Average NBA Height Revealed: Team Breakdowns and Positional Insights

The average height of NBA players has steadily increased over the decades, markedly taller than the average American adult male. But who stands as the tallest – and shortest – in the league this 2023-2024 season? This 2023-2024 NBA season, the typical player stands around 6 and a half feet tall on average.

We break down the averages by team and position, explore why height keeps rising, and what it means for modern basketball. While injuries remain an inevitable risk for exceptionally tall athletes, elite skills and coordination can still overcome sheer size.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • This 2023-2024 NBA season, the typical player stands around 6 and a half feet tall on average.
  • The Denver Nuggets roster boasts the greatest average height compared to other teams, with their players averaging just under 6 foot 8 inches.
  • As expected, those playing the center position in the NBA tend to be taller on average than ones playing guard, forward or other spots.

This 2023-2024 NBA season, the average height of a player comes out to about 6 feet 6 and a half inches tall. That’s around 9 and a half inches taller than the normal American adult male, who averages 5 feet 9 inches in height.

Compared to female players, NBA stars stand roughly 6 inches above the common WNBA athlete’s height of 6 feet half an inch.

Steadily Rising NBA Height Over the Years

The average NBA player height has grown by over 6 inches since the 1960s, from just 6’4” decades ago to 6’7” today. The chart below illustrates the climbing increase:

Several factors account for this marked growth over time:

  • Advancements in sports medicine and conditioning allowing taller players to stay healthier
  • Rule changes like defensive three seconds restrictions giving advantages to height
  • International diversity bringing in taller European and African players
  • General nutrition improvements helping people reach their growth potential

The result is lineups filled with giant frames even by basketball standards. But even among the towering figures of today’s NBA, considerable height differences emerge when analyzing averages by team and position.

NBA Team Average Height Breakdowns: 2023-2024

NBA Team Average Height
NBA Average Height

The table below displays the average height for each 2023-2024 NBA team, sorted tallest to shortest overall:

TeamAverage HeightTallest PlayerShortest Player
Milwaukee Bucks6’8″Giannis Antetokounmpo – 6’11”Jevon Carter – 6’1″
Philadelphia 76ers6’7.5″Joel Embiid – 7’0”Shake Milton – 6’5″
Utah Jazz6’7.5″Walker Kessler – 7’1″Mike Conley – 6’1″
Boston Celtics6’7.3″Robert Williams III – 6’8″Marcus Smart – 6’3″


  • The Milwaukee Bucks edge out as the tallest squad at an average 6’8”, led by 6’11” forward and 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. But at 6’1”, their shortest player Jevon Carter stands nearly a full foot shorter than Giannis despite playing the same position of guard.
  • A surprise name at the top is the Utah Jazz just behind the Bucks at 6’7.5” average. Towering 7’1” rookie Walker Kessler factors heavily here as their tallest player.
  • The league-leading Boston Celtics measured 6’7.3”, demonstrating height certainly does not guarantee dominance. Lesser size allows their shorter guards greater speed and agility to wreak havoc on both ends.

On the opposite end, the shortest teams this 2023-2024 season include:

TeamAverage HeightTallest PlayerShortest Player
Houston Rockets6’5″Boban Marjanovic – 7’3”Kevin Porter Jr. – 6’4”
San Antonio Spurs6’5.5″Zach Collins – 6’11”Tre Jones – 6’1″
  • At just 6’5”, an athletic Houston Rockets lineup allows the diminutive 6’1” Kevin Porter Jr to be a mismatch creator. Veterans Eric Gordon and newcomer Danny Green also stand sub-6’6”, letting Houston play small and fast.
  • Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs similarly win through skill and systems rather than size. Their speedy young corps allows 6’1” Tre Jones quality minutes despite being the team’s shortest player.

Learn More: Does Playing Basketball Make You Taller?

Rank of NBA Teams by Height (2023-24)

Rank of NBA Teams by Height (2023-24)
Rank of NBA Teams by Height (2023-24)

The Cleveland Cavaliers top the charts for the tallest team this 2023-2024 season with an average height of 6’7.6”. The Orlando Magic rank as the shortest squad in the league at just 6’4.7″ average. See where your favorite franchise falls among the verticality rankings as we display all 30 NBA teams sorted by average height this year.

Here is a detailed analysis of each NBA team’s height ranking for the 2023-24 season:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (6’7.6″)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have the tallest average height in the NBA for the 2023-24 season at 6’7.6″. They have several tall players like Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Robin Lopez who boost their overall team height. Their size gives them an advantage on the boards and defensively.

2. San Antonio Spurs (6’7.5″)

The Spurs have consistently tall teams and this year is no exception, ranking 2nd with an average height of 6’7.5″. Jakob Poeltl, Zach Collins and Gorgui Dieng provide length and rim protection. Their size helps make them formidable inside.

3. Dallas Mavericks (6’7.4″)

Led by 7’3″ Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavs have several big men to give them major size. Dwight Powell, JaVale McGee and Maxi Kleber also boost their interior length. Their height helps them control the paint at both ends.

4. Denver Nuggets (6’7.3″)

The Nuggets have tremendous size with Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon and DeAndre Jordan all standing 6’10” or taller. Zeke Nnaji also adds depth. Their skilled big men are tough for opponents to match up with and rebound against.

5. Philadelphia 76ers (6’7.2″)

Joel Embiid anchors perhaps the NBA’s biggest starting lineup, flanked by Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker and others. Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell add to their frontcourt depth. The 76ers’ height and length make them a force inside.

6. Los Angeles Clippers (6’7.1″)

The Clippers have consistently tall lineups with Ivica Zubac, recent addition Mason Plumlee and others providing major size inside. Length on the wings from Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Norman Powell also boosts their average height.

7. Indiana Pacers (6’7.0″)

Myles Turner, Jalen Smith and Isaiah Jackson give the Pacers three big men 6’10” or taller. Buddy Hield, Bennedict Mathurin and Aaron Nesmith keep their average from being even higher. Still, their frontcourt size can overwhelm opponents.

8. Milwaukee Bucks (6’6.9″)

The Bucks have perhaps the NBA’s best interior scorer in Giannis Antetokounmpo leading their size quotient. Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis and others maintain Milwaukee’s physicality and ability to own the paint at both ends of the court.

9. Charlotte Hornets (6’6.8″)

The Hornet’s front line of Nick Richards, Mark Williams and Mason Plumlee supplies major length at about 6’11” each. P.J. Washington and Jalen McDaniels boost their team’s overall dimensions too. Charlotte leverages their size well defensively.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (6’6.7″)

Twin towers Jusuf Nurkic and Drew Eubanks anchor Portland’s interior size along with Trendon Watford. Jerami Grant and Nassir Little’s length at forward also complements their skilled backcourt well on both ends of the floor for Portland.

11. Houston Rockets (6’6.6″)

The Rockets have assembled a young but tall roster led by frontcourt players Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba and Bruno Fernando. Jabari Smith Jr. brings rare shooting touch for his 6’10” size at forward too. Houston has prioritized length in their rebuild.

12. Atlanta Hawks (6’6.5″)

Clint Capela supplies interior size while John Collins, De’Andre Hunter and others boast length on the wings. The Hawks leverage their size advantage well with Capela prowling the paint and Collins able to play above the rim at power forward.

13. Phoenix Suns (6’6.4″)

Deandre Ayton and new addition Jock Landale give the Suns legit size inside while Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Torrey Craig supply length at the forward spots. Phoenix has balanced size across positions.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (6’6.3″)

All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns and underrated Naz Reid provide substantial interior size for Minnesota. Rudy Gobert’s acquisition gives them a truly huge frontcourt rotation with plenty of rim protection.

15. Boston Celtics (6’6.2″)

Al Horford remains a key interior presence into his mid 30’s, helped this year by the addition of Blake Griffin. Length on the wings from Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and others complements their versatile backcourt. Boston has good size at both ends.

16. New York Knicks (6’6.1″)

The Knicks have beefed up their frontcourt with Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims while Mitchell Robinson protects the rim. RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and others boast size on the perimeter too. New York’s physicality and paint protection rely on their size.

17. Miami Heat (6’6.0″)

Bam Adebayo and recent acquisition Dewayne Dedmon provide Miami quality big men while Caleb Martin and Jimmy Butler add length at forward. The Heat leverage their balanced size at both ends of the court.

18. Oklahoma City Thunder (6’5.9″)

With Aleksej Pokusevski, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Mike Muscala, the Thunder have unusual size at multiple spots. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also boasts impressive length for a guard. OKC tries to exploit their height mismatch abilities.

19. Golden State Warriors (6’5.8″)

The Warriors counter smaller lineups with frontcourt size from Kevon Looney, James Wiseman and JaMychal Green. Length on the wings from Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and others prevents Golden State from giving up too much size elsewhere.

20. Memphis Grizzlies (6’5.7″)

Led by physical big man Steven Adams, the Grizzlies sport toughness and offensive rebounding despite not having enormous height overall. Jaren Jackson Jr.’s length provides top-notch rim protection however to leverage their size well defensively.

21. Utah Jazz (6’5.6″)

Even after trading Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanović, the Jazz retain frontcourt size with Kelly Olynyk, Jarred Vanderbilt, and rookie Walker Kessler. Lauri Markkanen also plays bigger than his height at power forward. Utah aims to remain formidable inside.

22. Los Angeles Lakers (6’5.5″)

Anthony Davis and Thomas Bryant provide the Lakers legit interior size even if they lack shooting. On the wing, LeBron James, Troy Brown Jr. and Lonnie Walker IV boast length and versatility. When healthy, Los Angeles has the size to compete.

23. Sacramento Kings (6’5.4″)

The Kings offer less rim protection but still decent size with Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes and Alex Len up front. Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray also resist giving up too much height at the forward spots. Sacramento is competent if not huge inside.

24. Chicago Bulls (6’5.3″)

Chicago’s front line of Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond supplies solid interior size even with inconsistent defense. Length on the wing from DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams and Derrick Jones Jr. balances out their shorter backcourt well.

25. Washington Wizards (6’5.2″)

Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford form an imposing duo inside for Washington while Rui Hachimura and Kyle Kuzma add good size at forward too. The Wizards sport impressive height at multiple positions when healthy.

26. New Orleans Pelicans (6’5.1″)

The Pelicans offer good size across much of their rotation. Jonas Valančiūnas and Zion Williamson provide strong interior presence while Trey Murphy III and Brandon Ingram supply length at forward. The backcourt duo of CJ McCollum and Jose Alvarado drags down their overall team height a bit.

27. Toronto Raptors (6’5.0″)

Toronto’s frontcourt has mammoth wingspans with OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa. The Raptors make up for lacking monster size in the middle with switchable defenders who play bigger than their heights. Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. shrink the team’s overall height at guard.

28. Detroit Pistons (6’4.9″)

The Pistons feature one of the NBA’s biggest and longest front lines with Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III and Saddiq Bey. While Detroit may struggle defending the interior, they have the personnel to give opponents fits with size mismatches. Killian Hayes and Jaden Ivey reduce the Pistons’ collective team height a little.

29. Brooklyn Nets (6’4.8″)

Despite boasting Kevin Durant at forward, the Nets rank near the bottom in terms of team size. Houston’s rim protection is minus outside of Day’Ron Sharpe. Ben Simmons offers playmaking more than interior scoring too. Brooklyn relies heavily on finesse and elite scoring over brute physical dominance.

30. Orlando Magic (6’4.7″)

The Magic’s ultra-young roster features tantalizing size and length at almost every position. Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Bol Bol, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. give Orlando imposing height across the board. Lack of backcourt size with Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs drops them to 30th in these rankings.

Average Positional Heights in the NBA

Delving deeper by traditional position reveals noticeable size differences:

  • Hulking centers unsurprisingly take the title of tallest at nearly 6’11” on average. Their role protecting the paint places a premium on towering height.
  • Surprisingly, traditional power forwards measure shorter than small forwards at 6’8”, despite both being classified as frontcourt players. The distinction blurs on modern switch-heavy defenses.
  • Point guards stand shortest as expected due to needing quickness and agility. But at 6’2”, floor generals have gained several inches in height too over the decades.

So even accounting for usual differences by positional roles, heights across the board have risen league-wide over time. The tallest outliers at every position demonstrate just how extreme things have gotten.

The Tallest Specimens by Position in NBA

The giants below represent the greatest extremes of height at standard positions this 2023-2024 season:

Average Height of NBA Center:

  • Tacko Fall – 7 Feet, 6 Inches The towering Boston Celtic from Senegal holds the title of tallest current player at a staggering 7’6”. Concerns over mobility and stamina at his size limit his minutes.

Average Height of NBA Power Forward:

  • Kristaps Porzingis – 7 Feet, 3 Inches The Latvian big man plying his trade for the Washington Wizards comes with an incredible blend of 7’3” size and shooting touch. Durability has plagued his ceilings however.

Average Height of NBA Small Forward:

  • Kevin Durant – 6 Feet, 10 Inches

Though officially starting as a frontcourt small forward, Kevin Durant’s exploits transcend positional archetypes. His unprecedented scoring gifts at nearly 7-feet tall capture the evolution of perimeter play.

Average Height of NBA Point Guard:

Frank Ntilikina – 6 Feet, 5 Inches The lanky Dallas Mavericks defender Ntilikina owns rare measurements for a point guard. His 6’5” size offers increased defensive versatility on the perimeter to complement Luka Doncic.

And while giants grab attention, success clearly remains attainable for shorter players with the right combination of skills. The shortest NBA players by position this season include:

Average Height of NBA of Center:

  • Nic Claxton – 6 Feet 11 Inches Despite standing small for a modern center, the agile Net Claxton utilizes his mobility and length at 6’11” to great effect protecting the rim and finishing lobs.

Average Height of NBA Power Forward:

  • P.J. Tucker – 6 Feet 5 Inches

Undersized even as a small-ball power forward, the hardened veteran Tucker makes up for just 6’5” height with strength, intensity, and corner three shooting.

Average Height of NBA Small Forward:

  • Juan Toscano-Anderson – 6 Feet 6 Inches Now with the Lakers, the athletic former Warriors swingman Toscano-Anderson maximizes his tools with non-stop pace and cutting at 6’6” to provide energy.

Average Height of NBA Point Guard:

  • Monte Morris – 6 Feet 2 Inches Proving strong leadership comes in smaller packages, Monte Morris directed the Washington Wizards offense smoothly as a 6’2” point guard following several seasons learning from Nikola Jokic in Denver.

Data Sources

The process for determining the average modern NBA player’s height involved gathering the official height listings from NBA.com that for all current players across every roster in the league. Those measurements were standardized to the same system of units, then an overall mean was found based on the collective data set of heights. This allowed us to quantify a general average height that represents players in the NBA today.

How Height Impacts NBA Players Performance?

Height Impacts NBA Players Performance
Height Impacts NBA Players Performance

Clearly height provides natural advantages in several key areas:

Rebounding: Size helps clean the defensive glass and provide second chance opportunities.

Rim protection: Length allows big men to deny driving lanes with blocks and contests.

Finishing at rim: Tall players have inherent ease converting over smaller defenders inside.

Wingspan can confer advantages too in passing lanes and interior play for players slightly shorter in height.

Conversely, more compact frames allow greater lateral quickness and speed end-to-end. Not to mention potential durability benefits avoiding the injury risks plaguing extremely oversized players.

While the tallest NBA players rightfully capture attention, work ethic and skill development matter more to thrive against the world’s top competition night after night. Genetic gifts must be honed through dedication to handwork and basketball IQ.

Finding Success Despite Height

The reality remains that exceptional coordination and feel for the game can allow players to contribute at the highest levels at any height. Basketball remains a skill-oriented sport. Develop enough world-class talents in ball handling, perimeter shooting, rebounding instincts, court vision, positioning, effort, and basketball intelligence – and a role awaits at the game’s peak.

Hall of Famers like Muggsy Bogues (5’3”), Spud Webb (5’7″), and Calvin Murphy (5’9”) famously produced storied careers despite physical disadvantages. While injuries cut promising Kilganon’s career short, the 5’8″ leaper wowed with iconic dunk contest slams.

Modern Systems Tailored For Height of NBA Players

Many modern offensive and defensive systems cater specifically to lob threats and rim protection that extreme size provides:

  • Pick and roll heavy schemes maximize lob chances off vertical gravity that giant roll men generate. The simplicity often means less ball and body movement however.
  • Perimeter oriented motion offenses better weaponize speed, shooting, and spacing from smaller, skilled wings rather than force feed post touches.
  • Switch-heavy defenses aim to hide size mismatches after changes of direction. But communication, chemistry, and effort then prove integral to perfect execution.

Ultimately structural choices come down to overall roster construction and talent. The tallest squads today run the spectrum of systems and success: from the methodical Los Angeles Lakers struggling for rhythm to the pass-happy Denver Nuggets now led by back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic.

NBA Shorter Stars Still Shining

Just as smaller players can thrive through skill development, many leading franchises still reap fortunes built around sub-7 foot pillars of their operations. Prime examples include:

Ja Morant (6’3”):

  • The explosive Memphis Grizzlies point guard lives above the rim and in highlight reels with jaw-dropping athleticism at just 6-foot-3.

Steph Curry (6’3”):

  • Though standing only 6-foot-3 himself, the diminutive marksman Steph Curry broadened notions of what’s possible for perimeter players in the modern NBA through his limitless shooting range.

Trae Young (6’2”):

  • Following in Curry’s footsteps, the 6-foot-2 Young expands gravity well beyond his height with logo three bombs that warp defenses and open driving angles.

So opportunities remain for those perhaps lacking height but oozing skill. The league’s cyclical strategic evolution suggests room still exists for Short Kings.

Health a Greater Contributor Than Height For a NBA Players

Injuries and availability influence winning more than any individual player’s height alone. Even the most towering figures see limited court time hamper potential:

  • 7’3” center Rudy Gobert missed significant chunks this season, sinking the Minnesota Timberwolves down standings as Karl Anthony-Towns also healed.
  • MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic (6’11”) will have played nearly 10 fewer games than runners-up Jayson Tatum and Joel Embiid by season’s end.

Take the Western Conference front-running Denver Nuggets carrying hopes even as every member of their core trio Jokic, Murray, and Porter Jr. misses games throughout the year.

Contrast them with the league-leading Boston Celtics, whose starting unit stands more than three inches shorter on average but plays relentlessly interconnected basketball at full health most nights. Luck with player availability and roster continuity means as much as sheer height.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the standard deviation of the average NBA height?

The standard deviation of average NBA height is about 3 inches.

What is the average height and with of a NBA basketball?

The average NBA basketball is 29.5 inches around and just under 10 inches wide.

Are the height of NBA players normally distributed?

Yes, the distribution of NBA player heights generally follows a normal bell curve.

Is 6 3 Tall enough for the NBA?

At 6’3″, most players have adequate height for the NBA with proper skill development.

Is 6 4 too short for NBA?

No, 6’4″ is not too short to play in the NBA for most positions.

Is 6 1 too short for NBA?

Yes, at 6’1″ it is very difficult to make the NBA as a perimeter player.

Is 6 6 Too tall for a guy?

No, 6’6″ is taller than average but not unusually tall for an adult male.

Is 170 cm too short for a guy?

Yes, 170 cm or 5’7″ would be considered quite short for a fully grown adult man.

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