The Tallest NBA Players of Today and All-Time Legends

Basketball fans are always fascinated when towering titans take the court. An elite few big men reach staggering rare heights exceeding 7 feet tall, boasting hulking physical frames that dominate around the rim. 

Gargantuan size has obvious advantages on the hardwood. As we look at the tallest NBA players today and legendary giants of the past, it becomes clear skilled coordination can go a long way even with physical advantages. Mobility limitations may persist, but history shows the league’s most massive men can thrive with the right finesse and competitiveness. 

From defensive stalwarts like Rudy Gobert to Romanian record-holder Gheorghe Mureșan standing taller than any at 7-foot-7, let’s explore supreme size in the NBA and the stunning skills giants display defying their sheer stature.

Who is the Tallest Current NBA Player?

Tallest Current NBA Player
Tallest Current NBA Player

In the 2023-2024 NBA season, the tallest active player is a tie between Boban Marjanović of the Houston Rockets and Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs, who both stand at 7’4”.

Marjanović has been one of the tallest players in the league for years now, using his massive frame to overpower opponents in the paint. The Serbian giant is a highly efficient scorer close to the basket and a strong rebounder.

Meanwhile, Wembanyama is a 19-year-old phenom hailing from France. With incredible length and athleticism for his size, Wembanyama is viewed as a once-in-a-generation prospect with defensive anchor potential. His rare combination of height and skill has many scouts predicting future MVP-caliber dominance.

How many NBA players are 6 feet tall?

The average NBA player height is around 6’7”, while fewer than 25 current players measure only 6’0” or under. The shorter players rely on speed, ball-handling skills, outside shooting, and craftiness to succeed against bigger opponents.

Some of the most talented “small” players today include Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Fred VanVleet, and Trae Young. While size is valued in the NBA, skill ultimately wins out.

2023-2024 NBA Season: Ranking the Tallest Players

RANKNAMETEAMHEIGHT
1Victor WembanyamaMetropolitans 927’4
1Boban MarjanovićHouston Rockets7’4
3Bol BolOrlando Magic7’3
4Kristaps PorzingisWashington Wizards7’3
4Moses BrownOklahoma City Thunder7’3
6Jay HuffCharlotte Hornets7’2
6Chet HolmgrenOklahoma City Thunder7’2
6Dereck Lively IIPortland Trail Blazers7’2
6Rudy GobertMinnesota Timberwolves7’1
6Luke KornetBoston Celtics7’1
6Brook LopezMilwaukee Bucks7’0
6Robin LopezChicago Bulls7’0

T-1. Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92) – 7’4”

Teenage phenom touted as a “generational talent” for his height, wingspan, shooting touch, ball skills and mobility. Potential defensive and offensive dominance with developing frame.

T-1. Boban Marjanović (Houston Rockets) – 7’4”

Veteran center with elite interior scoring efficiency and rebounding production. Uses massive frame and soft touch around rim to overwhelm opponents. Improved conditioning helps stamina.

3. Bol Bol (Orlando Magic) – 7’3”

Lanky center Bol Bol stands 7’3″ with a wingspan over 7’7″. He boasts smooth outside shooting touch and developing post skills. Foot injuries sidelined him for over a year after being drafted 44th in 2019, but he is now showcasing intriguing talent for Phoenix. If Bol can add strength and stay healthy, his rare shooting and coordination could make him a valuable “stretch five” with mismatch potential as a tall sharpshooter.

T-4. Kristaps Porzingis (Washington Wizards) – 7’3”

7’2” big man Kristaps Porzingis boasts elite scoring potential with versatile offensive talents, athleticism, and outside shooting range. However, Porzingis has struggled to stay healthy ever since tearing his ACL in 2018 and being traded twice since. 

The former All-Star is hoping to rediscover peak form providing spacing and rim protection alongside Boston’s talented wings. If his body cooperates, Porzingis remains one of the toughest covers for opposing defenders.

T-4. Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Thunder) – 7’3”

Young center Moses Brown is 7’2″ with a 7’10” wingspan. He was waived by OKC in 2021 before thriving with Portland, averaging 8.5 points and 7.3 rebounds last season. Brown leverages his size well as an efficient finisher and competent rebounder, displaying mobility despite his massive frame. With further development, Brown’s physical tools and feel for the game could make him a productive NBA big man.

T-6. Jay Huff (Charlotte Hornets) – 7’2”

After going undrafted in 2021, 7’1” big man Jay Huff joined the NBA G League and became a standout shot blocker and floor spacer. His outside shooting touch, feel for the game, and defensive instincts earned him a two-way contract with Denver for 2022-23. While unlikely to be more than a depth option initially, Huff’s rare skillset for his size offers intriguing upside as a developmental stretch five.

T-6. Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City Thunder) – 7’2”

As a 7’1” freshman at Gonzaga, Chet Holmgren flashed unique two-way potential with his spacing, ball-handling, and shot-blocking skills. The Thunder took him second in the 2022 draft to be a franchise cornerstone before a foot injury sidelined him for 2022-23. With guard-like coordination and defensive instincts, Holmgren could emerge as an alluring unicorn “stretch five” once he recovers. His slender frame remains a question mark though.

T-6. Dereck Lively II (Dallas Mavericks) – 7’1”

Dereck Lively II joins the NBA as a promising 7’1″ center after being the top-ranked high school prospect in 2022. His incredible length and defensive instincts make him an elite shot blocker with defensive anchor potential. Offensively raw but projects as a quality rim-running finisher. As he builds his lanky frame, Lively could grow into a dynamic two-way force for Dallas.

T-6. Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves) – 7’1”

Frenchman Rudy Gobert dominates defensively at 7’1” with a record 7’9” wingspan. His shot-blocking and paint protection are elite, making him one of the NBA’s top rim protectors. Offensively, Gobert contributes through screens, rolls, putbacks and lob dunks rather than creating his own shot. After earning three Defensive Player of the Year awards in Utah, Gobert aims to lift Minnesota into contender status by anchoring their defense.

T-6. Luke Kornet (Boston Celtics) – 7’1”

7’1” center Luke Kornet brings a quality shooting touch and mobility to the center position, able to space the floor and block shots despite his thin frame. After stops with the Knicks and Bulls, Kornet joined Boston in 2022. He provides a nice complementary offensive skillset but has yet to carve out a steady role in the rotation for the deep Celtics squad.

T-6. Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks) – 7’0”

7’1” center Brook Lopez emerged as a quality stretch big later in his career, leveraging size and a feathery outside shooting touch. He spaces the floor well in Milwaukee’s system and remains an underrated post scorer while providing rim protection. Lopez is a consummate professional bringing leadership and savvy on both ends despite past foot issues.

T-6. Robin Lopez (Chicago Bulls) – 7’0”

The older Lopez twin, Robin boats a 7’1″ frame and polished interior footwork as a crafty post scorer. While lacking his brother’s shooting range, Robin brings physicality and veteran savvy to the Bucks’ frontcourt rotation. Though minutes fluctuate and his best years are behind him, Lopez contributes quality post play and locker room leadership.

Learn More: Unveiling the Shortest NBA Player of All Time and Today

The Tallest NBA Player of All-Time

At 7-feet 7-inches tall, Romanian center Gheorghe Mureșan stands as the tallest player in NBA history. His staggering height made him an unforgettable figure during his basketball career in the 1990s.

Manute Bol

While an inch below Mureșan’s record height at 7-feet 6-inches tall, rail-thin Sudanese center Manute Bol makes up for it with an even lengthier 8-foot 6-inch standing reach – the highest in league history.

With incredible wingspan and instincts, Bol proved an elite shot-blocker throughout 10 NBA seasons despite lacking girth or strength. After being drafted in 1985 by the Washington Bullets, it became routine for the slender “Sudanese Swatter” to amass eye-popping block totals.

Bol’s iconic season came in his second campaign playing for Golden State in 1988-89. During that year, he famously tallied a still-standing record of 43 blocks through just five games played. Projected out over 82 games, the number would have exceeded an all-time single-season shot erasing output.

While offense was never a strong suit and injuries nagged as well, Bol’s slender shot-swatting talents made him one of the most unique cult figures among the NBA’s all-time towering titans. His humanitarian legacy stretched even taller than his unprecedented wingspan too – a boundless spirit still posthumously honored today for unmatched activism.

Gheorghe Mureșan

Mureșan came to America and the NBA in 1993 after knee issues had plagued his promising playing career overseas. Despite standing taller than any basketball player ever at nearly 7-and-a-half feet, Mureșan displayed enough coordination and skill to compete at the sport’s highest level.

With the Washington Bullets/Wizards from 1993-2000, Mureșan used his supreme size to score efficiently in the low post while asserting his dominance on the glass. Though he lacked mobility and struggled with chronic injuries, the gentle giant known affectionately as “Mount Mutombo” produced steady numbers when his health cooperated.

During his two finest NBA seasons in Washington – 1994-95 and 1995-96 – Mureșan averaged 14.5 points on 60% shooting to pair with 9.6 rebounds and over 2 blocks per game. This consistent production earned Mureșan an All-Rookie First Team selection in 1995 and a peak performance of Most Improved Player in 1996.

Persistent medical issues with feet and knees took their toll, however, and he retired at just 28 years old. Still, Mureșan had showcased during his six NBA seasons that towering size could still thrive in the league with the proper touch.

In retirement from playing basketball, Mureșan opened the Giant Basketball Academy focused on developing youth players. His outsized legacy as the NBA’s tallest-ever personality lives on as well.

Prominent NBA Players Known for their Height

While Mureșan and Bol stand out on the all-time tallest list, plenty of towering titans left memorable marks encountering the NBA’s skyline limit:

  • Yao Ming (7’6”) – Key figure as basketball took off in China; eight-time All-Star displaying finesse scoring touch before foot issues ended his career prematurely.
  • Shaquille O’Neal (7’1”) – Physical marvel of size, power and athleticism fueling four titles. Most dominant big man of his era.
  • Mark Eaton (7’4”) – Legendary Jazz shot blocker once averaging 5.6 blocks per game in 1985-86 while earning two Defensive Player of the Year awards (1985, 1989).

Among today’s giants, Boban Marjanović (7’4”), Rudy Gobert (7’1’’), and Kristaps Porzingis (7’2”) are upholding the towering center tradition with All-Star impacts as elite paint presences and pick-and-roll finishers.

Meanwhile, teenage phenom Victor Wembanyama (7’4″) is poised to carry the tall torch well into the future as an athletic triple-threat big with defensive anchor potential.

Tallest NBA Players in History

The tallest player ever in the NBA is Gheorghe Mureșan. Mureșan is from Romania and stands at 7 feet, 7 inches tall. He played from 1993 to 2000. His huge size helped him score well and get rebounds. But he had knee and foot problems that cut his career short.

Another very tall player is Manute Bol. Bol is from Sudan. He was 7 feet, 6 inches tall with an incredible 8 foot, 6 inch standing reach. Bol was one of the best shot blockers ever. He used his super long arms to block shots. Health issues onced slowed Bol too. But his legacy lives on for his skill and off court human rights efforts.

Two other legendary big men are Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming. O’Neal was 7 feet, 1 inch with great power and athleticism. He helped teams win 4 championships. Yao Ming stood 7 feet, 6 inches tall. Yao’s career made basketball take off in China before foot injuries hampered him.

Among today’s current players, Boban Marjanović and Rudy Gobert stand out as extra tall talents. Boban is 7 feet, 4 inches tall. He overpowers foes using hook shots. Rudy is 7 feet, 1 inch tall from France. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner.

The Importance of Height in the Game of Basketball

Given the 10-foot rim height, tall stature grants invaluable advantages in the sport of basketball. Towering size aids in securing rebounds, scoring inside, deterring opponent shot attempts, catching lobs, and setting impactful screens. Thus, height is an extremely beneficial asset for player effectiveness and team success.

Benefits

In a sport where the goal stays 10 feet off the floor, it’s only natural that height is viewed as an extremely advantageous asset. Towering size helps big men dominate through:

Rebounding Dominance – Tall players boast an automatic edge securing missed shots by nature of their massive wingspans and close proximity to the rim. Teams need strong rebounding efforts to end defensive stops.

Post Scoring – Height makes it easier to catch entry passes inside and shoot over defenders. Even basic drop step moves or jump hooks can be effective scoring weapons.

Paint Protection – Length allows big men to challenge more shots via blocking and contests. Taller players like Gobert excel as defensive anchors. Teams with elite rim protectors thrive.

Finishing Lobs – Huge target catch radiuses on alley-oop passes mean height turns lob throws into routine dunks.

Screen Setting – Bigger players can set more punishing picks to unleash shooters and handlers.

Psychological Dominance – Imposing physical presences inside naturally intimidate opponents, especially smaller guards who can feel helpless against towering behemoths in the paint despite defensive efforts.

Challenges

While towering size clearly confers basketball advantages, extreme height also poses physical challenges that can hinder on-court performance:

Mobility Limitations – The tallest players often lack fluid lateral movement and ability to run the floor effectively. Their height necessitates adapting with below-the-rim styles.

Stamina Issues – Conditioning extra large frames with higher centers of gravity to cope with basketball’s endurance demands proves difficult. Playing time and roles must be managed to maximize production without overexerting tall players.

Injury Risks – Great heights combined with weight loads from muscle mass place more stress on joints and feet. Durability issues are unfortunately common (see: Yao Ming, Kristaps Porzingis).

Finding the Right Team Fit – Not all fast-paced, perimeter-oriented offenses cater to posting up traditional big men. adaption is key.

Despite challenges, history shows that in the right roles, the NBA’s tallest players can utilize their supreme size as difference-making assets. Boban Marjanović continues showcasing exactly how much damage a 7’4” offensive force can inflict against overmatched defenders. Rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama’s ceiling appears sky-high as well if his health cooperates.

While towering titans face hurdles, skill and coordination can outweigh height disadvantages facing shorter players. Well-rounded scoring dynamos like 6’0” Allen Iverson and ultra athletic 6’1” Russell Westbrook proved dominant at the highest levels through sheer force of will.

Ultimately in the modern position-less basketball era, skill trumps size. But as Rudy Gobert’s defensive dominance and Kristaps Porzingis’s unicorn stretch-four game illustrate, when coordination aligns with extreme stature, the rarest of basketball unicorns with league-tilting potential emerge to stand taller than all others.

Learn More: How Long is a Basketball Game?

The New Age of Tall NBA Prospects

The New Age of Tall NBA Prospects

Traditionally, players over 7-foot tall have been known more for their height rather than for multi-dimensional skills. They were expected to play with their backs to the basket as low post specialists focused on rebounds and putbacks. Perimeter playmaking was seen as out of the question.

But the emerging generation of tall young NBA prospects is breaking that mold with startling coordination and abilities belying their size.

19-year-old Victor Wembanyama has scouts salivating over his handles and outside shooting range at 7’4”. 2022 draft #2 pick Chet Holmgren (7’1”) looks like a potential evolutionary unicorn “stretch-five” with guard skills once he recovers from injury.

Other towering teens like Makur Maker (7’0”), Charles Bassey (6’11”), and Kai Sotto (7’3”) boast elite athletic traits and developing guard-like qualities as bigs. 2021 top pick Evan Mobley (7’0”) won over fans with nifty finesse moves leading to Rookie of the Year honors.

The league is trending towards positionless versatility.prospects boast skills catering perfectly to that evolution. Wembanyama especially looks like a transformational two-way force rarely seen for his skyscraping height.

With coordination rapidly catching up to size, this new generation of giants may achieve unprecedented impacts. The NBA’s tallest player hierarchy could see fresh young faces like Wembanyama and Holmgren taking up the mantle sooner than later as athletic unicorns in a mold never before seen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the current tallest player ever in the NBA?

The current tallest player in the NBA is Gheorghe Mureșan. He stands at 7 feet, 7 inches tall.

Who is 7 feet tall in the NBA?

Some current NBA players who stand 7 feet tall include Boban Marjanović, Rudy Gobert, Kristaps Porziņģis, and Bol Bol.

Who is tallest NBA player 2023?

The tallest NBA player of 2023 is a tie between Boban Marjanović and Victor Wembanyama who both stand 7 feet, 4 inches.

Who played longest in NBA?

Robert Parish has played the most NBA games of any player with 1,611 career games spanning over 21 seasons.

Who has the shortest NBA career?

Joe Graboski has the shortest career playing just one single minute of one NBA game back in 1949.

Who is the oldest MVP in NBA history?

At 37 years old, Karl Malone is the oldest MVP in NBA history when he won in 1998-1999.

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