Top 20 Biggest Floppers in the NBA 2024

Flopping has become an unfortunate aspect of the modern NBA game. Players dramatically embellish contact in hopes of drawing fouls to gain a competitive advantage. While most stars avoid blatant flopping, some have made it a key part of their game. As the 2023-2024 season approaches the midway point, here is a look at the 20 biggest floppers in the league right now.

1. Ben Simmons

Since entering the league in 2017 with the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons has shown a knack for flopping. The 6’11” point guard tries to take advantage of his size mismatch by flailing wildly whenever smaller defenders make contact.

This season, Simmons has brought his flopping antics to the Brooklyn Nets. He is constantly seen throwing his head back dramatically and crashing to the floor off minimal contact. Simmons draws fouls this way, but hurts his credibility with referees and portrays himself in a negative light around the league.

Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons

2. John Wall

Veteran John Wall has developed some egregious flopping habits in recent years. Now with the Houston Rockets, Wall makes a meal out of every bit of contact. He snaps his head back and flings his body wildly, often receiving the benefit of dubious foul calls.

Among NBA players who flop, Wall may be the most blatant. He even draws fines from the league office, but continues seeking out fouls using deception and theatrics. It has become an unfortunate hallmark of his game.

3. Chris Paul

Another veteran notorious for flopping is ten-time All-Star Chris Paul. The 36-year-old floor general has always embellished contact throughout his Hall-of-Fame worthy career. This season with Phoenix, Paul’s flopping ranks among the worst in today’s NBA.

In particular, Paul exhibits what experts call the “rip move” where he swings his arms violently during shots to draw fouls on defenders behind him. He then flails through the air, often earning three free throws. It is a go-to trick perfected by CP3 and despised by fans and fellow players alike.

Chris Paul

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4. Kyle Lowry

Defending NBA champion Kyle Lowry has seemingly passed the flopping torch to Marcus Smart this season. However, the 37-year-old Lowry still uses theatrics to draw fouls as craftily as ever. The six-time All-Star perfects small cheat moves, like pumping his head back or collapsing at the slightest bump.

Lowry sells contact as well as anyone and has even drawn praise from legends like LeBron for his exaggeration skills. For over a decade, “Flopping Kyle” has worked the refs to get favorable calls for his teams.

5. Tobias Harris

One of the more egregious floppers this season is Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers. Harris has tremendous size for a forward at 6’8” and 226 pounds, yet catches himself flying wildly off little to no contact.

Harris employs all the typical tricks – flailing limbs, head snaps, crashes to the floor – sometimes even getting free throw attempts out minimal contact. His overreactions draw criticism from fans and analysts alike. For someone of his stature, Harris certainly spends a lot of time horizontal.

Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris

6. James Harden

Surely one name at the top anyone’s NBA flopping list is James Harden. The one-time MVP has exploited the league’s foul drawing rules better than anyone in history and often does so creatively.

Harden’s go-to is aggressively swinging his arms into defenders, then snapping his head back as he flings inaccurate shots. He used to more egregiously hook defenders arms, but has adjusted as the league adjusts rules around his manipulation tactics. Harden also frequently falls dramatically off barely-there pushes, deceiving referees with his craft.

Beyond stealing extra fouls, the flopping also allows “The Beard’ to conserve energy over a long season. Letting himself fall rather than battle physically saves Harden’s body as he racks up regular season usage records. It might not be an admirable strategy, but likely helps yield his insane statistics and standings in the MVP debate every year.

7. LeBron James

Even the great LeBron James has resorted to flopping tactics during his legendary career. Early on, James drew criticism for embellishing contact and overcelebrating blocks to impress referees. As the league adjusted rules aimed at his chase down style, LeBron adjusted his reactions accordingly.

During the 2022-2023 season, James has fallen back or flown out of bounds off very minimal contact, hoping to draw foul calls from referees. It seems even the most powerful stars use a bit of deception here and there to gain an advantage. Unlike notorious floppers, LeBron picks his moments more selectively. But make no mistake – exaggeration and theatrics remain in his veteran bag of tricks.

LeBron James
LeBron James

8. Joel Embiid

Few players dominate the paint physically as Joel Embiid does for Philadelphia. The giant center possesses immense size and strength at 7-feet and 280 pounds. Yet oddly, Embiid hits the deck hard quite frequently for a big man.

Rather than absorbing contact using his powerful frame, Embiid prefers flinging his limbs and tossing his head wildly at the slightest bumps. His freakish size and athletic talents do allow defenders to bump Embiid fairly physically. But the big man does his share of flopping and overexaggeration as well – likely knowing referees will afford him calls against smaller opponents.

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9. Russell Westbrook

Always playing at breakneck speeds, Russell Westbrook‘s aggressive style naturally yields high contact. But the former MVP also strategically exaggerates that contact with wild spills and flails.

Perhaps no guard history has hit the floor as frequently and dangerously as Westbrook. Though playing with relentless energy, Russ clearly forces the action betting on whistle blows for his crashes. It has proven an effective tactic earning free throws and possible injury avoidance.

But the theatrics have also damaged Westbrook’s reputation with referees, perhaps affording him fewer beneficial calls that earlier in his high-flyer career.

Russell Westbrook

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10. Marcus Smart

Current heir to the “Floppin’ King” title is Boston’s Marcus Smart. From rip moves to dramatic head snaps to blatant leg lock takedowns, Smart’s bag of tricks seems unlimited. His outrageous flops have resulted in compilation clips and endless trolling from league observers.

But as irritating as it is to some, Smart’s whatever-it-takes approach serves his Defensive Player of the Year talents well. His ability to bait opponents into unfavorable positions disrupts opposing offenses greatly. The Celtics accept some flopping downsides knowing his scheming creates turnovers and deflections at an elite rate as well.

Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart

11. Devin Booker

Skilled Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker has developed an unfortunate habit of flopping and flailing, undermining his All-Star potential. Upon examination, Booker deliberately leans and careens his body into incidental contact on perimeter shots seeking fouls. He also recklessly collides into shot blockers near the rim trying to draw whistles through contact disparities. 

Booker then violently flails about, often crashing hard off completely natural pushes from bigger defenders. These unnatural flopping theatrics make Booker appear flimsy and detract from appreciating his elite scoring gifts. While undeniably talented as a shooter and shot creator, Booker’s credibility will suffer if flopping remains a staple of his game. 

Curbing the constant flailing in favor of a more direct style could earn Booker more respect and better preserve his body over a long career. At just 26, he possesses limitless skill if avoiding over-reliance on egregious flopping going forward.

12. Luka Dončić

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Dončić has rapidly emerged as one of the league’s most notorious floppers. Dončić possesses crafty footwork and handling ability, using hesitation moves to draw contact. However, the young All-NBA talent augments any actual contact with egregious head snaps and exaggerated spills to the hardwood.

These flopping antics intensified during the 2023 playoffs, frustrating opponents and fans leaguewide. Dončić has even drawn comparisons to soccer players and their theatrical attempts to draw fouls. Regarded as basketball wunderkind, Dončić still resorts to frustrating tricks seeking any possible edge or advantage during games.

Luka Dončić

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13. Trae Young

Combustible Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young has developed an notorious reputation for flopping early in his young career. Ever seeking fouls first and baskets second, Young cleverly fakes contact on perimeter shots and drives, flinging limbs wildly seeking whistles.

The former top 5 pick uses timely head snaps and crashes, deceitfully glitching his body in unnatural ways. Trae exaggerates hand checks mightily as well, frustrating on-ball defenders attempting to corral the elusive guard.

While undeniably talented, Young’s extreme methods for drawing fouls detract from his respected status across the league. Rival players, fans, and analysts take issue with his overt methods for deceiving referees nightly.

14. Draymond Green

No list ranking the NBA’s worst floppers is complete without defensive irritant Draymond Green. The vocal emotional leader of Golden State liberally bends the rules distracting opponents with his combination of physicality, acting, and non-stop chatter.

Green’s exaggerations following incidental contact represent next level embellishments. His limbs flail wildly off screens as he shouts trying convincing referees of fake fouls. Draymond masterfully toes the line with overly physical defense as well, using his non-stop motor to pester offensive players relentlessly.

Overall Green’s baiting, pestering, exaggerating, and chirping turn him into the league’s premier pest and rule-bending flopper year after year.

Draymond Green
Draymond Green

15. Kemba Walker

Three-time All-Star Kemba Walker has seen his quickness and athleticism decline with age and injuries. However, the 32-year old guard still manages to draw fouls at a decent rate by flopping and flailing wildly to deceive referees.

Walker is now known for awkward off-balance launches where he kicks his legs out hoping for marginal contact. He then tosses his diminutive body horizontally, often rewarded by dubious whistle blows. Walker has also developed an annoying habit of swinging his off-arm extra violently during drives, smacking defenders in the face trying to draw head snap reactions.

16. Blake Griffin

After his once epic aerial talents eroded due to knee injuries, veteran forward Blake Griffin added flopping to his game to stay viable on the court. Barely leaving the floor now during his plodding moves around the rim, Griffin cleverly leans and angles his body into defenders to draw contact.

As soon as he feels the slightest bumps, Griffin tosses his head back demonstrably while flinging errant shots hoping referees bail him out. The six-time All-Star has learned how to manipulate the system nicely to offset his declining athletic gifts.

Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin

17. Gordon Hayward

Crisp ball handler Gordon Hayward likewise uses deception and acting to earn extra free throws as his skills decline with age. The 32-year old often pumps fake unnecessary times during his methodical moves towards the basket.

Defenders must respect his shooting ability and contest the endless fakes. Hayward then merely leans into contact, flails backwards, and smiles expecting referee whistles. The exaggerated reactions seem almost tongue-and-cheek, but earn Hayward cheap points at the line consistently.

18. Andre Drummond

Despite tremendous size and strength, hulking center Andre Drummond fakes excessive contact inside through his long career. The 6’10”, 279 lb giant seems to almost prefer falling softly to the floor rather than finishing through fouls with his powerful frame.

Drummond flails his arms wildly even when defenders barely graze his massive body. He then gingerly tosses himself sideways, expertly baiting referees seeking an advantage for his squads. For someone who seems capable of just dunking repeatedly, Drummond certainly flops frequently.

Andre Drummond

19. Kevin Love

While a lethal stretch-four shooter, veteran Kevin Love also stretches the limits on flopping and flailing backwards. The 34-year old has mastered tossing his head and body wildly from three-point range, often drawing three quick free throws on minimal contact.

Love also enjoys careening backwards on rebounds and putbacks in the paint, hoping referees afford him beneficial calls. The five-time All-Star remains an impactful player only through manipulating rules around contact – not exactly an honorable late career approach by the former champion.

20. CJ McCollum

Current New Orleans guard and podcast host CJ McCollum mixes elite shot making skills with dramatic attempts to draw fouls via deception. The 30-year old marksman perfects subtle tricks making incidental contact appear more blatant.

McCollum then flings limbs and his body horizontally in trademark flopping fashion, often shouting to sell the exaggeration to referees. While an undeniably talented scorer, much of McCollum’s efficiency stems from fooling referees into excess foul calls and subsequent free throw attempts.

CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum

Who is the King of Flop in NBA?

Based on NBA history and recent seasons, James Harden likely still deserves designation as the NBA’s preeminent flopper. Harden’s high usage style strategically seeks out fouls first via hooking arms, rip moves, flailing limbs, head snaps, and cunning footwork principles.

He might not fly wildly about the court as frequently as high-flyers Westbrook or Dončić. But in terms of strategically manipulating referees via consistent, crafty embellishment and deception, nobody does it better over the past decade than Harden. That’s why he remains known leaguewide as the most notorious flopper in basketball.

NBA’s Response to Flopping

The NBA remains engaged in trying to curtail rampant flopping and embellishment of fouls. Clear-path and take fouls now yield a single free throw to remove certain intentional or deceitful ploys. The league also issues fines and warnings for the most egregious flops caught on film after games now.

In the future, expect wider expansion of punishment options by the league, whether more fines, free throws, personal fouls, or even suspensions for the worst culprits. Finding the right deterrents remains a work in progress. The NBA hopes an honor code and peer pressure develop organically to discourage mass flopping as well. But for now exaggerated acting skills remain far too effective for drawing beneficial foul calls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the biggest flopper in the NBA today?

The biggest flopper in the NBA today is James Harden – his style of drawing fouls relies heavily on tricks like hooking defender’s arms and snapping his head back.

Has Embiid been fined for flopping?

Yes, Joel Embiid has been fined multiple times by the NBA for flopping – exaggerating contact to deceive referees into calling fouls.

What NBA players have been fined for flopping?

Some NBA players fined for blatant flopping include Chris Paul, Manu Ginobili, J.J. Redick, Donald Sloan, Chauncey Billups, Derek Fisher, and Reggie Evans.

Who is the most dominant big man in NBA history?

Many consider Wilt Chamberlain to be the most dominant big man in NBA history – the 7’1″ center averaged 30 points and 23 rebounds over his career and once scored 100 points in a game.

Who is the strongest NBA player 2023?

Based on assessing combines and eye tests, experts consider players like Steven Adams, Boban Marjanovic, Dwight Howard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo to be among the strongest in the NBA currently.

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