The most important thing in NBA basketball is winning, no matter what anyone else says. Players are judged by how many times they have won, and NBA teams are focused on putting together the best possible team to win every season. But which players have had the most success in the current landscape of the NBA?
We are not talking about championship victories, but victories as a whole. By bringing in winning percentages of every NBA player who have played a minimum of 500 games, here is the ranked list of the ten players that have been on winning teams. While these percentages are a testament to a player’s skill level, it also shows their impact on a team's win percentages.
10. Chris Paul - 64.0% (698-392)
Chris Paul is recognized as one of the best leaders in NBA history, and there is a reason he appears on this list. The point guard has played on some very good teams throughout his career, but none of them would be considered “superteams”. It was Chris Paul who was the main reason for his team winning games.
Paul has placed each team on the map, whether he played with the Hornets, Clippers, Rockets, Thunder, or the Suns. Charlotte were not playoff contenders until Paul joined the squad and started making All-Star Games, and the same goes for the Clippers and Rockets. The Suns were in the NBA Finals with such a young squad this year and they had a leader to help them win games to put them in that position in Chris Paul.
9. Patty Mills - 64.5% (477-262)
Patty Mills was a crucial role player for the San Antonio Spurs, a franchise needing shooters and role players to surround their superstars. Mills was never a star, but he certainly helped the Spurs win games.
Over his 10 seasons with San Antonio, Mills averaged 9.4 PPG on 38.8% shooting from three. He was lucky to play with some all-time greats including Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Kawhi Leonard; but the scoring guard always found a way to make clutch plays when needed.
8. James Harden - 65.2% (572-305)
Unsurprisingly, James Harden is on this list. The Beard has been a part of some great teams over his career, including the Oklahoma City Thunder when he was younger and a powerhouse Rockets team under head coach Mike D’Antoni. The Rockets were a fantastic offensive team but were also proficient when defensive players such as Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela were on board.
Of course, Harden is now part of a Brooklyn Nets superteam in the East. While The Beard is lucky to play with great teams, he was always one of the most impactful players on the team. James Harden has a great winning percentage mainly because of his ability to score and distribute the ball, and that percentage will only increase by playing with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
7. Stephen Curry - 65.6% (500-262)
Unsurprisingly, Stephen Curry makes the list of one of the best winners in the NBA. The greatest shooter of all time, Curry has a whopping 66.02% winning percentage. Being a part of the Golden State Warriors dynasty certainly helped his winning percentage.
The Golden State Warriors made 5 straight NBA Finals, going 3-2 between 2015 and 2019. Thanks to Stephen Curry's rise to superstardom, the Warriors had a recipe for being one of the most dominant teams in history. The team's addition of Kevin Durant also helped Curry's insane winning percentage.
6. Serge Ibaka - 66.0% (560-289)
Serge Ibaka had a frustrating season with the Clippers last season, playing only 41 games. But over his career, there is no doubt that Ibaka has been a winner. He became the best shot-blocker in the NBA for the Thunder, a team that made the NBA Finals in 2012.
Ibaka later won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019, and his All-NBA quality defense was a big part of his team's success. Serge Ibaka has consistently been an impact player and will continue to be for the remainder of his career.
5. LeBron James - 66.3% (869-441)
What more is there to say about LeBron James? The King is by far the most accomplished active player in the league, with his 4 NBA championships and 17 All-Star Team appearances to his name. Of course, LeBron has the top-5 winning percentage among active players.
Wherever LeBron James goes, his team wins games. He has made the Cleveland Cavaliers title contenders and also won NBA titles with the Heat and Lakers. LeBron forces his general managers to surround him with appropriate talent because James is always in win-now mode as his winning percentage suggests.
4. Draymond Green - 68.2% (436-203)
Another Golden State Warrior appears on this list, and this time it is the vocal leader and defensive stalwart of the franchise. Draymond Green does not get enough credit for his contributions on the floor, because he simply isn't a fancy offensive player.
But there is no doubt that the 3-time NBA champion is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best winners in the league right now. Everything Draymond does on the floor is to help his team win, whether that's playing defense or hustling for loose balls. Being a part of an all-time great Warriors team with Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry doesn't hurt either.
3. Klay Thompson - 70.2% (432-183)
As expected, the Golden State Warriors’ third piece of their championship core is on the list. Thompson has a higher percentage than his teammates because of the fact he was injured and could not accumulate losses that Curry and Green had while they endured his absence. As great as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were, Thompson was the X-factor.
His ability to space the floor and play lockdown defense was his best skill, and like a third wheel, he played at an extremely high level. While the Warriors had incredible talent on the court, Klay was almost just as valuable and made his team virtually unbeatable.
2. Danny Green - 71.9% (544-213)
Danny Green always receives criticism when he isn’t making jump shots, but his winning record speaks for itself. The perimeter player is not a star by any means, but in terms of playing All-Star level defense and spacing the floor, very few have done it better than Green has every year. After all, why do championship teams always scramble for Green’s signature?
Because he plays hard every night, does the little things no one else wants to do, and is a two-way threat. Danny Green has 3 NBA championships with the Spurs, Raptors, and Lakers and is playing on another contender in the Philadelphia 76ers.
1. Kawhi Leonard - 74.5% (429-147)
Kawhi Leonard has always been a part of successful teams, from the moment he was a rookie for a Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich-led dynasty in San Antonio. With Leonard, the Spurs had all the pieces to contend with and were one of the best teams every year. Even when Leonard was traded to Toronto, the franchise did a terrific job building the squad around him for their 2019 championship run.
Now with the Clippers, Leonard has taken the franchise to the top as one of the best teams. While Kawhi was fortunate to play with some great players, great coaches, and great franchises; he was the key to his team’s success. Leonard is one of the best two-way players of all time and has 2 Finals MVPs to show for that. For now, The Claw is on top of the NBA in winning percentage, and winning his 3rd championship would take his legacy to another level.