of which, back in the 2012 playoffs, it was permanently printed on the T-shirts. The constant struggle made by the entire team members and coaches is why the team stands out as an above-average team on the NBA Tier List.
Brooklyn Nets, a team that The Beard recently recognizes. In the 2020-2021 season, the Nets were dominated by some of the best players in the NBA circuit. Including Kevin Durrant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and many more. It’s not this alone; the Nets have a rich and indulged historical record behind their name. Brooklyn has a deep history attached to its home stadium, the Barclays Center. This is one of the two teams from New York.
Nets were registered by the name of New Jersey Nets back in 1977. Hence, it is a relatively new team. The heroic Jason Kidd is the face of this team. The fact that this is a young-aged team makes them fall into the second tier. Since they moved to Brooklyn, this talented team has qualified for playoffs seven times. And also, this team has great rivalries with New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Toronto raptors.
The third rank is the B tier, which consists of above-average teams. These players are pretty decent and above average.
On their best days, they can prove to be forces to be reckoned with.
New York Knicks
New York Knickerbockers, known as New York Knicker, is a well-known American basketball team located in Newyork City. In addition, this team is a well-reputed member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Knicks compete in National Basketball Association. Ned Irish founded Knickerbockers in 1946, whose current head coach is named Tom Thibodeau. Moreover, it’s considered one of the founding members of BAA, which stands for Basketball Association of America.
BAA is later known as NBA after merging with Nbl. Knicker’s remained successful in its early years when it was headed by Joe Lapchick, the team’s first head coach. In 1950, the team had appeared in three consecutive matches in the NBA Finals but wasn’t successful. It took a while for the team to regain its former success, while headed by Red Holzman, it attained its dominance.
Newyork Knickerbockers won the first division title in 2012-2013 in 19 years after multiple tries to regain their former dominance. However, in the Eastern Conference semifinals, they were banished for about 8 years, but later, in 2019, Knickers regained their prestige by securing third overall in the NBA Draft.
Portland Trail Blazers
One of the known American professional basketball teams originated from Portland, Oregon. As a league’s Western Conference member, Northwest Division Blazers compete in the NBA. Moreover, before moving to Moda Center in 1995, the team played home games in the one and only Memorial Coliseum. This team, however, was founded in 1970 with red, black, and with as the team representative colors.
Blazers were able to secure a prestigious position in the NBA championship back in 1977 alongside they kept trying their best to keep participating in the NBA championship. They appeared in the NBA championship later in 1990 and 1992. If we dig deep into how many times the team participated in the NBA championship within 51 years of its existence, it would be 37times.
Twenty-one straight playoffs were recorded from 1983-2003. One of the best records posted by the team to date is 63-19. Furthermore, Clyde Drexler is considered to be the team’s best player. The team’s high spirit and determination towards the game make it stand out and be part of this list. The team has a winning Percentage of 53.4 all time.
A known American basketball team that’s based in Atlanta. They are an active member of the Eastern Conference Southeast Division league that competes in the National basketball association. The team is known to play its home games at State Farm Arena. Moreover, Atlanta Hawks was founded in 1946, with red, legacy yellow, infinity black, and granite gray as its team colors.
Back in 1949, Hawks went hand in hand with the National basketball association as a merger between the basketball association of America and Nbl. This was when Red Auerbach coached them. However, in 1951, the team relocated themselves and, as a result, renamed themselves Milwaukee Hawks. Later, moving back to St. Louis in 1955, the team was capable of showcasing its talent and winning the NBA championship in 1958.
Therefore were able to qualify for the NBA finals in the years 1957, 1960, and 1961. Although despite this successful journey, the team has been considered unable to win any NBA championship for the past 63 seasons. Apart from this, the Hawks are considered among the four NBA teams within the 21st century, able to qualify consecutively in 10 seasons. Hence Hawks end up in the B Tier of NBA Tier List.
Considered one of the professional football teams in America, located in Phoenix, Arizona. Moreover, they have been competing in the National Basketball Association. However, the Suns are among those teams that are not based in California. Moreover, at the Footprint Center, they play their home games. Suns was founded in 1968, and one of its main supporters is PayPal. Alongside purple, orange, grey, black, and yellow are the team Colours for the suns. Additionally, the team remained successful in its early years but in 1976, when Dick Van Arsdale and Alvan Adams partnered with Paul Westphal.
As it was able to participate in this championship. It sure had faced a lot of ups and downs, but this didn’t lower the team’s morale as it kept improving. For the initial eleven seasons in the NBA sun, ’s didn’t have any sort of a Mascot, but it was accidentally given birth years later. In addition, 2022-2023 will be considered Phoenix’s 55th season of its franchise with The National Basketball Association. Therefore for this year, its head coach is Monty William, alongside the general manager James Jones and Robert Sarver owns it.
This Tier is the second last tier of the rankings, and it consists of relatively below-average NBA Teams.
All of the reasons that make these teams end up in this tier.
Also, one of the known American football teams resides in Dallas. They are a Western Conference Southwest Division member and compete in National Basketball Association. Home games are played at the American Airlines Center, which is shared between National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars. This team was founded in 1980, and the team colors are Royal blue, navy blue, silver, and black. However, their main sponsor is Chime, and the general manager, Nico Harrison, is under Mark Cuban’s ownership.
In addition, the present head coach is Jason Kidd. From 2017 to 2019, the team has consecutively missed 3 playoffs. By 2020 due to new hirings, the team could take part in the playoffs again. It remained successful in arraigning a prestigious position in the Western Conference Finals in 2022, respectively, after a long time since the championship was held in 2011. However, in 2020, the team moved to sell their NBA record, which included 67 playoff games.
New Orleans Pelicans
They are also known as Pels and are among some of the known American professional basketball teams. They are positioned in New Orleans. Moreover, they are also a Western Conference Southwest Division league member, and all their home games are played at Smoothie King Center. This further enables them to compete in the National Basketball Association. They began their game in the 2002-2003 season, as this was when the team’s foundation was built. Navy blue, gold, and red colors represent the team.
The main sponsor of this team is Ibotta, and its current president and Vice presidents are Dennis Lauscha and David Griffin. In 2005 when Hurricane Katrina had caused damage, the group temporarily shifted to Oklahoma City. Resultantly this is from where they presumed the two seasons before moving back in 2007-2008. Like this, the team initially was associated with teal and white uniforms with hints of purple and gold.
However, in 2004, a gold uniform was introduced. Furthermore, in 2006 it was the most commonly used uniform, but the one presented earlier was also used for alternate purposes. A logo was therefore added to the uniform by 2007, known as ‘fleur-de-bee.’ Also, the city name was featured on the front of all three of these uniforms.
Mercian Professional basketball team that belongs to Denver has already competed in my National Basketball association programs by being a constant member of the Western Conference Northwest Division league. Initially, the team was named Denver Larks in 1967, but before the first season, it changed its name to Rockets. However, they changed their name to Nuggets after so many amendments.
Furthermore, they played the final ABA championship but unfortunately lost to New York Nets. The team was founded in 1967, and the home games are usually played in Ball Arena. Alongside western union is their main sponsor. The team has been part of the ABA championship from 1967-1976; however, they lost the finals. Moreover, after the NBA and ABA merger in the 1980s, the team applied for the NBA playoffs.
They never showed up in the NBA finals after leaving the ABA championship. In its 46 years of history, the team has contributed to 33 postseason games. Alex English is considered one of the team’s great players from 1980-1990 since it impacted the franchise and was phenomenal. This is why it is a part of C Tier of NBA Tier List.
A well-known American Basketball team in Memphis competes in the National Basketball Association, being a Western Conference Southwest Division member. The team usually plays their home games at FedEx Forum. Moreover, Grizzlies is owned by Robert Pera, founded in 1995. Grizzlies are Memphis’s only team in a major professional North American sports league.
Moreover, they are also considered to be among the most professional basketball team that belongs to the state of Tennessee. Blue, gold, steel gray, and Memphis midnight blue represent this team. The main sponsor of Grizzles is considered to be FedEx. Furthermore, the team’s current president is named Jason Wexler, General manager Zachary Kleiman and the team’s present head coach is Taylor Jenkins.
By 2003- 2004, Grizzlies remained successful and earned the winning award in the franchise’s history. They have contributed a lot to their game, and the team has improved 22 games to an amazing record of 50-32. This is considered the best season for the entire team. By the last year, they were considered seed 5in the west. With a score of 55-27. This team has tried and improved a lot with every passing day.
Cavaliers are also one of the American professional Basketball teams in Cleveland. As an Eastern Conference Central Division league member, they compete in the National Basketball Association. As an expansion team, the Cavaliers came up as a team to play in 1970 with both Portland Trial Blazers and Buffalo Braves. Initially, between the years 1970-1974, home games were played at Cleveland Arena.
Later continued in Richfield Coliseum (1974-1994). Since 2005 the team has been under the ownership of Dan Gilbert, founded in 1970. Black wine and gold represent the team; moreover, its main sponsor is Cleveland-Cliffs. The current CEO is Nic Barlage, and Koby Altman is the president. The team strived hard in its early years as they had lost almost 15 games; however, in 1976, the team won its very first Central Division title.
This was considered the season’s first achievement and playoff appearance. In the years till today, the team has appeared 22 times in the playoff games and won around 7 Central division titles along with 5 tags from the Eastern Conference and 1 NBA title. With this, they have come far as a team.
Talking the last rank is the D Tier, which consists of teams that are very low-ranked and below the average standards of the NBA.
Also, the reason for their low ratings is discussed.
Los Angeles Clippers
Team Clippers have a winning percentage of almost 40%. Clippers end up low in the NBA Tier List. Their peak was back in a time when the name knew them of Buffalo Braves, under the mentorship of Bob McAdoo. They then qualified for the playoffs thrice eight times. The team was recently led by players like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordon. This made them a tough side in the western conference.
All of these plus points couldn’t help them achieve what their dreams were. Unwelcomed injuries of many star players never let them fight with full force. This is why the Clippers are our first team on the D tier.
Minnesota Timberwolves is another D-Tier team in the NBA. This particular team has had hard luck. Timberwolves have hosted some all-star team players, including Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Sam Cassell, etc. All of these players have several all-star berths. Unfortunately, they couldn’t feature at the same time for this team.
Most of these players had a short attachment with the Timberwolves. And secondly, we feel that at times this franchise was used as a stage to show the NBA what personal skills they possess. So their players were never truly committed to their team’s rise but instead polished their skills. Their All-time winning percentage of 39.1 makes their place in D Tier Justifiable.
As expected From D Tier teams, Charlotte Hornets is also a reflection of a short history and presence in the NBA Leagues. The group changed its name in 2014, but it couldn’t help them much in that regard. They have a winning percentage of well below 50%, 44% to be precise. The team has had a rich history of famous all-star players featuring for them, but they were more of independent efforts.
Baron Davis, P.J Brown, and Elden Campbell were some stars who featured for the Hornets at different phases of time. The hornets could have ended up higher if their team had a deep enriched history. Surprisingly, more than 80% shares of the group are owed by the Legendary, Michael Jordon. Despite all this, the team has not even qualified for the playoffs, which makes their position questionable.
Detroit Pistons is also one of the recent teams into the NBA. With only a chance to play 15 seasons, the team has limited achievements attached to its name. This is why it ended up in the D Tier. They are a part of the tough Western Conference and have made it to the playoffs six times. This team gave rise to one with a good defensive mindset and aggressive offensive player Ben Wallace.
Who later left the Pistons and went to the Heat. This team was once home to the extravagant point guard, Chris Paul. Pelicans have a winning percentage of 46.3, validly lower than 50%. On average, they qualify for the playoffs every 2.5 seasons.
Toronto Raptors entered the NBA due to a team split up back in 1995. For this reason, the team has no historical background to defend its success and prosperity. But, the fact that the Raptors always carry an extra edge of featuring star players makes them a Canadian favorite team. After a few starting years of failure, Vince Carter joined the crew and sailed it to somehow stability.
Although his surprising exit made the fans question a lot of things. Because they just started doing so well along. Chris Bosh then replaced him. And after him, then by DeMar Derozen, opening up a new era. All these players were phenomenal, but their stay with the team was short-lived. The team has qualified nine times for the playoffs in its 22 appearances. 2015-2016 was the best series for them, securing 56-26 in their matches.
Finally, we conclude the NBA Tier list with all necessary information backed by facts and figures. We broke them down into tiers, starting with the S and A, B, C, and D tiers. S Tier comprises the best teams and franchises in the championship. After this Tier, we talk about the A Tier. A tier includes the second-highest list of groups fighting for the title. Teams of A Tier are of exceptionally high quality.
Then we will discuss the B Tier. This tier consists of above-average and decent NBA teams. They are pretty good and can give their opposition a tough time. Further on, the next tier is the C Tier. This particular tier is comprised of pretty much average teams in the championship. And lastly, we will talk about the D Tier. They are regarded as the worst tier of them all.
D Tier comprises the teams who have almost nil Championship achievements behind their name. These teams are registered with the NBA. But rarely make good trades to sign good players who can promote their franchise. We tried to keep this article informative, factual, and simple. We also hope we have fallen on your expectations regarding this list. Every team’s all-time achievement and their heroes are discussed under each heading.
Their winning Percentages, playoff qualifying ratios, and event titles have also been explained in numbers. Moreover, we also highlighted their fan following and popularity in the world of Basketball.