NBA Teams In Alphabetical Order (Complete List)

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has come a long way since its inaugural season in 1946 after the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL), forming the premier basketball league that we have now.

In the past 76 years, some teams have come and gone, but their legacies are forever etched in the history books of the NBA.

Now, let us learn more about the thirty teams of the premier basketball association, the NBA.

Complete List of all NBA teams in Alphabetical Order

The NBA has been around for 76 years and has undergone several mergers, expansions, and reductions. Some teams folded, transferred to other cities, or even left the NBA for another league.

The current 30-team format has gone a long way since the original 11 teams formed the league in 1946.

Today, there are still six teams that continue to exist since the start of the NBA. They are the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors (previously Philadelphia Warriors), New York Knickerbockers (simply Knicks), Sacramento Kings (originally the Rochester Royals), and Los Angeles Lakers (previously Minneapolis Lakers), and the Detroit Pistons (previously Fort Wayne Pistons).

All the NBA Teams come from the U.S., except for the Toronto Raptors of Canada. Here is the list of the 30 NBA Teams and their current location.

NBA Teams (in alphabetical order)

1. Atlanta Hawks (Atlanta, Georgia) – since 1946

2. Boston Celtics (Boston, Massachusetts) – since 1946

3. Brooklyn Nets (New York City, New York) – since 1976

4. Charlotte Hornets (Charlotte, North Carolina) – since 1998

5. Chicago Bulls (Chicago, Illinois) – since 1966

6. Cleveland Cavaliers (Cleveland, Ohio) – since 1970

7. Dallas Mavericks (Dallas, Texas) – since 1980

8. Denver Nuggets (Denver, Colorado) – since 1976

9. Detroit Pistons (Detroit, Michigan) – since 1948

10. Golden State Warriors (San Francisco, California) – since 1946

11. Houston Rockets (Houston, Texas) – since 1967

12. Indiana Pacers (Indianapolis, Indiana) – since 1976

13. Los Angeles Clippers (Los Angeles, California) – since 1970

14. Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles, California) – since 1948

15. Memphis Grizzlies (Memphis, Tennessee) – since 1995

16. Miami Heat (Miami, Florida) – since 1988

17. Milwaukee Bucks (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – since 1968

18. Minnesota Timberwolves (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – since 1989

19. New Orleans Pelicans (New Orleans, Louisiana) – since 2002

20. New York Knicks (New York City, New York) – since 1946

21. Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) – since 1967

22. Orlando Magic (Orlando, Florida) – since 1989

23. Philadelphia 76ers (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – since 1949

24. Phoenix Suns (Phoenix, Arizona) – since 1968

25. Portland Trail Blazers (Portland, Oregon) – since 1970

26. Sacramento Kings (Sacramento, California) – since 1948

27. San Antonio Spurs (San Antonio, Texas) – since 1976

28. Toronto Raptors (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – since 1995

29. Utah Jazz (Salt Lake City, Utah) – since 1974

30. Washington Wizards (Washington, D.C.) – since 1961

List of NBA teams by Championships

The NBA Championship is every NBA franchise’s ultimate goal, but it is not an easy feat to accomplish.

Since the beginning of the NBA, only 19 teams had ever reached the top of the basketball world, and out of the 19 teams that won the chip, only 11 teams have ever won more than once.

Also, only three NBA teams won three straight years – the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Chicago Bulls.

It may even look like the NBA is a rivalry between two historic franchises, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, since they both won the championship 17x apiece. If we further look into it, the two notable teams won almost 45% of all the titles in NBA History.

Their last Finals Matchup was in 2010, when the Lakers defeated the Celtics in 7 games. The current NBA Champion is the Golden State Warriors.

Here is a list of all the teams along with the number of times they won the title.

T-1. Boston Celtics  17x Champion

T-1. Minneapolis/ Los Angeles Lakers – 17x Champion

3. Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors – 7x Champion

4. Chicago Bulls – 6x Champion

5. San Antonio Spurs – 5x Champion

T-6. Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers – 3x Champion

T-6. Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons – 3x Champion

T-6. Miami Heat – 3x Champion

T-9. New York Knicks – 2x Champion

T-9. Houston Rockets – 2x Champion

T-9. Milwaukee Bucks – 2x Champion

T-12. Cleveland Cavaliers  1x Champion

T-12. St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks – 1x Champion

T-12. Baltimore/Washington Bullets/ Washington Wizards – 1x Champion

T-12. Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder – 1x Champion

T-12. Portland Trail Blazers – 1x Champion

T-12. Dallas Mavericks – 1x Champion

T-12. Rochester Royals/Sacramento Kings – 1x Champion

T-12. Toronto Raptors – 1x Champion

List of NBA Teams That Have Never Won a Championship

Since the last NBA Expansion in 2004, eleven teams are still unable to win the championship. Five of these eleven teams came close to winning the ring after reaching the NBA Finals but just fell short.

The Utah Jazz and the Brooklyn Nets (previously New Jersey Nets) appeared back-to-back in the NBA Finals.

However, they lost both times. On the other hand, the Phoenix Suns reached the title series thrice in three different decades. However, they were still unable to secure the victory each time.

The other teams are still waiting for their moment to reach deep in the playoffs to secure their first title.

However, not all is lost for these clubs since three champions are first-time winners in the last eleven years.

1. Phoenix Suns – Reached the Finals 3x

2. Utah Jazz – Reached the Finals 2x

3. Brooklyn Nets – Reached the Finals 2x

4. Orlando Magic – Reached the Finals 2x

5. Indiana Pacers – Reached the Finals 1x

6. Charlotte Hornets – Never Reached the Finals

7. Denver Nuggets – Never Reached the Finals

8. Los Angeles Clippers – Never Reached the Finals

9. Memphis Grizzlies – Never Reached the Finals

10. Minnesota Timberwolves – Never Reached the Finals

11. New Orleans Pelicans – Never Reached the Finals

Eastern Conference NBA Teams

Eastern conference NBA teams

The Eastern Conference comprises 15 NBA Teams in the eastern part of the U.S., plus one in Canada. It is further broken down into three divisions – Atlantic, Central, and Southeast.

The winner of the eastern conference championship will represent the East in the NBA Finals versus their western conference counterparts. Since the start of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals recording in 1971, the Boston Celtics have won the East Title 10 times.

They are followed by the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat with six titles each and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons with five eastern conference championships.

The conferences have also been unstable every time there is an expansion since the NBA needs to reorganize after mergers or developments.

Some teams are transferred from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference or vice versa.

List of the Eastern Conference NBA teams

1. Atlanta Hawks – never won the Eastern Conference Championship

2. Boston Celtics – 10x Eastern Conference Champion

3. Brooklyn Nets – 2x Eastern Conference Champion

4. Charlotte Hornets – never won the Eastern Conference Championship

5. Chicago Bulls – 6x Eastern Conference Champion

6. Cleveland Cavaliers – 5x Eastern Conference Champion

7. Detroit Pistons – 5x Eastern Conference Champion

8. Indiana Pacers – 1x Eastern Conference Champion

9. Miami Heat – 6x Eastern Conference Champion

10. Milwaukee Bucks – 3x Eastern Conference Champion

11. New York Knicks – 4x Eastern Conference Champion

12. Orlando Magic – 2x Eastern Conference Champion

13. Philadelphia 76ers – 5x Eastern Conference Champion

14. Toronto Raptors – 1x Eastern Conference Champion

15. Washington Wizards – 4x Eastern Conference Champion

Note: The Milwaukee Bucks won two (2) conference championships while still in the Western Conference.

Western Conference NBA Teams

Western conference NBA teams

The Western Conference comprises 15 NBA Teams located in the western part of the U.S.

However, while it may sound that these 15 teams are in the West, many of them are in the central part of the U.S. – closer to the Eastern Conference Teams. Some of them were even at some point part of the Eastern conference.

Like the eastern conference, the western conference is also divided into three divisions – Northwest, Pacific, and Southwest Divisions.

Since the mergers or expansions, some teams are transferred from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference.

The winner of the western conference championship will represent the West in the NBA Finals against the Eastern Conference Champion.

The Los Angeles Lakers currently hold the record by a long shot for most Western Conference Championships with 19.

List of the Western Conference NBA Teams

1. Dallas Mavericks – 2x Western Conference Champion

2. Denver Nuggets – Never won the Western Conference

3. Golden State Warriors – 7x Western Conference Champion

4. Houston Rockets – 4x Western Conference Champion

5. Los Angeles Clippers – Never won the Western Conference

6. Los Angeles Lakers – 19x Western Conference Champion

7. Memphis Grizzlies – Never won the Western Conference

8. Minnesota Timberwolves – Never won the Western Conference

9. New Orleans Pelicans – Never won the Western Conference

10. Oklahoma City Thunder – 4x Western Conference Champion

11. Phoenix Suns – 3x Western Conference Champion

12. Portland Trail Blazers – 3x Western Conference Champion

13. Sacramento Kings – Never won the Western Conference

14. San Antonio Spurs – 6x Western Conference Champion

15. Utah Jazz – 2x Western Conference Champion

List of NBA Teams by Division

The Eastern and Western Conferences are divided into three divisions with five teams. The team with the highest winning percentage for the season will win a division championship.

However, the division championship does not hold any significance aside from the banner showing the division champion title.

Eastern Conference Divisions

Atlantic Division

Atlantic Division Teams are located on the United States East Coast, except for the Toronto Raptors, which is from Canada.

The Boston Celtics won the most Atlantic Division Championships with 23, followed by the Toronto Raptors.

1. Boston Celtics – 23x Atlantic Division Champion
2. Brooklyn Nets – 4x Atlantic Division Champion
3. New York Knicks – 5x Atlantic Division Champion
4. Philadelphia 76ers – 6x Atlantic Division Champion
5. Toronto Raptors – 7x Atlantic Division Champion

Central Division

The Central Division was formerly called the Midwest Division before the 1970-71 NBA Season.

The Bucks won the most Central Division Championships with 11, followed by Detroit Pistons.

1. Chicago Bulls – 8x Central Division Champion
2. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7x Central Division Champion
3. Detroit Pistons – 9x Central Division Champion
4. Indiana Pacers – 6x Central Division Champion
5. Milwaukee Bucks – 11x Central Division Champion

Southeast Division

The Southeast Division is the newest NBA Division following the addition of the Charlotte Hornets (formerly Charlotte Bobcats). The Miami Heat won the most Southeast Division Championships with 11, followed by the Orlando Magic.

1. Atlanta Hawks – 2x Southeast Division Champion
2. Charlotte Hornets – Never won the Southeast Division
3. Miami Heat – 11x Southeast Division Champion
4. Orlando Magic – 4x Southeast Division Champion
5. Washington Wizards – 1x Southeast Division Champion

Western Conference Divisions

Northeast Division

The Northeast Division is the most scattered of all the six divisions.

But due to the 2004 expansion, this division was included, so each conference would have three divisions.

The Oklahoma City Thunder (previously the Seattle SuperSonics) hold the most Northeast Division championships with six. At the same time, the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz are tied with five apiece.

1. Denver Nuggets – 5x Division Champion
2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Never won the Northeast Division
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – 6x Division Champion
4. Portland Trail Blazers – 2x Division Champion
5. Utah Jazz – 5x Division Champion

Pacific Division

The Pacific Division is composed mainly of teams from California, except the Phoenix Suns.

The Lakers are the frontrunner in the Pacific Division each season, winning the division 24 times. The far second is the Golden State Warriors.

1. Golden State Warriors – 7x Pacific Division Champion
2. Los Angeles Clippers – 2x Pacific Division Champion
3. Los Angeles Lakers – 24x Pacific Division Champion
4. Phoenix Suns – 8x Pacific Division Champion
5. Sacramento Kings – 2x Pacific Division Champion

Southwest Division

The Southwest Division is located in the South Central States, with three coming from Texas.

The Spurs currently hold the most Southwest Division Championships with nine. The other ‘Texas Triangle’ Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks won the division, 4x and 3x, respectively.

1. Dallas Mavericks – 3x Southwest Division Champion
2. Houston Rockets – 4x Southwest Division Champion
3. Memphis Grizzlies – 1x Southwest Division Champion
4. New Orleans Pelicans – 1x Southwest Division Champion
5. San Antonio Spurs – 9x Southwest Division Champion

NBA Expansion Teams

For more than seven decades, the NBA has undergone several league expansions to increase the number of teams.

In 1995, the NBA expanded outside the U.S. with the addition of the Vancouver Grizzlies (now Memphis Grizzlies) and the Toronto Raptors.

Below is a simple timeline of the NBA expansion to 30 teams.


  • Washington Wizards (formerly Chicago Packers)


  • Chicago Bulls


  • Houston Rockets (formerly San Diego Rockets)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly Seattle SuperSonics)


  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Phoenix Suns


  • Los Angeles Clippers (formerly Buffalo Braves)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Portland Trailblazers


  • Utah Jazz (formerly New Orleans Jazz)

1976 (Merger with ABA)

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Brooklyn Nets (formerly New York Nets)
  • San Antonio Spurs


  • Dallas Mavericks


  • New Orleans Pelicans (formerly Charlotte Hornets)
  • Miami Heat


  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Orlando Magic


  • Toronto Raptors
  • Memphis Grizzlies (formerly Vancouver Grizzlies)


  • Charlotte Hornets (formerly Charlotte Bobcats)

List of Defunct NBA Teams

Before league expansions and global success, the early NBA also faced league reduction, with teams folding or leaving the league altogether.

Here is a list of the teams that are now defunct.

1. Anderson Packers (Anderson, Indiana)

2. Baltimore Bullets (Baltimore, Maryland)

3. Chicago Stags (Chicago, Illinois)

4. Cleveland Rebels (Cleveland, Ohio)

5. Denver Nuggets (Denver, Colorado) – Different from the current Denver Nuggets

6. Detroit Falcons (Detroit, Michigan)

7. Indianapolis Jets (Indianapolis, Indiana)

8. Indianapolis Olympians (Indianapolis, Indiana)

9. Pittsburgh Ironmen (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

10. Providence Steamrollers (Providence, Rhode Island)

11. Sheboygan Red Skins (Sheboygan, Wisconsin)

12. St. Louis Bombers (St. Louis, Missouri)

13. Toronto Huskies (Toronto, Ontario)

14. Washington Capitols (Washington, D.C.)

15. Waterloo Hawks (Waterloo, Iowa)

List of NBA G League Teams

The NBA G League, previously called the NBA Development League or NBA D-League, is the minor league of the NBA. It started with eight teams in 2001 and has since expanded to 30 teams (two are exhibition teams).

The G League has also become a development league of NBA Teams where they send players under two-way contracts.

Most NBA teams today have an NBA G League Affiliate Team.

Eastern Conference Teams

1. Capital City Go-Go – Washington Wizards Affiliate

2. Cleveland Charge – Cleveland Cavaliers Affiliate

3. College Park Skyhawks – Atlanta Hawks Affiliate

4. Delaware Blue Coats – Philadelphia 76ers Affiliate

5. Fort Wayne Mad Ants – Indiana Pacers Affiliate

6. Grand Rapids Gold – Denver Nuggets Affiliate

7. Greensboro Swarm – Charlotte Hornets Affiliate

8. Long Island Nets – Brooklyn Nets Affiliate

9. Lakeland Magic – Orlando Magic Affiliate

10. Maine Celtics – Boston Celtics Affiliate

11. Motor City Cruise – Detroit Pistons Affiliate

12. Raptors 905 – Toronto Raptors Affiliate

13. Westchester Knicks – New York Knicks Affiliate

14. Windy City Bulls – Chicago Bulls Affiliate

15. Wisconsin Herd – Milwaukee Bucks Affiliate

Western Conference Teams

16. Agua Caliente Clippers – Los Angeles Clippers Affiliate

17. Austin Spurs – San Antonio Spurs Affiliate

18. Birmingham Squadron – New Orleans Pelicans Affiliate

19. Iowa Wolves – Minnesota Timberwolves Affiliate

20. Memphis Hustle – Memphis Grizzlies Affiliate

21. Oklahoma City Blue – Oklahoma City Thunder Affiliate

22. Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Houston Rockets Affiliate

23. Salt Lake City Stars – Utah Jazz Affiliate

24. Santa Cruz Warriors – Golden State Warriors Affiliate

25. Sioux Falls Skyforce – Miami Heat Affiliate

26. South Bay Lakers – Los Angeles Lakers Affiliate

27. Stockton Kings – Sacramento Kings Affiliate

28. Texas Legends – Dallas Mavericks Affiliate

Exhibition Teams

29. Capitanes de Ciudad de México – No NBA Affiliate

30. NBA G League Ignite – No NBA Affiliate

How are NBA Teams Created?

Basketball teams can’t just join the NBA. Though money is one crucial aspect because more business groups want to have a local NBA club, it is not all there is to it.

During NBA expansions, players are considered a commodity. An expansion draft helps the new team select unprotected players from other existing teams to build their roster. Here are some considerations for new NBA Teams.

1. Is the NBA looking to expand?

NBA Expansions don’t happen every year. It doesn’t even happen every decade. The last NBA expansion occurred in 2004, including the Charlotte Bobcats (now Charlotte Hornets) to fill the last slot for the 30-Team NBA League.

As of the last update, several cities want to have their own NBA teams, and even some want to take their team back. However, the NBA is still mum about the possibility of more expansion soon.

2. Millions or billions of dollars

NBA Teams are very expensive, and for a single person to buy a team or purchase an existing one will cost millions or even billions of dollars. This is why many NBA owners are billionaires.

3. Basketball Arena

Another requirement for basketball clubs is a basketball-specific arena that will house tens of thousands of spectators. Building basketball arenas is not straightforward because many legal disputes happen when one basketball enterprise challenges another.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the list of all NBA teams. The league continues to bring in billions of revenue each year. This is why there are a lot of teams right now but it’s unlikely that the number will change sometime soon.

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