Over the course of history, we’ve seen a handful of players whose talents could literally translate to all eras, like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan and many other superstars.
On the other hand, other players of the likes of Bill Russell, for instance, would’ve only thrived in the era they actually played, either because of how different the game is played nowadays or because how the players are built for modern basketball.
Other than those aforementioned players, we actually believe that there are some players that could’ve been perfect for modern basketball despite playing years ago. Today, we’re going to let you know about 10 players that would be perfect for modern basketball.
10. Mark Price
If it wasn’t for injuries, Mark Price would’ve been ranked way higher when talking about all-time point guards. Some people even dared compare him with Stephen Curry, even though obviously he wasn’t as prolific from downtown as Steph.
Still, Price was a great shooter, a crafty dribbler with top-tier handles, and a skilled guard that could always find a gap between defenders to throw a dime. With his skill set, he’d be a starter in today’s NBA, without any kind of doubt.
9. Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko was such a versatile wing that he could definitely thrive in today’s basketball. Just like Kukoc, his height and wingspan could help him even play as a small-ball center in all-shooters lineups.
Kirilenko was a committed rebounder and a guy that could create his own shot or play off-ball. He was a streaky shooter from all over the floor, a hard working guy and a tough player to deal with while driving, so yes, he’d be more than fine today.
8. Shawn Kemp
Shawn Kemp would’ve been a great small-ball center nowadays. He was emphatic, strong, quick and light on his feet despite his weight, not to mention his explosiveness when throwing it down.
Kemp was a solid pick and roll scorer and even though wasn’t much of a shooter, he could occasionally connect some mid-range shots. Also, with him setting picks, there aren’t many players that could easily go between screens against him.
7. Toni Kukoc
Toni Kukoc didn’t get more praise throughout his career mostly because of the fact that he had to deal with Michael Jordan’s shadow for most of his NBA tenure, but he’s one of the smartest foreign players to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood.
Kukoc was an incredibly versatile wing that could do a little bit of everything, sort of a better version of Dario Saric. Standing at 6’10’’, he could even play as some team’s small-ball center, as well as a shooting guard or either forward spot.
6. Lamar Odom
Even though he wasn’t a consistent scorer from three-point territory due to the lack of volume, Lamar Odom always had a nice shooting stroke that wasn’t seized as it could’ve been today playing as a small ball center.
Odom could play and guard both forward spots and big men as well, he was a solid stopper, had a terrific footwork and post game, so there’s no reason why to think he wouldn’t be even better playing nowadays.
5. Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman’s game perfectly translates to modern basketball, even though he’d get way more technicals and arguably ejections due to the hard-nosed grit and grind he displayed on a daily basis.
Rodman is one of the most dominant lockdown defenders ever and, to my eyes, the best rebounder in the history of the game. His hustle and willingness to put his body on the line would make him perfect for any era.
4. Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller was one of the first players to consistently and effectively rely on the three-point shot as an offensive weapon on an era that didn’t favor outside shooting as much as we do nowadays.
Miller was a crafty scorer, an underrated passer and defender, and a guy that could carry his team in the offensive end on a nightly basis, and even though I believe he wouldn’t be a superstar nowadays, he’d definitely be a solid 2nd scoring option.
3. Peja Stojakovic
We just don’t talk about Peja Stojakovic enough despite the fact that he was one of the first players to be a consistent scorer from all three levels that could also do a little bit of everything, sort of the way Manu Ginobili always did.
Stojakovic was more athletic than people credit him for, was a nice passer, had a very high basketball IQ and was automatic from the charity stripe, let alone his three-point shooting. He’d be a perfect player for the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors today.
2. Penny Hardaway
Penny Hardaway was such a prolific passer and scorer, that it really shocks me when people tend to forget the fact that he was a major reason why the Orlando Magic made it to the Finals, even though Shaq was that team’s leader.
Hardaway was a lights-out shooter from everywhere on the floor and could put defenders on skates with his crafty moves and crossovers. As a matter of fact, diehard Magic fans actually believe the team should retire his jersey instead of McGrady’s.
1. Chris Webber
Chris Webber was one of my favorite players during his prime. He was extremely crafty with the rock on his hands, could play off-ball, score on the pick and roll and even create his own shot, even though he wasn’t a great jump shooter.
Moreover, he was an outstanding ball-handler, a feature that would make him perfect for today’s era. Even though he couldn’t stretch the floor that much, he’d be a great small-ball 5 with shooters around him.