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The Best Active NBA Player By Jersey Number: From No. 00 Jordan Clarkson To No. 99 Jae Crowder

The Best Active NBA Player By Jersey Number: From No. 00 Jordan Clarkson To No. 99 Jae Crowder

The reason for jersey numbers are for identification purposes. Fans want to know who the players are and the best way to make the connection to a player is assigni a number to the name. For some players, a jersey means more as the number could mean something sentimental.

The jersey numbers were assigned before the season. With a sample size, we are able to truly identify who the best of the best are in terms of those numbers. When we go through all the jerseys worn, these are the best players by the jersey number.

No. 00 - Jordan Clarkson

The former Sixth Man of the Year is having a down year compared to his previous years. With that said, Clarkson is the only player out of the group of four that is closing out games with the Jazz. Clarkson’s progression over the years has him in the top-100 players in the league. Give Jonathan Kuminga some time to develop and we could see his name here one day.

Honorable Mention: JaVale McGee

No. 0 - Damian Lillard

A lot of players love to be zero. No player has had a better nickname since Gilbert Arenas’ “Agent Zero” tenure in Washington. With that said, we have some special players this year. Miles Bridges is potentially going to win Most Improved Player this season, while Russell Westbrook is a triple-double machine. However, even in a down shooting year, none of these players reign supreme against “Same Time.” Lillard is ten times more clutch than any of these players, as evidenced by his most clutch points last season.

Honorable Mention: Jayson Tatum, Russell Westbrook, Miles Bridges

No. 1 - Devin Booker

A few years ago, Zion Williamson would have been pegged in the spot easily. However, Williamson can’t stay healthy and on the court. Andre Drummond is a former rebounding champion, now backup center, while Michael Porter Jr. regressed after his contract extension. The easy answer here is Devin Booker, who was compared to Kobe Bryant during the team’s run to the NBA Finals. Now, Booker looks to be a guaranteed All-Star in February with the Suns tied for the best record in the NBA.

Honorable Mention: Zion Williamson, Andre Drummond, Michael Porter Jr.

No. 2 - Kawhi Leonard

Assuming that Leonard is healthy, he is the best player to wear the jersey. Had Leonard played in the Western Conference Finals last season, the Clippers might have made the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. The rest of the players wearing #2 are solid role players. Leonard is a true superstar.

Honorable Mention: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball

No. 3 - Chris Paul

Anthony Davis is playing like a Defensive Player of the Year, while Bradley Beal nearly won the scoring title last year. However, Paul is leading the Suns to the best record in the league. Neither player is capable of doing that right now, while Davis is playing alongside LeBron James. The combination of Booker and Paul make the best jersey duo in the league right now.

Honorable Mention: Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal

No. 4 - Derrick Rose

Rose wasn’t picked by default. Evan Mobley looks like a future star, while Scottie Barnes is a favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award. However, Rose is a contender for Sixth Man of the Year. The 2011 MVP remains a fun player to watch as he continues to close out games with the Knicks despite coming off the bench.

Honorable Mention: Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes

No. 5 - De’Aaron Fox

If you place De’Aaron Fox on any other team, he might be leading a team to the playoffs. In Fox’s tenure with the Kings, he hasn't had a true partner in crime. His stats speak for themselves. He is the fastest guard in the league and one of the best in the league. Don’t let the Kings logo deter you from thinking Fox is a legitimate player in this league.

Honorable Mention: Dejounte Murray

No. 6 - LeBron James

There are some solid candidates wearing #6 this season. When healthy, Kristaps Porzingis is a seven-foot stretch shooter. Montrezl Harrell is playing like he might make the All-Star team, while Alex Caruso is leading the league in steals. In the end, do any of these three players triumph over King James?

Honorable Mention: Kristaps Porzingis, Montrezl Harrell, Alex Caruso

No. 7 - Kevin Durant

It wouldn’t matter what jersey Durant wears this season because he would be the best. Durant is the frontrunner to win the MVP this season as he leads the league in scoring. The Nets own the best record in the Eastern Conference as well. Jaylen Brown is an All-Star in his own right, but he doesn’t wear #7 the way KD does.

Honorable Mention: Carmelo Anthony, Jaylen Brown, Malcolm Brogdon

No. 8 - Zach LaVine

LaVine was snubbed from the All-Star Game two years ago. Lastly, he made his first appearance. This year, he is surrounded by real talent and providing what he can do. The Bulls are contending for a top seed in the East. Even so, LaVine is the only All-Star out of all the players wearing number eight.

Honorable Mention: Danillo Gallinari, Patty Mills

No. 9 - Nikola Vucevic

Right next to LaVine is Vucevic. Literally and numerically, the two are side-by-side when it comes to the Bulls’ resurgence. Vucevic is the best outside shooting big in the league and potentially a top-3 passer as well. Vucevic is another All-Star but does have solid competition from RJ Barrett, a future All-Star, and Jerami Grant, a really good player on a bad team.

Honorable Mention: RJ Barrett, Jerami Grant

No. 10 - Darius Garland

Once upon a time, Eric Gordon was one of the best sixth men in the country. Now, he remains a contributor at an NBA level, but third-year point guard Darius Garland has the makeshift of being a future star. Garland has one of the best floaters in all of basketball. While he is not on the level of Kyrie Irving, his abilities have helped a Cavaliers team compete for a playoff spot.

Honorable Mention: Eric Gordon

No. 11 - Kyrie Irving

Speaking of Irving, this could be controversial. If Irving was playing right now, the best player wearing #11 would be him. DeMar DeRozan looks like an All-NBA First Team selection, while Trae Young is a league leader in most states. Domantas Sabonis is leading the league in double-doubles. With that said, Irving can average 30 points and thrives as a shooting guard when playing alongside James Harden. For now, DeRozan gets the unofficial title, but Irving gets it when he comes back.

Honorable Mention DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young, Domantas Sabonis, Mike Conley Jr., Klay Thompson

No. 12 - Ja Morant

There are some solid candidates for twelve. Tobias Harris is one of the most underappreciated players in the league, while Joe Harris led the league in three-point shooting last year. However, if healthy, Morant is the best. He should be a Slam Dunk Contest participant one day. He can score, pass, and finish at high levels. He was the energizer that had Memphis competing.

Honorable Mention: Joe Harris, Tobias Harris

No. 13 - James Harden

Harden may not be getting the foul calls he wants and is leading the league in turnovers, but we have been spoiled. Harden once averaged 36 points per game. Now he is averaging over 20 points and nearly 10 assists each night and that’s bad? Paul George is doing amazing things with Kawhi Leonard hurt, but don’t mistake how efficient Harden remains.

Honorable Mention: Paul George, Bam Adebayo

No. 14 - Brandon Ingram

Tyler Herro is going to own this spot down the road. Herro just needs more time. Ingram, a former All-Star, is averaging 21.8 points and 6.2 rebounds. The Pelicans may not be winning, but let’s see how good they are once Zion Willamson comes back.

Honorable Mention: Tyler Herro

No. 15 - Nikola Jokic

Capela led the league in rebounding last year, but that’s unfortunately not going to be enough to dethrone last year’s MVP selection. Jokic could go down as the greatest offensive center ever. He remains a top-5 candidate for the award this season with a 25/13/6 line that also includes shooting 38% from three-point range.

Honorable Mention: Clint Capela

No. 16 - Cedi Osman

You have to give some credit to James Johnson for giving Brooklyn quality minutes at the age of 34, but Osman is having a good year too. Osman is averaging 11.6 points in 22.6 minutes of work for Cleveland.

Honorable Mention: James Johnson

No. 17 - Jonas Valanciunas

The Milwaukee Bucks used a first-round pick to nab PJ Tucker for his defense. That pick was worth it when the team won the 2021 championship. Now, Tucker is harassing people down in Miami, but it’s Jonas Valanciunas that is having the more complete year. After coming over via trade to New Orleans, Valanciunas is averaging 18.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, and leading the league in three-point shooting.

Honorable Mention: PJ Tucker

No. 18 - Alec Burks

Tom Thibodeau bumped Kemba Walker for Alec Burks in the rotation. With Burks inserted, the Knicks have played more complete basketball. Burks is shooting a modest 11.4 points per game with 40% from the field.

Honorable Mention: Shake Milton

No. 19 - Raul Neto

When you have only three players to choose from, someone has to get it by default. With that said, Neto is averaging 7.3 points in 19.7 minutes per game. Neto is contributing to a Wizards team that is in the top half of the conference standings.

Honorable Mention: Tony Snell

No. 20 - John Collins

This may feel like a toss-up, but Collins gets the last laugh. Collins is averaging more rebounds and blocks than Hayward. Both players are shooting at least 40% from deep, but Collins is shooting 57.1% from the field altogether, which is 11% better than Hayward.

Honorable Mention: Gordon Hayward

No. 21 - Joel Embiid

Out of all the players, you have to love what LaMarcus Aldridge is doing. Despite being an older player, and one that nearly retired due to a heart condition, he is giving the Nets quality playing time. However, he is not the 2021 MVP runner-up like Embiid, so this number belongs all to the 76ers big man.

Honorable Mention: LaMarcus Aldridge

No. 22 - Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler is playing like an MVP candidate this year. He is statistically the most efficient small forward on the court. That includes beating rival Khris Middleton. Butler took the Heat to the NBA Finals in 2020. Can he do it again?

Honorable Mention: Khris Middleton, Deandre Ayton

No. 23 - Draymond Green

Green looks like the player that won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2017. He is offensively hitting his shots, rebounding, and passing. Green is one of the best two-way power forwards in the league because he is a complete player, unlike the one-dimensional players honorably mentioned.

Honorable Mention: Fred VanVleet, Mitchell Robinson

No. 24 - Buddy Hield

If you compare Buddy Hield and Norman Powell as shooters, who would you take? For now, Hield is the better option based on history. Both are averaging about the same minutes, but you have to take into account that Hield is playing on a poor team that is mismanaging his usage.

Honorable Mention: Norman Powell, Dillon Brooks

No. 25 - Mikal Bridges

Bridges might be the best wing defender in the league. After watching Bridges guard Steph Curry and holding him to 12 points, you have to love what he brings to the floor. Bridges appear to be All-Defensive player years down the road.

Honorable Mention: Ben Simmons, PJ Washington

No. 26 - Spencer Dinwiddie

If Dinwiddie was healthy last year, would the Nets have made the NBA Finals? The way he is playing this season, he has been an energy boost for the Wizards. He’s very compatible as a role piece. If he had played, he might have been the missing link, especially since Kyrie Irving didn’t play in Game 7.

Honorable Mention: Jeremy Lamb

No. 27 - Rudy Gobert

Jamal Murray is hurt, while Jusuf Nurkic is a one-dimensional player at the center. Rudy Gobert is the best two-way center in the league. He is shooting over 70% from the field and is leading the league in rebounding. Throw in three Defensive Player of the Year Awards and you are talking about the best player to wear #27.

Honorable Mention: Jamal Murray, Jusuf Nurkic

No. 28 - Isaiah Stewart

Three players wear #28. Isaiah Stewart is the No. 16 overall pick in 2020 and plays power forward for the Pistons. Stewart is averaging 7.7 points and 8.0 rebounds. He is best known for wanting to brawl with LeBron James earlier in the season.

Honorable Mention: Alperen Sengun

No. 30 - Steph Curry

Curry led the league in scoring last year, finished third in the MVP voting, and has the Warriors playing like the best team in the NBA. We could talk about his five appearances in the Finals, two MVPs, and three championships, but his current resume states enough for him to deserve this honor.

Honorable Mention: Julius Randle

No. 31 - Jarrett Allen

The frontcourt of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley has a Cavaliers defense that ranks top-3 in the league. Offensively, he adds 16.3 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 70.6% from the field. Many wondered if Allen was worth $20 million. He has made the doubters silent, while also owning all the rights to #31.

Honorable Mention: Seth Curry

No. 32 - Karl-Anthony Towns

The Timberwolves are a sneaky good team this year. For the first time since 2018, Towns looks like he is headed to the All-Star Game. Even if more than four players were wearing #32, Towns would probably lead the pack anyways.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Green

No. 33 - Myles Turner

Turner leads the league in blocks. Turner also leads the league in trade talks too. As long as the Pacers continue to play terribly, then Turner will lead the rumor mill. All jokes aside, Turner is an elite rim protector and well-deserving of this recognition.

Honorable Mention: Kyle Kuzma

No. 34 - Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis doesn’t have a lot of competition in this department. The competition he does have is not on his level. Giannis would put Wendell Carter Jr. on a poster, despite claiming that he is older and can't dunk anymore. While he was kidding, we aren’t when we say he is one of the best players we have ever seen.

Honorable Mention: Wendell Carter Jr.

No. 35 - Christian Wood

Okoro is taking advantage of the season-ending injury to Collin Sexton. His move to shooting guard has also bolstered the defense, but Wood is the best small-ball center in the league. He is averaging a double-double on a bad Rockets team. We should expect to see his name popping up more as we approach the trade deadline.

Honorable Mention: Isaac Okoro

No. 36 - Marcus Smart

Smart is the only player in the league that wears $36. He is the starting shooting guard for the Boston Celtics but is more of a defensive-natured player. His tough nature has brought numerous fans to his corner.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 37 - Semi Ojeleye

Ojeleye is a former Celtics draft selection that currently plays for the Bucks. Ojeleye has played the most minutes of his career at 19.8 per game. Last year, his 4.6 points were a career-high.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 38 - Saben Lee

Here’s a name you may not have heard of this year. Lee is a former second-round pick out of Vanderbilt where he was taken No. 38 overall in 2020. He has appeared in eight games this season for the Pistons. Last year, he averaged 5.6 points per game.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 39 - Dwight Howard

There is never going to be another player or personality like Dwight Howard ever again. It’s only fitting that Howard is the only player wearing his number. Howard has done enough to solidify his chances of being a Hall of Famer. Now, he is a backup center playing a complementary role, which is something that helped him win his first championship in 2020 with the Lakers.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 40 - Harrison Barnes

Barnes is going to be a highly coveted trade chip assuming that the Kings are losing. Barnes is averaging over 40% from the three-point range and having a successful offensive season. He can play power forward, which makes him versatile. Barnes was also a starter on the 2015 championship Warriors team too.

Honorable Mention: Ivica Zubac

No. 41 - Saddiq Bey

There are not a lot of choices here, but give Bey credit. He is currently averaging 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds. The former No. 19 overall pick in 2020 has been producing on a bad team, even though the Pistons are losing.

Honorable Mention: Garrett Temple

No. 42 - Al Horford

Horford is not the same player that landed him on the All-Star team years ago. However, he remains beloved by the community. He is a strong voice in the locker room. He still gives the Celtics quality starting minutes. Even if there are only three players, Horford is a good choice.

Honorable Mention: Maxi Kleber

No. 43 - Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam or the brother of Giannis? Thanasis was with the Bucks for moral support. Siakam is a true All-Star player and contributed to his championship team. Siakam may have an overpaid contract as we speak, but his contributions to the Raptors in 2019 were more than what Thanasis did for the Bucks in 2021.

Honorable Mention: Thanasis Antetokounmpo

No. 44 - Bojan Bogdanovic

Here is another example of an underrated player. Bojan Bogdanovic gives the Jazz a true outside shooter that capitalizes on 40% of his shots from three. When healthy, the Jazz is a contender for the No. 1 seed when he plays.

Honorable Mention: Robert Williams

No. 45 - Donovan Mitchell

The Jazz has a solid team if three of the best jersey players are on the same team. With Gobert, Bogdanovic, and Mitchell, the Jazz is a contending team in the West. Mitchell has yet to lead the team to the Conference Finals, but he is an All-Star guard that has steadily improved his stats every year.

Honorable Mention: Denzel Valentine

No. 46 - John Konchar

Konchar is a 6-foot-5 forward that plays for the Grizzlies. Konchar was undrafted in 2019. Konchar has played in 82 games and owns a career average of 3.9 points per game. In the Grizzlies’ record 73-point win, Konchar recorded 17 points.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 50 - Aaron Gordon

Gordon isn’t just one of the best dunkers we have ever seen, but also the best to wear #50. Gordon and Derrick Jones Jr. wowed us in 2020, but we forget that Gordon is a solid power forward in the league. Gordon took #50 when he was traded to the Nuggets by the Magic last year.

Honorable Mention: Cole Anthony

No. 51. Boban Marjanovic

There is only one Boban, which is why he should be the only player in the league to wear #51. Marjanovic has warmed our hearts since the pandemic started. From his recorded videos in the bubble to his insanely large hands, he has found a way to smile at us. He’s also a decent backup center too.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 54 - Sandro Mamukelashvili

Mamukelashvili was taken in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft with the 54th overall pick. He was then traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a package that landed the Pacers Isaiah Todd. He plays on a two-way contract and made his debut on October 19th. He was recently re-signed to the G-League Wisconsin Herd.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 55 - Duncan Robinson

Garza was one of the best overall players in college last year for Iowa, but college success doesn't always translate to professional success. Duncan Robinson is proof of that after the former Michigan product was signed to the largest amount of guaranteed money this offseason for an undrafted player. In his career, Robinson is shooting more than 40% from three-point range.

Honorable Mention: Luka Garza

No. 67 - Taj Gibson

Gibson has enjoyed a successful career in the NBA since coming into the league in 2009. At 36 years old, Gibson remains a contributor for his longtime coach in Thibodeau. If he ever retires, will this be the last time that we see a player wear #67?

Honorable Mention: None

No. 71 - Dennis Schroder

Schroder went from Sixth Man of the Year candidate to starting point guard in Los Angeles to playing for a big-money contract in Boston. It’s been a wild two-year stretch for Schroder, who reportedly passed up a long-term contract extension because he thought he was worth more money. Instead, the only long-term situation he has is being the only player to wear #71.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 77 - Luka Doncic

Doncic is so unique that we have never seen a 22-year old do the things that he does on the court. He is unique in the realm of jersey numbers in that he is just one of two players that wear #77. The face of 2K has never seen a #77 flashed on it until Doncic made his way into the league.

Honorable Mention: Omer Yurtseven

No. 81 - Miye Oni

The 58th overall pick in 2019 has hung around the league for now. Oni is the former 2019 Ivy League Player of the Year after a four-year career at Yale. Oni was drafted by the Warriors and then traded to the Jazz. He became the first Ivy League men’s basketball player to be drafted since Jerome Allen in 1995 and the first Yale Bulldogs player since Chris Dudley in 1987.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 88 - Goga Bitadze

Bitadze is a former EuroLeague Rising Star in 2019, where he won the Serbian Super League MVP. That led to him being drafted with the No. 18 overall pick by the Indiana Pacers. He grew to fame when he went viral in a photo being ignored by reporters, who surrounded Zion Williamson.

Honorable Mention: None

No. 95 - Juan Toscano-Anderson

After spending time in the Domestics League, G-League, and appearing in only 13 games in 2019-2020, Toscano-Anderson is a frequent flier for the Warriors these days. Anderson played in 53 games last season, starting 16 of them where he averaged 5.7 points.

Honorable Mention: DeAndre Bembry

No. 97. Brodric Thomas

Thomas went undrafted in 2020 but is a former NJCAA Division II Finals MVP after leading Southwestern Community College to a championship. In the pros, Thomas was signed by the Rockets. Then, he spent some time in the G-League before signing with the Celtics on a two-way deal in October.

Honorable Mention: None

99. Jae Crowder

Crowder has been fortunate to play in back-to-back NBA Finals, once for the Heat and last year with the Suns. Crowder’s only competition is Tacko Fall. Large numbers are for large people. Fall is 7-foot-6 and 311 pounds. Crowder is no slouch either, standing at 6-foot-6 and 234 pounds. 

Honorable Mention: Tacko Fall


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