Versatility is key if you want to make it in the National Basketball Association, especially with how much the game has changed nowadays and the tendency to go small keeps getting bigger and bigger as seasons go by.
Those so called death lineups featuring a forward at center surrounded by 4 shooters have become a huge trend in the league nowadays, with the game being more centered in the perimeter and the post game and pick and roll offense slowly becoming the 2nd or 3rd offensive option in most teams schemes.
That’s why some guys have emerged as some of the elite players in the Association, due to their ability of being pretty much all-around players that could play everywhere with great ease, being a nightmare on defense for their rivals and a dream like a matchup for any offense.
Today, we’ll let you know about the top 5 guys that could actually be just as good on any position on a basketball court, earning the right to be called the most versatile players in the league and some of the most skilled athletes you’ll ever see.
Honorable Mention: Carmelo Anthony and Kawhi Leonard get the honorable mention here, not making the top because of how much they thrive on isolation and how much they could struggle against stronger and more physical opposition on the post.
Ben Simmons is yet to make his professional debut, but considering how much footage we’ve seen of him during his early years, his NCAA stint and even those scrimmages in the Philadelphia 76ers practice facilities, there’s absolutely no doubt about his talent and upside in both ends of the court.
Simmons has the ability to run the point as a LeBron James type of forward and is just one of the most skilled passers you’ll find, and has enough height to play and guard pretty much every spot in the league, being a huge threat now that he’s reportedly developed a very consistent shot from mid and long-range.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was actually the primary ball handler during most of the time for the Milwaukee Bucks this prior campaign, although he shared a lot of touches with Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova. Still, his playmaking ability and length allow him to thrive in pretty much every spot on the court.
The Greek Freak is tall enough to guard centers and is a skilled as any guard in the league, and his strong physique make him one of the most threatening players in the league, and as soon as he finds a consistent touch from distance, he’ll definitely be a consistent MVP candidate.
Kevin Durant has always wowed everybody with his offensive skills, especially considering how agile he is despite his height and how much of a consistent and pure shooter he’s been since entering the league and constantly leading it in scoring despite having to share touches with Russell Westbrook.
But what makes Kevin Durant a much more complete player nowadays is the fact that he’s actually put a lot of work on defense and well, becoming a very underrated defender that can block your shot on one end and run the court as a point guard to posterize you in the other.
LeBron James is definitely one of the best passers in the history of the league, mastering the art of the crosscourt - over the head assist and having perhaps the best court vision in the league behind only Chris Paul.
Besides, his defensive ability, strength, speed and capacity to take you all the way down to the rim, make him a guy that could easily thrive in any one of the 5 spots on the court, and you know you just can’t double him or he’ll always find the open guy to punish you.
Draymond Green has been compared with several guys since his surge as the Golden State Warriors’ defensive anchor, but truth to be told, there hasn’t been a guy like him over the course of history, so versatile and smart on defense that could lockdown all 5 guys in the floor on any given night.
Green is one of the main reasons why the Golden State Warriors have been so successful, and his ability to run the point is so vastly underrated even though his basketball IQ is one of both Curry’s and Thompson’s biggest allies because it constantly allows them to cut and be open to kill opponents from distance.