Throughout the course of basketball history, countless players have put together resumes that are worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Even so, just a handful of them actually get the nod and earn the honor of being inducted into the Naismith Memorial.
There are some players that you could argue that are already a lock to make it to the Hall of Fame even if they never win a Championship of if they retire early, while there are other players who still need to do a couple of more things before getting the nod.
So, let’s take a look at the 20 active players with the highest odds of making it to the Hall of Fame, according to Basketball-Reference. Some of them will surprise you, while others are obviously going to be inducted once they retired.
20. Jimmy Butler – 42.5%
Jimmy Butler wasn’t supposed to be here. That’s why he plays every game as if it was his last one, and why he’s so determined to motivate and constantly push his teammates forward. He’s still got a ways to go before making it to the Hall of Fame.
Even so, Butler has put together a remarkable resume thus far. He’s a 5-time All-Star with a couple of All-NBA selections, 4 All-Defensive teams, and even won the Most Improved Player award. He must improve his career averages of 17.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, though.
19. LaMarcus Aldridge – 50.1%
LaMarcus Aldridge has always been a polarizing player so it’s not a surprise to see him at 50% odds to make it to the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the best mid-range scorers in the league but it feels like his game is a bit out of date for modern basketball.
Aldridge has impressive career averages of 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game on 49% shooting. He was a part of the 2006-07 All-Rookie team, has made it to 5 All-NBA Teams, and has also gotten the nod for 7 All-Star Games.
18. Klay Thompson – 51.3%
I’m not going to lie, finding out that Klay Thompson’s odds are this low was a bit surprising and disappointing for me. Then again, he’s never gotten the praise and recognition he deserves, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise this time either.
Thompson’s resume is almost flawless. Prior to his injury, he didn’t use to miss any time. He’s one of the best shooters ever with a couple of records in his name. He’s made it to 5 All-Star Games with 2 All-NBA teams, 1 All-Defensive team, the All-Rookie team, and 3 NBA Championships. He’s also a career 41% shooter from three.
17. Kawhi Leonard – 54.4%
I don’t get how Kawhi Leonard has just 54.4% odds of making it to the Hall of Fame after all the things he’s accomplished in little time but I’m pretty sure that, once it’s all said and done, that number will be pretty close to 100%.
Kawhi was a late bloomer but he hasn’t missed a beat since his breakout season. He’s a 2-time NBA Champion, 2-time Finals MVP, 2-time Defensive Player of the Year, Steals leader, 4-time All-Star, 5-time All-Defensive, All-Star MVP, All-Rookie, and 3-time All-NBA, c’mon.
16. Blake Griffin – 54.8%
Everybody thought Blake Griffin was going to be one of the all-time greats when he made it to the league as the first overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. That’s why his career has been somewhat underwhelming. It’s because of the high expectations and not the lack of production.
Griffin’s proneness to get hurt has always taken a chance in his Hall of Fame chances. He’s a 6-time All-Star, 5-time All-NBA, All-Rookie, and former Rookie of the Year. Thus far, he’s averaging 21.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.
15. Kyrie Irving – 64.8%
Kyrie Irving’s impact or talent have never been doubted. His character and – lack of – leadership have, and for very good reason. Then again, skill-wise, he may be one of the greatest players to ever lace them up in the league. He’s that good.
Irving is already an NBA Champion. He’s also a World Cup MVP, 2-time All-NBA, All-Rookie, former Rookie of the Year, 6-time All-Star and All-Star MVP. He’s done all that in just 9 seasons in the league, which is way more than what the average player accomplishes in a lifetime.
14. Paul George – 65.4%
Paul George’s game is flawless. He has no weaknesses on either side of the hardwood and has the skillset to be a perennial MVP and Defensive Player of the Year candidate, even if he’s embraced a secondary role to Kawhi Leonard with the Clippers.
Even so, his lack of success in the playoffs has taken a toll on how people think of him. He’s a 4-time All-Defensive, 6-time All-Star, 5-time All-NBA, All-Rookie, Steals leader, former Most Improved Player, and has a strong shot at winning his first ring this season.
13. Damian Lillard – 69.9%
It took him a while but Damian Lillard is finally getting the respect he deserves. He’s made it to the cover of NBA 2K and his performances in the clutch and the playoffs put the world on notice. That 69.9% is definitely going to be higher once it’s all said and done.
Lillard is the ultimate Blazer. He has a strong shot at being the greatest player in franchise history, especially if he finishes his career at RIP City as he’s claimed. Thus far, he’s a 5-time All-Star, former Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie. and 4-time All-NBA.
12. Kevin Love – 73.5%
Kevin Love may be one of the most underrated players of all time. It seems like people forget how good he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and those who point him out for the lack of success there may not know that no player has been able to lead them to a ring, not even Kevin Garnett.
Love embraced a lesser role with the Cavaliers to achieve the ultimate goal of winning an NBA Championship and he pulled it off. He’s also a former Rebounding leader, 5-time All-Star, All-Rookie, 2-time All-NBA, and Most Improved Player.
11. Kyle Lowry – 85.7%
Some people may be surprised to see Kyle Lowry ranked this high, especially considering how much criticism he’s endured throughout his career. Even so, he’s achieved more things than most of the players who don’t get pointed at that often.
Kyle Lowry is already an NBA Champion, which is something not all players on this list can brag about. He’s also a 6-time All-Star and 1-time All-NBA. He also has a strong chance of retiring as the best player in Toronto Raptors history.
10. Anthony Davis – 91.4%
Anthony Davis is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He’s also ranked way too high on this list. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got the potential of being a top-5 player once he retires but he hasn’t done enough to have a 91.4% chance of making it to the Hall of Fame yet.
Davis has found less success in the playoffs that some of the players ranked lower. Thus far, he’s been a 7-time All-Star, 3-time Blocks leader, All-Star MVP, 3-time All-NBA, and 3-time All-Defensive. Hopefully, he’ll add a couple of rings to that resume.
9. Pau Gasol – 93.4%
Pau Gasol has had a flawless career. It’s kind of sad to see him leave the league with an injury but, looking back, he’s done it all. Even if he hasn’t got the praise he deserves for his contributions to the most recent two rings in Lakers’ history.
Gasol is a 2-time NBA Champion, 6-time All-Star, former Rookie of the Year, and 4-time All-NBA. Moreover, his FIBA resume with Spain is also remarkable with 3 Olympic medals, 7 EuroBasket medals, and countless individual accolades.
8. Carmelo Anthony – 98.2%
It’s crazy to think that Carmelo Anthony was out of the league for over a year. Team executives should be ashamed. I mean, how can you disrespect a guy with such a resume? He’s one of the best pure scorers in basketball history and it’s not even close.
Anthony holds multiple records with Team USA, including the all-time leading scorer in USA history. He’s also a 1-time Scoring champion, 10-time All-Star, and 6-time All-NBA. He’s scored 26,370 career points and a lock to make it to the Hall of Fame.
7. Dwight Howard – 99.4%
People tend to forget how incredibly good and dominant prime Dwight Howard was. His personality and injury proneness took a major toll on his career, but we’re talking about a guy that led the Orlando Magic to the Finals at age 23 and in his 5th year in the league.
Howard may not have any team’s fanbase’s support but he’s got the numbers to back up his case. He’s a 5-time Rebounding leader, 8-time All-Star, 2-time Blocks leader, 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, 8-time All-NBA, and 5-time All-Defensive. He also averages a double-double per his career (16.8 points and 12.3 rebounds).
6. Stephen Curry – 99.8%
The fact that Stephen Curry doesn’t have a 100% chance of making it to the Hall of Fame seems blasphemous and disrespectful, to say the least. To quote the great Stephen A. Smith: “we’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amok and flat out deceived”.
Stephen Curry isn’t only the greatest shooter of all time. He’s also a 3-time NBA Champion, 2-time MVP (only unanimous MVP ever), a member of the 50/40/90 club, 6-time All-Star, Scoring champion, Steals leader, and 6-time All-NBA. He’s the most influential player of his generation and the only thing missing on his resume is a Finals MVP.
5. James Harden – 99.9%
See? this is what I mean. This is, by no means, disrespect towards James Harden, who I think is one of the all-time greats, but there’s just no way that he has higher odds to make the Hall of Fame than Stephen Curry given his lack of a Championship and playoffs success.
Don’t get me wrong, he totally deserves to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but c’mon man. Thus far, he’s a 1-time MVP, 2-time Scoring champion, assists leader, Sixth Man of the Year, 8-time All-Star, 6-time All-NBA and one of the most unstoppable scorers ever.
4. Russell Westbrook – 99.9%
Russell Westbrook’s case is pretty similar to Harden’s. He’s one of the most talented players of all time and hopefully, he’ll win an NBA Championship before retiring but it feels like he shouldn’t also be higher than Stephen Curry.
Westbrook is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for multiple seasons. He’s a former MVP, 2-time Scoring champion, 2-time assists leader, 2-time All-Star MVP, 9-time All-Star, and 8-time All-NBA. He also averages 23.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.
3. Kevin Durant – 100%
The only two things that were missing on Kevin Durant’s resume were a ring and a Finals MVP and he got both during his time with the Golden State Warriors. So yes, even if he became a villain, that was definitely the right career choice for him.
Durant is one of the greatest, most talented, most impactful players of all time. His skill set is unprecedented for a 7-f00ter, so there’s no doubt he’ll make it to the Hall of Fame. He’s a 2-time NBA champion, 2-time Finals MVP, MVP, 4-time Scoring Champion, Rookie of the Year, 10-time All-Star, 2-time All-Star MVP, and 9-time All-NBA.
2. Chris Paul – 100%
When we think about the ‘greatest players without an NBA Championship’, Chris Paul may sit near the top of that list. Even if he has never made it to the NBA Finals, he’s never been in doubt as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. That’s how good he is.
Chris Paul is one of the greatest point guards of all time. He’s the second coming of Isaiah Thomas, a suffocating stopper and top-notch playmaker. He’s always made his teammates better. Thus far, he’s made it to 10 All-Star Games, 6-time Steals leader, 4-time Assists leader, Rookie of the Year, All-Star MVP, 9-time All-Defensive, and 8-time All-NBA.
1. LeBron James – 100%
LeBron James was a future Hall of Famer from the very second he set foot on an NBA hardwood. He’s one of the most talented players of all time and he surely changed the course of basketball history as we know it. It’s just a matter of when he’ll be inducted, not if.
James has won 3 NBA Championships with 3 Finals MVPs. He’s a 4-time MVP, former Rookie of the Year, 1-time Scoring champion, 16-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA, 6-time All-Defensive, and 3-time All-Star MVP. It doesn’t get better than that.