The NBA is a league full of unbelievable athletes who are often talented in many different ways. In an era where teams are always looking for lineups that can create matchup problems, versatile players that can provide a little bit of everything are in high demand. Here are the top 7 most versatile players in the NBA.
7. Gerald Wallace
At 6’7″, Wallace appears to be too small to be a power forward, but not quite skilled enough to be a small forward. But on the right roster, he can be an extremely dangerous weapon to have. He is a very good perimeter defender but tough enough to mix it up inside if need be. Wallace can fill up the whole stat sheet; he averaged 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.5 steals, and .6 blocks per game last season. Any player who can attack the rim, hit the open three, play/defend two or three positions is a great asset to have.
6. Paul George
This is one of the players who certainly has the potential to rise on this list within the next few years. George is a very long, athletic player who is the team’s go-to defender. He is growing as an offensive player by expanding his range, as he shot a pretty impressive 39% from three last season. The Pacers are high on Paul George, and for good reason. George, Danny Granger, and Roy Hibbert provide a starting lineup with an enormous amount of length.
5. Shawn Marion
He may not be The Matrix anymore, but Marion still contributes to the Dallas Mavericks in a variety of ways. He is by far the team’s best defender, and consistently guards the other team’s best player every night. Marion did a heck of a job on Kevin Durant this postseason, but KD was just too long and too good. He won’t fill up the stat sheet like he used to, but he still averages 11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and .6 blocks. His value goes beyond the box score.
4. Kevin Durant
KD is obviously better than the next two players ahead of him on this list, just not quite as versatile. Offensively speaking, Durant is as good as they get; he can score from practically anywhere on the floor. We’ve known this for a little while now, but his defense and rebounding have really improved. His crazy length gives the Thunder a ton of different lineup options and allows them to create great defensive matchups.
3. Andre Iguodala
Iggy has been criticized for not being able to be “the guy” on the 76ers by many, but the fact of the matter is that he is a heck of a player. His freakish athleticism allows him to guard almost anyone on the floor while still being a threat offensively. He has shown that in addition to scoring, Iguodala can also play the point forward from time to time. The fact that team USA wants him on their squad speaks to his versatility.
2. Josh Smith
J-Smoove frustrates many Atlanta Hawks fans with his very long, two point jumpers and his ability to fall in love with the three point shot. That being said, not many guys in this league are as gifted as him. Josh Smith can easily play both forward positions, and could even play center in stretches. His 19 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game speak to his versatility. Defensively, he can be as good as they get.
1. LeBron James
Is this much of an argument? He can play and defend every position on the floor, and do it at an elite level. LeBron James does literally everything you can do on a basketball court. Score inside, score outside, rebound, run the offense, create opportunities for his teammates, defend every position. Name it, and he does it with the best of them. There’s no debate here.
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