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Ranking the NBA's top 10 players over 30 years old

Today's NBA is loaded from top to bottom with flashy young talent, but it's time we show a little more love to the veterans. These guys have been around the block once, twice, or maybe even 20 times, providing us with years of entertainment, and their teams with years of production. So let's count down the top 10 over 30. (Note: This list only accounts for current ability and availability, not career performance and statistics. Players that could not be considered due to lack of availability include Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Khris Middleton.)

#10. Rudy Gobert

Season Stats: 12.6 PTS | 13.9 RBS | 1.6 BLK | 1.3 TO | 58.9 FG%

After an offseason trade sent the seven-foot Frenchman to Minnesota, he was placed in an unconventional situation, being asked to play next to another center, Karl-Anthony Towns. While this has been a rough transition to say the least, don't be fooled. Rudy Gobert is still the same All-World defender he has been for the better part of his career. Sure, his presence forces his T-Wolves teammates to work around him at times, but he's efficient at the rim when called upon, eats up rebounds, and could be the defensive anchor to any team in the NBA. Gobert remains an elite big man, and his numbers will more than likely see an improvement as Minnesota's coach Chris Finch figures out how to make the most of Gobert's skillset.

#9. Chris Paul

Season Stats: 9.5 PTS | 4.5 RBS | 9.4 AST | 1.7 STL | 1.5 TO | 36.8 FG%

Point God has certainly hit a rough patch to start his 2022-2023 campaign, as a single digit scoring average and sub-40 field goal percentage are both entirely unfamiliar territory for the Suns floor general. But despite his shooting woes, Chris Paul is still showing why he's one of the greats. His 6.3 assist to turnover ratio ranks sixth in the Association, and he places in the top three when it comes to dimes per game. Paul's leadership cannot be overstated either, as he has piloted his Suns squad to a 7-3 mark thus far after one of the worst season ending losses one could imagine dashed Phoenix's championship aspirations last year.

#8. Jrue Holiday

Season Stats: 19.6 PTS | 5.7 RBS | 7.9 AST | 1.5 STL | 2.9 TO | 44.0 FG%

The first NBA champion on our list, Jrue Holiday is off to a fantastic start in his third year as a Milwaukee Buck. According to the old adage, defense never slumps, and Holiday certainly proves it. He and teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo have been the cornerstones to one of the leagues most feared defenses since Holiday's arrival in 2020, and he hasn't exactly slacked off offensively either. His point and assist averages are both second-highest in his career, and his rebounding has never been better. The veteran point guard has seen his shooting efficiency drop this season, but that can be accredited to the higher volume of shots he's been asked to take while the Bucks navigate the absence of All-Star forward Khris Middleton.

#7. Jimmy Butler

Season Stats: 20.9 PTS | 6.1 RBS | 5.7 AST | 2.0 STL | 1.7 TO | 45.7 FG%

Underrated. Well-rounded. Consistent. Those are a few of the words that should come to mind when someone thinks about Jimmy Butler. None of his numbers on their own necessarily jump off the page compared to other stars around the league, but put them all together and they make one incredible basketball player. Butler isn't a major three point shooting threat, however he can still get a bucket just about any time he wants, as his nickname suggests. The Marquette product is not only a fantastic all around player, but he's also the heart and soul of any team he suits up for. His two steals per game are an accurate reflection of his hustle and desire to win, and when a star hustles like Butler does, his teammates will match that energy. Jimmy Butler makes everyone around him a better player.

#6. DeMar DeRozan

Season Stats: 23.8 PTS | 4.2 RBS | 4.3 AST | 1.3 STL | 2.4 TO | 50.3 FG%

DeMar DeRozan took a major leap last year in his 13th NBA season. Taking on a much more aggressive, shoot-first role with the Bulls than he did with the Spurs, DeRozan catapulted himself into MVP conversations. While he may be remembered by many for his ferocious dunks in a Raptors uniform, and he still does have that slashing ability and athleticism, the veteran has evolved his game beautifully. The midrange jumper DeRozan has developed is a deadly weapon, and may be the only one in the league that rivals Kawhi Leonard's middie. He doesn't quite fit the modern day mold of a wing, but DeRozan is near-impossible to contain, and he's a threat to give your favorite team 40 on any given night.

#5. Damian Lillard

Season Stats: 29.0 PTS | 4.5 RBS | 4.8 AST | 3.8 TO | 47.7 FG%

After an injury derailed the 2021-2022 season for Damian Lillard, the most loyal superstar in the league has come right back this year and made it clear that he is still an All-NBA caliber player. Lillard's limitless range gets all the attention, but Lillard is a potent scorer at all three levels, with an effortless midrange jumper and great backdoor chemistry with Jusuf Nurkic. With 30 point-per-game potential, Lillard is another guy who can absolutely explode at any moment. And of course, every NBA fan knows he possesses something that even some NBA legends never had: the coveted clutch gene.

#4. Paul George

Season Stats: 25.0 PTS | 6.1 RBS | 4.6 AST | 1.7 STL | 3.7 TO | 47.6 FG%

After his unremarkable 2020 playoffs, George seemed to fall off the radar of stardom in the eyes of many, but in reality he has only gotten better since then. His field goal percentage through his first 10 games of this season has him on track for a career high and his 25 points-per-game would be his best as a Clipper. Playing without his star teammate, Kawhi Leonard, George is keeping Los Angeles afloat, with a 6-5 record on the year. Not only is George a do-it-all contributor on the offensive end, but he's a standout defender as well. His lockdown efforts, primarily on the perimeter, have lifted the Clippers to fourth in the league in defensive rating this season and seventh in points allowed per game.

#3. LeBron James

Season Stats: 24.3 PTS | 8.9 RBS | 7.1 AST | 1.0 STL | 3.4 TO | 44.7 FG%

Nobody embodies the spirit of a best "older" players list better than The King. LeBron James has been in at least the top three in this category for 8 years now, and he's barely slowed down. Yes, his Los Angeles Lakers are playing atrocious basketball right now, to the tune of a 2-8 record, but it's not for a lack of trying by James. His scoring numbers are down, but his rebounding is higher than ever and he's continued to create shots for teammates at an elite level. He's still elite defensively too, with about a steal and a block each game, nobody is looking to attack James when they have the ball. James may not be able to carry a team on his back anymore, but at age 37 he's still one of the best players in the NBA.

#2. Kevin Durant

Season Stats: 31.0 PTS | 6.0 RBS | 4.7 AST | 1.9 BLK | 3.5 TO | 51.8 FG%

Kevin Durant is straight up unguardable. Long, athletic, and the smoothest seven foot you'll ever see, Durant hasn't skipped a beat in his 15th NBA season. With 31 points-per-game on ridiculous shooting efficiency, the former Texas Longhorn presents one of the biggest matchup nightmares in league history. And he's putting up his video game numbers despite his secondary stars Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons being consistently unavailable and unwilling to shoot the ball, respectively. Defenses know Durant is the man to stop, but they haven't been able to in the past, and likely never will.

#1. Stephen Curry

Season Stats: 32.6 PTS | 7.1 RBS | 6.9 AST | 1.1 STL | 2.6 TO | 51.2 FG%

The greatest shooter of all time may never slow down. With a game that has almost no reliance on athleticism, Stephen Curry is built to last in the league. His pinpoint accuracy and unbelievable range make him an impossible defensive assignment for just about anybody. With one of the deepest bags to ever exist, he has no problem creating space to get those shots off, either. And like Durant, Curry is the sole reliable scorer on his team, yet still maintains remarkable efficiency and sets up his teammates as well. We may never see a player like Curry ever again, so let's enjoy his game while it lasts.


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