With the recent induction of players like Gary Payton and Bernard King into the Naismith Hall of Fame, we here at THD thought it was time to examine which current NBA players have the best shot at getting into the Hall someday.
There are several no brainers like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett at the top, but it gets even more interesting as the rankings move on.
Considering that the Naismith Hall of Fame considers a player’s all around contributions to the sport, including collegiate and International accomplishments, we’ve included several players that might surprise a few readers within the Top 20.
Players like Antawn Jamison, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Rajon Rondo, and Amare Stoudemire just miss our list and probably have a bit more to do to be Hall of Fame worthy.
If I had to put a number on it, I’d say numbers 1 through 11 are already locks, with those following on the cusp.
Check out THD’s ranking 20 Current NBA Players Bound For the Hall of Fame…
As “Mr Big Shot” makes a return to Detroit at the end of his career, Chauncey has assembled quite the resume including scoring more than 15,000 points, making 5 NBA All Star appearances, was a 4 time member of the All NBA Defensive teams, and helped Detroit win the 2004 NBA Title. While he has jumped around, playing for 7 different teams over 16 seasons, it was his initial time in Detroit from ’02-’09 that defined his career, as he led the Pistons to 6 straight Eastern Conference Finals, including winning 2004 NBA finals MVP. Chauncey may not be a 1st ballot Hall of Fame inductee, but if he plays a few more years, he probably makes it after a few tries.
Bosh takes a ton of heat(no pun intended) being the 3rd option on a team loaded with talent like Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. But he has won 2 NBA Titles, with the possibility of many more, still being only 29 years old. He owns virtually every Toronto Raptors franchise record imaginable and has made 8 NBA All Star appearances, including being named All NBA 2nd Team performer in 2007. Bosh has scored nearly 14,000 points, grabbed more than 6,000 rebounds, and has averaged more than 20 ppg in 5 of his 10 seasons. Considering he’s won 2 NBA crowns already, won 2 bronze and 1 gold medal in International competition, and with another 5 good years ahead of him, Chris has a good shot of making it to the Hall once his career is over.
It’s true that “Half Man-Half Amazing” is no longer the high flying superstar we once knew and loved, but the 8 Time All Star is one of only a handful of current NBA players to have scored more than 20,000 points, and ranks 32nd all time in points scored, right behind HOF legend Elgin Baylor. Carter was twice named to the All NBA Teams, won the ’99 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and of course the magical 2000 NBA Slam Dunk crown. Some will point to Carter’s lack of winning a title, making it to the postseason in only 7 of his 15 seasons, but you have to add in his 2 Gold medals in International competition(2000 and 2003), as well as a standout 3 year career at UNC, which includes making a Final Four appearance.
Although we have yet to see Rose play a game following his horrific ACL tear in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, Derrick has assembled quite the resume already as a still only 24 year old. In college, he helped lead Memphis to the National Championship Game as a freshman, then became the #1 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He followed up winning Rookie of the Year in 2009, to making his first of 3 consecutive All Star appearances from 2010-2012, in addition to winning a gold medal for Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Championships. But his shining moment has to be taking home the 2011 NBA MVP Award, becoming the youngest player ever to win the award at age 22. One thing he has going for himself is that every other retired MVP winner is already in the HOF.
The “Durantula” has already made a name for himself as arguably one of the Top 3 players in the NBA right now. But it all began at the University of Texas, where he became the first freshman ever to win NCAA Player of the Year honors, before becoming the #2 overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft by the then Seattle Supersonics. Kevin would follow up winning 2008 NBA ROY, with making 4 consecutive All Star appearances, 4 All NBA 1st Team nods, and winning 3 straight NBA Scoring crowns, all by the age of 24. And, oh, let’s not forget the 2 Gold Medals, leading Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Manu may not have compiled the individual stats in the Association like a few others on the list, but when you combine winning 3 NBA Titles, 7 medals in International competition, and numerous MVP Awards in Europe, Ginobili may go down as one of the most decorated worldwide players ever. He did take home the 2008 NBA 6th Man of the Year Award and has helped lead the Spurs to the postseason in 10 of his 11 seasons.
Although he’s still only 31 years young, it seems like Parker has been around forever. He’s helped the Spurs win 3 World Titles, is a 5 Time NBA All Star, and took home 2007 NBA Finals MVP honors, and came close to winning a 4th crown last season. But one can’t judge TP by his NBA resume alone as he was an International superstar before he even set foot on an NBA hardwood, winning 2 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze medal in the FIBA Eurobasket and U-18 Championships, in addition to numerous MVP Awards like 2007 European Player of the Year and 2013 FIBA Eurobasket MVP.
Like him or not, it’s just not rational to dismiss D12′s many accomplishments and awards he’s already achieved as arguably the best big man currently in the game. He’s a 7 Time All Star, has made the All NBA 1st Team 5 times, won NBA Defensive Player of the Year 3 times, has led the league in rebounding 5 times, and blocks twice, and let’s throw in being the 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Champ and won a Gold medal in the 2008 Olympic Games. Dwight is still only 27 years old and has set NBA marks for being the youngest player ever to reach 9,000 career rebounds and became the first player to lead the Association in total rebounds 5 straight seasons, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain, who twice did it 4 consecutive years. Winning a title in Houston will surely cement his legacy as an all time great.
Many pundits criticize Anthony for doing little else than scoring the rock, ignoring teammates, and lighting up scoreboards at an alarming rate. But when looking at the numbers, and now that he’s won his first NBA scoring crown, Melo is cruising towards a Hall of Fame career once it’s all over. He currently ranks 10th among all active players in points, ahead of several other surefire Hall of Famers like Steve Nash and Dwyane Wade, but he’s missing an NBA title that most judge as the lynch-pin of a HOF career. To go along with 6 All Star appearances and 3 Gold medals in International competition, Melo also has an NCAA Title in his back pocket, leading Syracuse to the 2003 National Title as a freshman.
The 4 Time NBA All Star and 2 time NBA Champion has had a remarkable all around career to this point and even at age 33, is not done yet. In addition to being one of the most versatile and talented big men of this generation, Gasol has transcended how we perceive International centers as he along with Dirk Nowitzki are the first 7 foot players to stretch the floor beyond the 3 point line. Equally impressive as his NBA career are his illustrious accomplishments in Europe, as he has won 9 MVP Awards and 8 medals with the Spanish National Team in International competition.
Even as D. Wade has begun to deteriorate over the past few seasons and hand over the reigns of the Heat to Lebron James, his resume has him earmarked for the Hall of Fame someday. While his biggest accomplishment has to be winning 3 NBA titles(and counting), he also has been one of the top 1-2 shooting guards of the past 2 decades along with Kobe Bryant. Wade stands a good shot of reaching the 20,000 points scored plateau, and has made 9 All Star Games, made the All Defensive Teams 6 times, won a scoring title(2009), was the 2006 NBA Finals MVP, and has won 3 medals with Team USA in International competition.
Now that CP3 finally has a talented core around him on the Clippers, he’s surely hoping he can validate his career with a title, proving what we already know, that he’s been the best pure PG in the Association over the latter part of the past decade. Paul has made 6 NBA All Star Games, won the 2013 All Star MVP, made 3 All NBA 1st Teams, and 5 All Defensive Teams. In addition to leading the Association in assists twice and steals 5 times, Chris has won 3 Gold medals in International competition. He leads all active players with a career 9.82 assist per game average.
Even though he’s now been relegated to being a talented role player on the Heat, Ray will always be linked with being the Association’s all time 3 point king. But prior to father time catching up with him, Allen was a 1st Team All American at UConn, before scoring more than 23,000 points and being selected to 10 NBA All Star Games. He now has won 2 NBA Titles with Boston(2008) and Miami(2013), with a chance at more this coming season. In addition, Allen has won 3 Gold medals for Team USA in International play.
Regarded as perhaps the best International player of all time, Dirk has made 12 All NBA teams, 11 All Star Games, and won the 2007 NBA MVP, becoming the first European born player to win the award. He has scored more than 25,000 career points to rank 17th all time in scoring. Dirk is the only NBA player to get 100 blocks and make 150 3 points shots in a single season, and is one of 4 players to average 25+points and 10 rebounds in the Playoffs. He has helped the Mavericks make the NBA postseason 12 consecutive seasons and win the 2011 NBA Title. Nowitzki has won 2 medals in International play with the German National Team and has won multiple International MVP Awards.
It most certainly will take some getting used to seeing Paul, one of the greatest Celtics’ players of all time, suiting up for another team next season. During his 15 seasons in green, the “Truth” made 10 All Star Teams, 4 All NBA squads, and helped lead the Celtics to the 2008 NBA Title, earning ’06 NBA Finals MVP. He joined only Hall of Famers Larry Bird and John Havlicek as the only players to score more than 20,000 points as a member of the Celtics. Pierce is regarded as arguably the best small forward in the NBA during the 2000′s and was a 1st Team All American in his junior season at Kansas.
As the 2 time league MVP continues to play as an ageless 39 year old, Nash will go down as one of the greatest NBA floor generals of all time. He has made 8 NBA All Star Games, 7 All NBA Teams, and has led the Association in assists 5 times. Nash has won 3 medals in International play, was a 2 Time WCC POY at Santa Clara, and is just the 5th player in NBA History with more than 10,000 assists. His .904% career FT percentage ranks best all time and is 8th all time in 3 point accuracy. He also is just the 3rd guard in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP Awards, joining Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.
Still one of the most feared competitors in the game today, the “Big Ticket” will go down as one of the best power forwards in league history, joining names like Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and Tim Duncan. He currently ranks 2nd behind only Kobe Bryant among active scorers, and is 15th all time, just ahead of the legendary Jerry West, while being the active leader in total rebounds and ranking 10th all time in boards. KG has made 15 All Star Games(2nd most all time), is a 12 Time All Defensive Team member, including ’08 Defensive POY, and was named to the All NBA Teams 9 times. He won the ’03 All Star Game MVP, led the league in rebounding 4 times, and won his lone World title with the Celtics in 2008. In addition to winning 2 Gold medals for Team USA, Garnett and Kobe are regarded as the first true successful prep-to-pro players in NBA history.
Even if he never played another NBA game, the still only 28 year old forward would probably rank out as a Top 20 player all time. he has won virtually every individual award like 2 World titles, 4 time MVP, 9 Time All Star, 2 Time All Star MVP, 2 Time Finals MVP, Scoring Champion, and 5 Times All Defensive 1st Team. He’s the game’s current reigning best player and shows no signs of slowing down. Lebron is the youngest player ever to score 20,000 points, ranks 3rd all time in PPG behind Jordan and Wilt, and has captured 5 medals with Team USA in International play.
There’s reason why he’s called the “Big Fundamental” as many consider Duncan the best power forward of all time. He’s a 4 Time NBA Champion, 2 Time NBA MVP, 3 Times Finals MVP, and is the only player in league history to be named to the All NBA and All Defensive Teams for the first 13 years of his career. Duncan has made 15 NBA All Star Teams(2nd all time) and was the 2000 All Star Game MVP. Prior to the NBA, Duncan had an illustrious career at Wake Forest, where he was a 2 time ACC Player of the Year and 3 Time NABC Defensive POY. He finished his college career as the NCAA’s all time 2nd best shot blocker and leading rebounder in the modern era before he was bested by Kenneth Faried of Morehead State in 2011.
Even if he never returns from that nasty Achilies injury sustained at the end of last season, Kobe would go down as a Top 10 all time player, rivaling Michael Jordan and Jerry West as some of the best shooting guards in history. He is the leading active scorer(more than 31,000 pts), and ranks 4th all time in regular season, and 3rd all time in postseason scoring all time. His 15 All Star Games are 2nd all time, and is a 15 time member of the All NBA Teams and 12 Member of the All Defensive Teams. Kobe has been one of the game’s fiercest competitors, winning 5 NBA Titles, 2 Finals MVP’s, and is a 4 time All Star Game MVP. He has won 2 scoring titles(’07 and ’08), 2 NBA Finals MVP’s, and was the ’08 NBA MVP. Throw in 3 Gold Medals with Team USA, that magical 81 point game, and winning the ’97 NBA Slam Dunk crown, and Kobe is a hands-down 1st ballot Hall of Famer.