Which teams play in the NBA?

Logo_Basketball_NBA 64x64

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
  • Boston Celtics

  • Brooklyn Nets

  • New York Knicks

  • Philadelphia 76ers

  • Toronto Raptors

Central Division
  • Chicago Bulls

  • Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Detroit Pistons

  • Indiana Pacers

  • Milwaukee Bucks

Southeast Division
  • Atlanta Hawks

  • Charlotte Hornets

  • Miami Heat

  • Orlando Magic

  • Washington Wizards

Western Conference

Northwest Division
  • Denver Nuggets

  • Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Portland Trailblazers

  • Utah Jazz

Pacific Division
  • Golden State Warriors

  • Los Angeles Clippers

  • Los Angeles Lakers

  • Phoenix Suns

  • Sacramento Kings

Southwest Division
  • Dallas Mavericks

  • Houston Rockets

  • Memphis Grizzlies

  • New Orleans Pelicans

  • San Antonio Spurs

The best NBA sportsbooks


How many NBA teams are there?

The NBA is one of the most prominent sports leagues in the world, and as its popularity grows year after year, it provides basketball fans with a variety of options and opportunities to bet on their favorite sport.

There have been 30 teams (also called franchises) in the NBA since the 2004-05 season. The league is divided into two conferences of 15 teams: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

Both conferences are divided into three divisions of five teams. The Eastern Conference has the Atlantic Division, Central Division, and Southeast Division, while the Western Conference has the Northwest Division, Pacific Division, and Southwest Division. You can bet on NBA conference and division futures every season.

In the NBA’s first season (1946-47), there were just 11 teams, and it had even had as few as eight for the 1947-48 season and between 1955 and 1961. The New Orleans Pelicans are the most recent team to have joined the NBA, as they were founded in 2002 and joined the league later that year.

Basketball_NBA_Chicago Bulls' Troy Brown Jr.
© Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

How many NBA teams are there in Canada?

The Toronto Raptors are the NBA's only franchise in Canada. The Raptors joined the NBA in 1995 as an expansion team along with another newly created Canadian team, the Vancouver Grizzlies. After the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Raptors became the sole Canadian franchise in the NBA.

Toronto won its first ever NBA title in the 2018-19 season after beating the Golden State Warriors 4-2 in the NBA Finals. In their 27-year history, they have had plenty of notable players like Damon Stoudemire, Marcus Camby, Vince Carter, and Kawhi Leonard. Their current roster includes All-Stars Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet, and young prospects such as Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby.

How many players are on a basketball team?

According to the rule book of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which is the governing body of international basketball, a basketball team consists of 12 players, with five players being in play on the court at any time and the rest on the bench available for substitution.

In the NBA, teams can have 15 players on their regular season rosters. A total of 13 players can be on the benches during an NBA game, including the starters. This means there is a minimum of eight players on the bench for both teams.

There are five main positions in basketball and each of them are known by unique names, which are also all assigned a number. These are:

  1. Point guard (PG): Typically the team's shortest player and best ball handler and passer.

  2. Shooting guard (SG): Based on the wing, they aim to circulate the ball throughout the match.

  3. Small forward (SF): Versatile players who rely on a combination of pace and strength.

  4. The power forward (PF): The team’s most powerful and dependable scorer.

  5. Center (C): Typically the tallest player, who is relied upon to complete close shots and winning rebounds.

All-time NBA team stats

The Sacramento Kings are the NBA's oldest franchise. The Kings date all the way back to 1923, when they were known as the Rochester Seagrams. Since then, the Sacramento Kings have always existed in some form, making them the NBA's longest continually operational franchise.

For several decades, including throughout the team's early years in the NBA, the Kings were based in Rochester, New York. They were formerly known as the Rochester Royals and did not change their name to the Sacramento Kings until 1985. Despite their longevity, the franchise has only won one NBA championship, against the New York Knicks in 1951 as the Rochester Royals.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics are tied for the most NBA championships, with 17 each. The Lakers won their first NBA title in 1949 and most recent in 2020, while the Celtics won their first championship in 1957 and most recent in 2008.

The Los Angeles Lakers have made the most appearances in the NBA Finals with 32. In their most recent appearance (2008), they won the NBA Championship, defeating the Miami Heat 4-2.

Basketball_NBA_Sacramento Kings' Davion Mitchell
© Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

NBA teams FAQs

What is the oldest NBA franchise?
What franchise has the most NBA Championships?
What franchise has the most NBA Championship appearances?
How many NBA teams are in California?

BET.CA's basketball betting guides are written by our seasoned betting experts, whose in-depth knowledge of the NBA and NCAA basketball will help you to bet smarter when searching for your next basketball wager.

BET.CA staff
BET.CA staff