Predicting How Many Future Hall of Famers Are on Every NBA Roster

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    The Hall of Fame is the highest honor in any sport, with only 150 NBA players receiving the call since the inaugural class of 1959.

    With so much talent in the league today, we could see that number dramatically increase over the next 10-20 years.

    Using Basketball Reference’s Hall of Fame Probability percentages (explained here), we have a good idea of which players have a real chance at the Hall of Fame. All percentages are rated by the players’ current career, not what they project to do.

    A final prediction of how many future Hall of Famers are on each roster will be broken down into three categories:

  • HOF Locks: Veteran players with an extremely high Hall of Fame probability rating and/or younger superstars who are on pace to become some of the league’s greatest.
  • On the Bubble: Guys climbing the Hall of Fame probability list who have not yet established themselves as locks.
  • Rising Stars: Players in their first few seasons who don’t have the necessary resumes yet but have the time and skill set to become Hall of Famers.

Here’s how many future Hall of Famers each team currently has on its roster.

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    HOF Locks: G/F Vince Carter (94.6 percent)

    On the Bubble: N/A

    Rising Stars: Trae Young, John Collins

    Carter will be officially retiring from the NBA at age 43 following 22 seasons. He places ninth on Basketball Reference’s Hall of Fame probability rankings among active players, meaning he is a lock to walk into the Hall.

    An eight-time All-Star, Carter is one of the greatest dunkers of all time and was one of the league’s best players from 1999 to 2009. His longevity should be admired as well, especially being able to adapt his game from superstar to veteran role player.

    Young is certainly off to a tremendous start in his career, becoming an All-Star starter in year two at age 21. He’s already joined Oscar Robertson as the only two players in history to average at least 29 points and nine assists in his first two seasons.

    Collins can’t be ruled out, either, as the 22-year-old power forward became the first player in NBA history to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 58 percent overall and 40 percent from three.

    Carter is in, and Young is on a very early path to join him.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: PG Kemba Walker (15.1 percent)

    Rising Stars: F Jayson Tatum

    Walker looked like just another good starting point guard in the NBA until the last four seasons, where four straight All-Star Games and a spot on the All-NBA third team in 2018-19 has opened the door for his candidacy.

    Now 30, he should have a few more All-Star years and 20-plus point-per-game seasons left. He’ll also greatly benefit from moving from the Charlotte Hornets to Boston Celtics, where strong postseason play and a possible championship would do wonders for his resume.

    Tatum, 22, should end up in the Hall if he can maintain or improve on his stat line of 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals this season. Like with Walker, the Celtics’ playoff success will have a lot to do with whether they both get in.

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    HOF Locks: SF Kevin Durant (100 percent)

    On the Bubble: PG Kyrie Irving (64.8 percent)

    Rising Stars: N/A

    Durant is one of only three active NBA players (LeBron James, Chris Paul) with a perfect 100 percent chance to make the Hall of Fame, per Basketball Reference.

    Even though he hasn’t played in a year, Durant has everything one could ask for in a career. He’s a two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP, the 2014 regular-season MVP, a four-time scoring champ and a 10-time All-Star.

    Irving has a strong chance to make the Hall as well, with his durability the only cause for concern moving forward. Still just 28 years old, he is a six-time All-Star with some of the best ball-handling skills in league history. He hit one of the most famous shots in Finals history en route to a 2016 championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and should return as one of the elite point guards in the league next season.

    DeAndre Jordan is the only other Net on the HoF probability list, but a 1.7 percent rating at age 31 means his chances are probably over.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: N/A

    Rising Stars: N/A

    While the Hornets have assembled some young talent with Devonte’ Graham, PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, none has achieved enough to say he’s on a Hall of Fame path.

    The only player on Charlotte’s roster to sniff the Hall of Fame probability list is Nicolas Batum, with a 0.0002 percent chance. Given his falloff this season at age 31 (3.6 points on 34.6 percent shooting in 23.0 minutes), there’s no chance of a rise up the standings

    Charlotte’s other veterans, Terry Rozier, Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo, aren’t close to making the list, either.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: N/A

    Rising Stars: SG Zach LaVine

    The Bulls have a lot of young players who could top out at All-Star status in the league, but none appear to be future superstars.

    LaVine has the greatest chance of the bunch, enjoying the best season of his career at age 25 by posting 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals. He’s a terrific athlete who made the 2014-15 All-Rookie team but has yet to be named an All-Star now six seasons into his career.

    Veteran power forward Thaddeus Young is the only Bull to make the Hall of Fame probability list, albeit with just a 0.0003 percent mark.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: PF Kevin Love (73.5 percent), Andre Drummond (2.1 percent)

    Rising Stars: G Collin Sexton

    Love is 13th among all active players in Hall of Fame probability and should be a lock with a few more productive seasons. His work raising awareness for mental health and recent Arthur Ashe Courage Award should cement his future in the Hall as well.

    Drummond is the only other Cavalier who has a chance at this point. At age 26, he’s a two-time All-Star and a 2015-16 All-NBA team member, and he will capture his fourth rebounding crown in the last five seasons. He’s eighth on the all-time list in rebounds per game for a career (13.8) and first in rebound percentage (24.5), narrowly edging out Dennis Rodman.

    Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. represent the Cavaliers’ next wave of talent, with Sexton possessing the best resume so far after leading Cleveland in scoring with 20.8 points per game in year two.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: N/A

    Rising Stars: G Luka Doncic, PF Kristaps Porzingis

    Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki will be in the Hall of Fame shortly, and Doncic should one day join him.

    In less than two full seasons, the 21-year-old has won Rookie of the Year, been named an All-Star starter and is leading the Mavericks to the playoffs with averages of 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.1 steals. Only Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook have averaged at least 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists over a season in NBA history.

    While Doncic will easily be a Hall of Famer if he maintains his current production level, the path for Porzingis remains unclear. At 24, he’s already made one All-Star team and looks like a good fit next to Doncic in the Mavericks offense. He’ll likely need to bump his numbers from the 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks he is averaging this season, but he has the talent and unique size (7’3″) to do so.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: PF Paul Millsap (5.5 percent)

    Rising Stars: C Nikola Jokic, G Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr.

    Millsap, 35, has the best odds of any Nugget of making the Hall of Fame as of this year, but his 5.5 percent chance won’t rise much as he nears the end of his career. Four All-Star trips and a spot on the 2015-16 All-Defensive team make for a fine 14-plus seasons but isn’t enough to land in the Hall.

    Jokic, 25, is certainly headed toward a Hall of Fame career, both with his improving production and unique skill set. While plenty of centers have replicated the 20.2 points and 10.2 rebounds Jokic is posting this season, only Wilt Chamberlain has done so while also handing out six assists per game or more.

    A two-time All-Star who has now undergone a significant weight loss, Jokic should be one of the best centers in the league for the next decade.

    Murray and Porter Jr. are supremely talented as well but look more like future All-Stars instead of Hall of Famers.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: PF Blake Griffin (54.8 percent), PG Derrick Rose (11.9 percent)

    Rising Stars: N/A

    If healthy throughout their careers, both Griffin and Rose would already be locks. But injuries have taken a toll on two of the most talented players at their respective positions over the last decade-plus.

    Griffin is the safer pick to date as a six-time All-Star who has averaged 21.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists over 10 seasons. One of the greatest dunkers the NBA has ever seen, Griffin has developed into a talented passer and serviceable three-point shooter over time. After going five-of-five in All-Star appearances to begin his career, injuries have limited him to just one midseason trip over the last five seasons.

    Rose is a tough call, as the 31-year-old has gone from the youngest MVP in league history to nearly out of the NBA two years ago. He’s responded with a terrific 2019-20 season (18.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists in 26.0 minutes), albeit as a sixth man for Detroit.

    Rose may need a few more All-Star seasons and perhaps even an NBA title to help boost his Hall of Fame case, one that’s currently not strong enough to put him in Springfield.

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    HOF Locks: PG Stephen Curry (99.9 percent)

    On the Bubble: SG Klay Thompson (51.3 percent), PF Draymond Green (30.2 percent)

    Rising Stars: N/A

    Curry ranks fourth among all active players in HoF probability and has already compiled one of the league’s best resumes at age 32.

    As the only unanimous regular-season MVP in NBA history, Curry is a six-time All-Star, three-time champion and back-to-back MVP award winner. The league’s leading scorer in 2015-16, Curry has helped transform the league with his outside shooting and will likely end his career as the all-time leader in three-pointers made.

    Thompson, a five-time All-Star who has helped form the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history, will likely join him in the Hall as well. As one of the league’s best defensive players at his position, Thompson has also played a major role in all three Warriors championships. Curry is sixth all time in three-point accuracy (43.5 percent), while Thompson is 14th (41.9 percent).

    Green’s future is a little more unclear, as he’s a former Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Star yet has always been the third- or fourth-best player on his own team. When given more of an opportunity to expand his role on an injury-decimated Warriors team this season, Green averaged just 8.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists on 38.9 percent shooting overall and 27.9 percent from three.

    While Curry and Thompson will safely get in, Green likely needs a few more All-Star seasons.

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    HOF Locks: SG James Harden (99.9 percent), PG Russell Westbrook (99.9 percent)

    On the Bubble: N/A

    Rising Stars: N/A

    The 2017 and 2018 MVPs, both Westbrook and Harden could walk into the Hall of Fame tomorrow if their careers were over.

    Not only have they produced some of the most eye-popping numbers in league history, but both have made major impacts on how the game is played.

    Harden’s 36.1 points per game in 2018-19 represented the highest-scoring season from any player not named Wilt Chamberlain or Michael Jordan. Harden is once again on pace to lead the league in scoring for the third straight season, following a year where his 11.2 assists were also tops in the NBA. Displaying one of the most unstoppable isolation games the sport has ever seen, Harden is an eight-time All-Star who will go down as one of the greatest 2 guards of all time.

    Westbrook is one of the most athletically gifted guards in NBA history, leading the league in scoring and assists four total times. A nine-time All-Star, Westbrook is the only player in history outside of Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double, a feat he repeated in back-to-back-to-back years from 2016-2019.

    A championship is the only thing missing from both players’ resumes but won’t be necessary to get into the Hall of Fame.

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    HOF Locks: N/A

    On the Bubble: SG Victor Oladipo (.05 percent)

    Rising Stars: F/C Domantas Sabonis

    The Pacers have a lot of really good starting-level players with a few All-Stars sprinkled in. As of now, none project to become Hall of Famers.

    Oladipo has put together the best career thus far as a two-time All-Star who’s made All-Rookie, All-Defense and All-NBA teams. He led the league in steals in 2017-18 (2.4 per game) and is one of the league’s best two-way shooting guards when healthy.

    Of course, health has to factor in, and Oladipo missed most of the last two seasons with a ruptured quad. At 28, he didn’t break out into an All-Star until joining the Pacers in year five.

    Sabonis, 24, was a first-time All-Star this season behind averages of 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He’ll need to continue to improve his outside shooting and overall defense to keep reaching an All-Star level, especially when Oladipo is fully healthy and will absorb some of his shots.

    Both are terrific players but won’t go down as all-time greats.

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    HOF Locks: SF Kawhi Leonard (54.8 percent)

    On the Bubble: G/F Paul George (65.4 percent)

    Rising Stars: N/A

    Despite having a lower HoF probability rate, Leonard’s NBA peak gets him a lock in the Hall before George.

    Even after a slow start to his career as the No. 15 overall pick in 2011, Leonard’s resume has filled up over the past five years.

    Five All-Defensive teams, four All-Star trips, three All-NBA teams, two Defensive Player of the Year Awards, two championships and a pair of Finals MVPs should make Leonard a first-ballot Hall of Famer, even if his career averages (18.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals) wouldn’t suggest it.

    George finished third in MVP voting last year and is a six-time All-Star who’s been named to five All-NBA teams. A few more productive seasons and a championship should lock the 30-year-old into the Hall, if he’s not there already.

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    HOF Locks: SF LeBron James (100 percent), PF Anthony Davis (91.3 percent), C Dwight Howard (99.4 percent)

    On the Bubble: PG Rajon Rondo (40.7 percent)

    Rising Stars: N/A

    The Lakers have more future Hall of Famers than anyone in the NBA, with three locks and a possible fourth in Rondo.

    James is a no-brainer. He’s one of only three active players (Kevin Durant, Chris Paul) with a 100 percent rating on Basketball Reference’s HoF probability rating. James could finish as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer (currently third) and is already the all-time leading playoff scorer, a 16-time All-Star, four-time MVP and three-time champion and Finals MVP. As arguably the greatest player of all time, James still hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down at age 35 in his 17th season.

    Howard, the No. 1 overall pick the year after James in 2004, was the NBA’s best center for years while winning back-to-back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year Awards from 2009-2011. He’s an eight-time All-Star who led the league in rebounding five times.

    Davis is just 27 yet ranks 11th among active players in HoF probability. Without a ring or MVP to his name, his seven straight All-Star Games and reputation as perhaps the NBA’s best two-way big has already earned him a spot in the Hall.

    Rondo could also end up making a case, as he was one of the league’s best point guards in the early 2010s. Winning a champi