NBA Players

20 Oldest NBA Players On Top Of Their Game

By Bishow Adhikari / 1 December 2023 10:26 AM

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The NBA is a professional sport where age is a significant factor. Older players have more experience than younger players who are more athletic and energetic.

The ability of a player to play at a high level into old age depends on a variety of factors. They are training, lifestyle and genetics. But there is no denying that NBA players have to take age into account.

LeBron James is the active and oldest player in the NBA at 38 years old and in his 21st season. He has been a member of the NBA since 2003.

At 45 years and 363 days old, Nat Hickey played in one game during the 1947-48 season making him the oldest player to have ever participated in the league.

Playing his first game six days after turning eighteen, Andrew Bynum became the youngest player in NBA history.

Nonetheless, there are many instances of athletes who have maintained a high caliber of play well into their 30s and even 40s.

1. LeBron James - 38 Years

LeBron James, born on December 30, 1984, is currently the oldest player in the NBA. He is widely recognized as the nickname King James.

James holds the record for most career points and fourth in assists. He played in ten NBA Finals, including eight consecutive from 2011 to 2018.

He has won four NBA championships which are two with the Miami Heat and one each with the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

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In addition, he has won two gold medals from the Olympics, four Finals MVP Awards, four Most Valuable Player Awards and 19 All-Star selections.

He has also been selected to the All-NBA Team 19 times including 13 First Team selections and also to the All-Defensive Team six times,

He was runner-up twice for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

2. P. J. Tucker - 38 Years

P. J. Tucker is a skilled three-point shooter and a versatile defender. He has averaged 7.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals this season.

He was the Israeli Basketball Premier League Finals MVP and the MVP of the Israeli Basketball Premier League in 2008.

Along with winning an NBA championship in 2021 with the Milwaukee Bucks, he also won titles abroad in the Israeli Super League in 2008 and the German League and German Cup in 2012.

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Tucker went to Raleigh, North Carolina William G. Enloe High School. He was the 2003 North Carolina Player of the Year and had his jersey number retired.

The 38-year-old player was drafted into the NBA by the Toronto Raptors with the 35th pick in the 2006 NBA.

Currently, he is associated with the Los Angeles Clippers from November 1, 2023.

3. Chris Paul - 38 Years

Chris Paul was born on May 6, 1985, which brings him to the club of the oldest active NBA players. He is called the greatest point guard of all time.

The New Orleans Hornets selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft.

Paul has won 2 Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. He was also awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2006 and the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award in 2013.

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Additionally, he was chosen for nine NBA All-Defensive teams, eleven NBA All-Star teams and twelve NBA All-Star teams. He was also preferred for the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

He is one of the world's highest-paid athletes who have endorsement agreements with brands like State Farm and Jordan Brand.

4. Kyle Lowry - 37 Years

The 37 year old player won a gold medal with the United States national team in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

He is a six-time All-Star who was selected for the 2016 All-NBA Third Team. In 2019 he and the Toronto Raptors won their first and only NBA championship.

Before being chosen by the Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA draft Lowry spent two seasons playing college basketball for the Villanova Wildcats.

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He played for the Grizzlies for three seasons before being traded in February 2009 to the Houston Rockets.

Kyle Lowry was traded to Toronto in the 2012 off-season after playing four seasons in Houston. He helped the Raptors win an Atlantic Division championship in 2013-14 and make the playoffs for the first time in 6 years.

He helped the Raptors reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time and led the team to a record 56 wins in the 2015-2016 season.

5. Garrett Temple - 37 Years

Garrett Temple is a shooting guard for the Toronto Raptors. He is listed with a height of 6 feet and 5 inches at 37 years of age.

Temple was a player for the LSU Tigers at the LSU Laboratory School. As a senior, he helped the University win the 2004 Class 2A state championship with an average of 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds.

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In his college season of 2005, he established a reputation as a defensive stopper. He averaged 5.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 33.3 minutes per game over 36 games.

Temple signed with the Houston Rockets for the 2009 NBA Summer League following his undrafted status in the 2009 NBA draft.

He was awarded the SEC All-Defensive Team in 2009 and the NBA D-League All-Star in 2011.

6. Al Horford - 37 Years

Al Horford is a 37 year old player who has been associated with the Boston Celtics since 2021. He has been named nicknamed Big Al by fans.

Horford was a collegiate basketball player for the Florida Gators where he started all 16 games. He led the team to back-to-back to NCAA national titles in 2006 and 2007.

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The Atlanta Hawks selected him in the 2007 NBA draft. He spent nine seasons with the team before signing a free-agent contract with the Celtics during the 2016 offseason.

He joined the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 off-season after spending three seasons with the Celtics. He spent one season with the team before being traded to the Thunder in the 2020 off-season.

Horford made it to the NBA Finals with the Celtics after being traded to them before the 2021 season.

7. Jeff Green - 37 Years

Jeff Green was drafted into the NBA in 2007 as the fifth overall pick by the Boston Celtics. He won his first NBA championship trophy in 2023.

The six feet 8 inch played for the University of Connecticut where he won the 2005 Big East Rookie of the Year title.

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Along with teammate Roy Hibbert, he was selected to the 2006 All-Big East Second Team. Green won the Big East Player of the Year award in 2007.

Green won the title of Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament following his 30-point showing in the Big East tournament semifinal against Notre Dame and his 21-point showing in the championship game against Pittsburgh.

In his life span of 37 years, he has been associated with 13 franchises in the NBA.

8. Wesley Matthews - 37 Years

Wesley Matthews is the son of the former NBA player Wes Matthews. He was not selected in the NBA draft in 2009.

Matthews signed with the Sacramento Kings for the Las Vegas Summer League and the Utah Jazz for the Orlando Summer League. He signed a one-year contract with the Jazz in September 2009.

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In 2010, he signed a five-year, $34 million offer with the Portland Trail Blazers. Matthews surpassed Terry Porter record of 773 three-point field goals made in 2015 becoming the Trail Blazer all-time career leader in this category.

Since July 2023, he has been playing for the Atlanta Hawks. 

His achievement includes:

  • Second-team All-Big East (2009)
  • Wisconsin Mr. Basketball (2005)

9. Joe Ingles - 36 Years

Joe Ingles is the all-time leader three-pointer of the Utah Jazz. He competed for the Australian basketball team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and won a bronze medal.

From 2005 to 2006 he was a basketball player for the AIS. He was the first player to sign with the South Dragons of the National Basketball League. Ingles secured a multi-year contract with the team in March 2006.

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The 36-year-old player inked a one-year and $6.5 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks in July 2022. In a 123 - 114 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 30 Ingles recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists.

Ingles is currently in a legal obligation with the Orlando Magic since July 7, 2023.

He is the winner of the EuroLeague champion in 2014 and the Israeli League champion and Israeli Cup champion in 2014.

10. Mike Conley Jr. - 36 Years

Mike Conley Jr. was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2007 NBA draft. He was the team all-time leading scorer during his 12 seasons.

Conley led the Big Ten Conference in assists with 6.1 per game during his. He guided the Buckeyes to an NCAA Tournament runner-up spot and a Big Ten conference championship.

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His appearance began on by the Memphis Grizzlies in January 2008. In March 2010 in a 102-106 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, he scored a season-high 25 points.

His achieving during his NBA career are:

  • NBA All-Star (2021)
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2013)
  • NBA Teammate of the Year (2019)
  • 4- NBA Sportsmanship Award (2014, 2016, 2019, 2023)

11. JaVale McGee - 35 Years

JaVale McGee was born on January 19, 1988, which makes him an active 35 year old player. JaVale started the center for the University of Nevada.

The Wizards selected McGee in the 2008 NBA draft. He inked a two-year contract valued at $2.4 million with the Wizards in July 2008.

McGee received a selection to take part in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 2011. He was the first Wizard to gain the opportunity. 

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He won two straight NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

During his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019 he scored his career-high of points of 33 and 20 rebounds. In 2020, he won a third title with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was a member of the 2020 U.S. Olympic team and won a gold medal. He is also a Gold medalist for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics team from the United States.

12. Stephen Curry - 35 Years

Stephen Curry is the son of NBA player Dell Curry who was born on 14th of March 1998 and is currently aged 35 years. 

As a sophomore, he set a single-season NCAA record for the most three-pointers made 162 for the Davidson Wildcats.

In the 2009 NBA Draft Curry was chosen seventh overall by the Warriors. He guided the Warriors to their first championship since 1975.

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During the 2012-2013 season, Curry made 272 three-pointers breaking his record in 2015 with 286 and again in 2016 with 402.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019 Curry played a key role in the Warriors' return to the NBA Finals. The team won back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018.

Through the end of the 2022-23 season, he has career averages of 24.6 points, 6.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

13. Brook Lopez - 35 Years

Brook Lopez was selected twice for the NBA All-Defensive Team and was named an NBA All-Star while playing for the Brooklyn Nets.

During his sophomore season, he was selected to the All-American Third Team and the All-Pac-10 First Team in 2008.

In the 2008 NBA draft, the New Jersey Nets made him their 10th overall choice.

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He spent nine seasons as a player for the Nets and holds the record for most points scored by the team ever.

After defeating the Hawks the Bucks advanced to the NBA Finals 2021. Even though they were down 2-0 in the series he and Milwaukee took home an NBA championship.

In a 131-28 victory over the Washington Wizards on November 2023, Lopez tied his career-high of 39 points on 14 of 17 shooting and 7 of 7 from the free throw line.

14. Robin Lopez - 35 Years

Robin Lopez is the Center who has played for the Milwaukee Bucks since 2023. He has a towering height of 7 feet 1 inches.

He was a pupil of Stanford where he recorded the second-highest single-season record in Stanford history with 73 blocks.

Lopez was named an Honorable Mention to the All-Pac-10 team and was named to the All-Defensive Team. In terms of blocks for the season, he ranked second in the Pac-10 in 2007.

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The Phoenix Suns chose Lopez in the 2008 NBA Draft. He got moved around 7 different clubs in his professional career.

He was traded to the New Orleans Hornets for 2012-13, the Portland Trail Blazers for 2013-2015, the New York Knicks for 2015-2016, the Chicago Bulls for 2016-2019 and again Milwaukee Bucks for 2019-2020.

The 35-year-old player's achievements during his professional career are:

  • Pac-10 All-Defensive Team (2008)
  • Third-team Parade All-American (2006)
  • McDonald's All-American (2006)

15. Thaddeus Young - 35 Years

Thaddeus Young attended Georgia Tech before being drafted 12th overall in the 2007 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Young was a freshman class member in 2006. He finished his freshman season with 14.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

In February 2009, Young was named to the Sophomore team for the 2009 Rookie Challenge.

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Young made his NBA debut in November 2007 with a 94 - 63 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. He had 6 points and 3 rebounds. 

He was traded between 7 different franchises that are Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors.

16. Ish Smith - 35 Years

Ish Smith went undrafted in the NBA in 2010. But he was appointed by the Houston Rockets in August 2010.

With thirteen NBA teams, Smith holds the record for most franchises played for. He is also a winner of an NBA title with the Nuggets in 2023.

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After graduating from Central Cabarrus High School, he was rated by Scout.com as the No. 17 point guard and the No. 82 prospect nationwide. Rivals.com had him ranked as the No. 28 point guard in the nation.

Smith finished third in the ACC and seventh nationally in assists per game in the 2009-2010 season. He also took home the Murray Greason Award and Team Assists Leader award.

The 35-year-old player was the Second-team All-ACC in 2010.

17. Patrick Beverley - 35 Years

Patrick Beverley belongs to the 35 year old club of the NBA. He played three seasons in Ukraine, Greece and Russia.

He was acquired by the Clippers in 2021 and nine days later he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves by the Memphis Grizzlies.

He was traded by the Timberwolves to the Utah Jazz in July 2022 and in August of the same year, he was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers.

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The Chicago Bulls signed Beverley on February 21, 2023. Beverley has been selected three times as an NBA All-Defensive Team member.

He received two awards the SEC Freshman of the Year from the league coaches and the Southeastern Conference Newcomer of the Year from the Associated Press. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and the second team in 2006-07.

18. DeAndre Jordan - 35 Years

DeAndre Jordan played a single season for the Texas A and M Aggies. He completed his college season with an average of 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Jordan has twice led the NBA in rebounds and has been named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive Team teams three times each. He was initially named an NBA All-Star in 2017.

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The Los Angeles Clippers chose Jordan with the 35th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft. Before signing a free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks in July 2018 he played for the Clippers for ten seasons.

DeAndre has the NBA record for the highest career field goal percentage 67.5% as of July 2023.

He played for 7 teams and achieved many honors.

  • NBA champion (2023)
  • NBA All-Star (2017)
  • All-NBA First Team (2016)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (2015, 2017)

19. Danilo Gallinari - 35 Years

Italian professional basketball player Danilo Gallinari was born on August 8, 1988. He is 35 years old.

He currently plays for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Gallinari played his first four years of professional basketball in his home country of Italy before the New York Knicks selected him sixth overall in the 2008 NBA draft.

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After spending two and a half seasons with the Knicks he was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2011. In addition, he has played for the Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.

He is also the winner of Italian League MVP in 2008 and has been selected as Italian League Best Player U-22 twice in 2007 and 2008.

20. Patty Mills - 35 Years

Patty Mills made history in 2007 by being the third Indigenous basketball player to represent Australia at the national level.

After two years of college basketball for the Saint Mary's Gaels, he was chosen with the 55th overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2009 NBA draft.

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Mills spent two seasons as a player for the Portland Trail Blazers. He played for the NBL Melbourne Tigers and the Chinese Xinjiang Flying Tigers in 2011 during the NBA lockout.

In March 2012, Mills made his way back to the US and joined the San Antonio Spurs.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he guided the Australian Boomers to their Olympic medal in 2021. Mills is well-known for both his leadership abilities and his three-point shooting.

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