Having the ability to jump high is one of the most important physical aspects in today’s NBA. A strong vertical leap can help players on both ends of the floor, from electrifying dunks to amazing blocks. Although today’s game has focused on the ability to shoot the deep ball, we still love players with an excellent vertical. Let’s take a look at the five active NBA players that have the highest verticals based on their NBA combine results.
4. Victor Oladipo — 42 inches (TIE)
People considered Victor Oladipo to be the next Dwayne Wade when he started his career in Orlando. He was a slashing scorer from Indiana, who could use his athleticism to make plays on the defensive end as well. After a brief stop in Oklahoma City, Oladipo was traded to Indiana as part of a deal for Paul George.
This is one of the rare instances where both sides win the deal. George has put up a potential MVP season, and Oladipo has turned into an All-Star. Before a devastating injury, he averaged 21 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game for the Pacers. With one of the highest verticals in the NBA, Oladipo is effective on the defensive end of the floor, too.
4. Iman Shumpert — 42 inches (TIE)
Known as a lockdown defender, Shumpert has been one of the most athletic players in the NBA since being drafted by the Knicks in 2011. His 42-inch leap is one of the highest verticals in the NBA, and he used his athleticism to play a supportive role in helping the Cavaliers win an NBA championship. He’s playing nearly 18 minutes per game for the Rockets in 2018-19, and he could be an X-factor in Houston once the playoffs start.
3. Justin Anderson — 43 inches
After receiving a lot of playing time his first two seasons in the league, Anderson’s playing time has tailed off a bit. Despite a relative lack of playing time, Anderson possesses one of the highest verticals in the NBA.
Anderson went from averaging over 13 minutes per game from 2016-2018 to seeing just over seven minutes of game action for the Hawks this year. Atlanta has a bunch of young players on the roster, but Anderson clearly isn’t in the team’s long term plans. Hopefully, he can work more minutes into the rotation as the season comes to a close.
2. Pat Connaughton — 44 inches
Drafted by the Nets and quickly traded to Portland in the second round of the 2015 draft, Connaughton has put up solid numbers as a reserve each of the last two seasons. He joined the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2018-19 season, and he is a key part of their bench lineup, averaging more than five points per game in nearly 20 minutes of action. Connaughton’s athleticism should be a key contributor for the Bucks in the playoffs, as they look to reach the NBA Finals out of the East.
1. Hamidou Diallo — 44.5 inches
Is it any surprise that the reigning slam dunk champion is number one on the list of highest verticals in the NBA? Diallo has shown that he can take off with reckless abandon, throwing down monstrous dunks and even dunking over Shaquille O’Neal (7-foot-3) to win the slam dunk title at the All-Star game.
He has the athleticism to make plays on the defensive end, and with Paul George having an MVP caliber season, expect Diallo to make strides on that end of the floor. Diallo is only seeing about 10 minutes per game, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see Thunder give him more minutes down the home stretch as they look to secure a top-three seed in the West.
Who’s the major surprise from the list?
After looking at the list of the five active NBA players with the highest verticals, which ones stood out the most? Are you surprised some high-fliers didn’t make the cut?