Versatility is something that just a handful of players can brag about, as some of them just focus on being really good at one aspect of the game rather than work on all the intangibles that come with the game of basketball.
Most players are either great on offense or defense, but having a player that succeeds in both is not something most teams can do. Moreover, having a player that could play or guard multiple spots isn’t easy at all.
Nonetheless, over the course of the last couple of seasons, some players have proven to be as versatile as they come, and today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 most versatile players in the league.
10. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is most versatile than people think, and even though some may argue he’s not a pure point guard because of his constant desire to score, he could even play in three-guard lineups with ease.
Westbrook can play at both guard spots and even defend some small forwards with his length, speed, and strength, let alone the fact that he can be a lockdown defender when playing against top-tier opposition.
9. Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler is one of the most versatile wings in the NBA, as he can play both the shooting guard or the small forward spot and even guard some power forwards in small ball sets thanks to his strength.
Moreover, Butler has grown to become one of the league’s most dominant scorers after being just a defender over the first couple of years of his career. Also, he’s got a never-ending bag of tricks to score from mid-range.
8. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis is one of the best two-way big men in the league, and he can play as both a power forward or a center in both sides of the hardwood with great ease against strongest opposition.
Moreover, he’s got the skill set of a guard trapped in the body of a big man, so he can bring the ball down the court, record a couple of dimes, swat shots and even knock down a three-pointer every now and then.
7. Joel Embiid
Just like Davis, Joel Embiid can play both as a center or as a power forward thanks to his ability to protect the rim, guard in the post or go all the way to the perimeter to try and stop smaller and faster players.
Embiid is one of the most gifted two-way talents I have ever seen and he’s going to be a yearly frontrunner to win both the MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year award if he manages to stay healthy.
6. Paul George
Paul George entered the league to play as a shooting guard but now, he ’s thriving at both forward spots in both sides of the hardwood, showing great versatility as both a scorer and a defender.
George has quick hands to be deadly in passing lanes, but can also pull up from all three levels, dunk, rebound, record a couple of dimes and do a little bit of everything, even though he tends to disappear in the clutch.
5. Kawhi Leonard
Talking about versatile guys that disappear in clutch time, we find Kawhi Leonard, arguably the best defender in the league and unanimously the best wing stopper this game has seen in over a decade.
Leonard’s always checking scorers of the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and James Harden, but he can even step in front of sneaky and faster guys like Curry while putting up 28 points a night as well.
4. Draymond Green
Draymond Green may not be much of an offensive factor per se, but he knows how to make his presence feel thanks to his great handles and playmaking ability, extremely rare for a power forward.
Moreover, Green is one of the few players that can guard 1 through 5 in this league regardless of his defensive assignment. He’s, by far, the most versatile defender in the league and one of the best defenders in the history of the game.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
If you don’t take our word for it, just ask Shaquille O’Neal, that recently stated that he was ready to hand out Giannis the Superman nickname, because he can do a little bit of everything and still dominate the game.
Giannis is constantly leading his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and field goal percentage. He can play and guard all 5 spots in the court and is going to win multiple MVPs as soon as he develops a three-point shot.
2. Kevin Durant
Most people don’t know this, but Kevin Durant was actually listed as a shooting guard when he first entered the league. Now, with his height and length, he’s even played as a center from time to time.
Durant has the skills of a guard but the height of a center, he can guard multiple spots and doesn’t get caught in switches, can pull up from everywhere in the court, go back, and then block a shot.
1. LeBron James
And obviously, LeBron James has to be considered not only the most versatile active player but also one of the 5 most versatile athletes in the history of the game, even though he gave up on playing defense years ago.
James can literally play all 5 spots in the court. He’s smart, strong and fast enough to pull it off, as he ’s shown throughout his entire career. He can score, assist, rebound is a solid shot blocker and a vocal leader on and off the court.