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Top 10 Active Players With The Most Career Turnovers: 5 Current Lakers Players Are On The List

Top 10 Active Players With The Most Career Turnovers: 5 Current Lakers Players Are On The List

Turnovers are a part of the game, and unfortunately, they appear on players’ box scores at the end of games. A turnover is possibly the worst thing that can be done on the floor because it results in a lost possession without a shot attempted. At the very least, teams should strive to keep the ball and get up a shot before the shot-clock expires instead of losing the ball to the opposing team.

Looking at how superstars control the game in the modern NBA, turnovers are a significant part of stat sheets at the end of the games. There are plenty of possessions in a game right now, and that means players handling the ball will have more turnovers the longer they handle the ball. When looking at the all-time leaders in turnovers, one thing seems to stick out: players that handle the ball often have the most turnovers in league history.

The current leader for all-time turnovers is LeBron James, with 4,652 ahead of Karl Malone (4,524) and Moses Malone (4,264). The King is a gifted passer and has always been the man to make the bulk of the decisions on the court for his teams, which is why he ranks so high in so many turnovers. It is interesting to see that John Stockton, the all-time leader in assists, is 4th on the list with 4,244 turnovers. It seems that the more a player handles the ball, the more likely he is to turn the ball over.

We know LeBron James is the leader in turnovers, but which current stars have the most career turnovers? We have collected the active players with the most career turnovers, to discover that an interesting trend continues with ball-dominant All-Stars.


10. John Wall - 2,332 Turnovers

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

John Wall has not played a single game this season but still ranks 10th in the league in career turnovers. The former All-Star point guard was regarded as the fastest player in the league with the ball and was a terrific playmaker. Wall has 8 seasons averaging at least 8.0 APG and should have had a greater career if it wasn’t for never-ending injuries that shut him out of multiple seasons.

Handling the ball as much as Wall does and being a primary playmaker (career 9.1 APG) will only lead to turnovers. The point guard played on some decent teams including the Washington Wizards, but his main targets for his passes were Marcin Gortat and Bradley Beal. Not playing with many superstar teammates and yet putting up strong assist numbers make Wall’s resume impressive, so his turnovers should not be regarded as an issue.


9. Stephen Curry - 2,481 Turnovers

Stephen Curry

A player mainly known for his unstoppable three-point game, Stephen Curry made history by passing Ray Allen for most threes in the NBA. The point guard is a terrific offensive player with a career average of 24.3 PPG and is a 2-time scoring champion in the NBA. With all the focus on Curry’s shooting, his playmaking often goes unnoticed and is underrated. But Curry is a great passer (career 6.5 APG) and often makes plays for others thanks to his scoring ability.

Unfortunately for Steph, that means he has over 2,400 turnovers over his career. Curry is often force-fed the ball to create on offense, and the point guard has been known to commit turnovers in difficult situations. Anytime a ball-dominant point guard creates offense, turning the ball over is expected and should not be held against Curry.


8. Rajon Rondo - 2,541 Turnovers

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Credit: Getty Images

A great point guard for the Boston Celtics and even the Sacramento Kings, Rajon Rondo is an all-time great playmaker. Despite possessing an inconsistent three-point shot (career 32.2%) and lack of desire to score (career 9.9 PPG), Rondo has a case for making the Hall of Fame due to his basketball IQ and passing ability.

The 2-time NBA champion has been a valuable point guard for every playoff team he has been on, especially leading the league in assists on 3 occasions. Rondo is a clever passer, creating shots for others when they are least expecting it. As an unselfish playmaker, Rondo also has a ton of turnovers. Rajon tends to go for audacious passes, and ultimately that has led to a career average of 2.7 TOV.


7. Chris Paul - 2,685 Turnovers

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A first-ballot Hall of Famer with 17 seasons under his belt, Chris Paul is a once-in-a-generation point guard. Leading the league in assists 4 times and making the All-Star Team 11 times, Paul is an all-time great playmaker and floor general. Paul has always had the incredible scoring ability (career 18.2 PPG), but his passing was always his greatest strength (career 9.4 APG).

CP3 has an incredible resume that includes averaging at least 10.0 APG for 7 seasons and averaging at least 8.0 APG for 14 seasons. Playing for the Hornets, Clippers, Rockets, Thunder, and Suns; Paul has always been the primary decision-maker on the floor. As expected, for a point guard that has played 17 seasons so far, his turnover record looks high but is a non-issue considering how great Paul has been throughout his career.


6. Kevin Durant - 2,856 Turnovers

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Kevin Durant is considered an extremely unselfish player who does not always need the ball to be effective, which is why his number of career turnovers is quite surprising. The 4-time scoring champion plays the game so effortlessly, that he is truly one of the 15 greatest players to have ever played the game.

Durant is also a capable passer, averaging a career 4.2 APG. This season, KD is averaging 5.8 APG and has averaged at least 5.0 APG for 6 seasons. Despite being a primary scorer everywhere he has been and not required to be a playmaker, Durant has quite a lot of turnovers. KD is not known for being a turnover machine but having the attention of opposing defenses every game could take a toll on his focus and ball-handling. Durant is averaging a career 3.1 TOV, with highs of 3.8 and 3.5 TOV. We will probably see Durant climb the ranks as he continues to play games because the next two players on this list are getting closer to retirement.


5. Carmelo Anthony - 3,016 Turnovers

Carmelo Anthony

One of the greatest scorers in NBA history, Carmelo Anthony is a known turnover machine. The superstar small forward, especially in his prime, generated a ton of defensive attention on the court and was normally double and triple-teamed. Prime Anthony was a monster at scoring the ball, averaging over 25 PPG for 7 seasons.

But being an offensive player who handles the ball a ton, Carmelo has over 3,000 career turnovers. That ranks 31st all-time, and that stat does not surprise anyone because Anthony was a selfish scorer who was undeniably great at putting the ball in the basket. Anytime the 2013 Scoring Champion had the ball, it was almost certain that he was chucking up a shot. Anthony’s worst season in taking care of the ball came in the 2007 season with the Denver Nuggets when he turned the ball over 3.6 times per game.


4. Dwight Howard - 3,278 Turnovers

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard was a go-to player during his time with the Orlando Magic, which is why his turnovers are well clear of 3,000 over his career. Dwight ranks 22nd in turnovers all-time and has never been known as an effective ball-handler by any means. Howard was criticized for his lack of improvement in the post because he never really developed offensive moves and never averaged 2.0 APG in a single season.

Howard always seemed to have a loose handle in Orlando, averaging 3.1 TOV through 8 seasons. The big man was prone to having the ball poked away in the post and also fail to get efficient shots on the offensive end at times. That does not take away from a future Hall of Fame career, and being a go-to star helped ramp up the turnovers.


3. James Harden - 3,385 Turnovers

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Unsurprisingly, one of the most ball-dominant stars in NBA history appears on this list. James Harden is an all-time great scorer and passer at his position but is also a turnover machine. Despite being at the ripe age of 32, Harden ranks 17th all-time in career turnovers and is expected to enter the top-10 list by the end of his career.

Harden has always been loose with the ball, although it was mostly due to his effort in trying to make a play for his team. James has 3 seasons averaging at least 5.0 turnovers per game, with a high of 5.7 TOV during the 2017 season. The Beard also has 5 more seasons when he averaged at least 4.0 TOV. The 3-time scoring champion is clearly a turnover machine and that will never change as long as Harden controls the rock as much as he does.


2. Russell Westbrook - 4,023 Turnovers

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Alongside James Harden, Russell Westbrook is the most notorious turnover machine in the NBA. A triple-double threat with incredible athleticism, the game comes so easy for Russ. The point guard can grab every rebound that comes off the rim, attack the paint to create for others, and shoot over smaller defenders.

The 2-time scoring champion and 2017 MVP has never had a season averaging under 3.3 turnovers per game and has highs of averaging 5.4 TOV and 4.8 TOV. Russ is averaging a career 4.1 TOV and has accumulated over 4,000 turnovers at 33 years of age. As things stand, Westbrook ranks 5th all-time in turnovers and he will continue to climb the list.


1. LeBron James - 4,652 Turnovers

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Ranking 1st all-time in total career turnovers, LeBron James has over 4,600 and will continue to accumulate more the longer he plays. The King has always been the primary playmaker and scorer for his teams, so it is only natural that he commits over 3.0 TOV. Despite having the pressure of carrying franchises on his back, LeBron’s worst season in handling the ball came in 2018 when he averaged 4.2 TOV.

The King only has 2 seasons averaging over 4.0 turnovers per game, and never came close to averaging 5.0 TOV like Harden or Westbrook. LeBron has played 19 seasons at an elite level and being a primary decision-maker, longevity has unfortunately led to this unfortunate record. The 4-time NBA champion and Finals MVP is an all-time great, so his turnover record probably won’t last as long as James Harden and Russell Westbrook continue their styles of play. 

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