Which NBA Players Have Played for the Most Teams During Their Careers?

NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki played for one franchise for at least 20 years. But many athletes don’t have that longevity or luxury, jumping between teams throughout their basketball careers. So which NBA players have represented the most teams during their careers?

What number of teams counts? All or only NBA teams 

The question “Which NBA players have played for the most teams?” can be answered in two ways. The league currently has 30 franchises, so an athlete could theoretically play for all of the teams within the NBA. You could also consider basketball teams not within the National Basketball Association; many NBA players go on to compete overseas when their pro careers end in the U.S. Today, however, we’ll look at NBA teams only.

Which retired NBA players have played for the most teams?

Chucky Brown: 12 teams

The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Chucky Brown in 1989. During his 13-year NBA career, the 6’7″ forward played for a total of 12 teams, according to Gambling Sites, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Golden State Warriors.

Tony Massenburg: 12 teams

The San Antonio Spurs chose Tony Massenburg in the 1990 NBA Draft. The power forward/center also had a 13-year pro career, playing for the Spurs, Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, and Sacramento Spurs. He won the 2005 NBA Championship with the Spurs.

Jim Jackson: 12 teams

The Dallas Mavericks drafted the small forward/shooting guard in 1992, and he went on to have a 14-year NBA career. During that period, he played for 12 teams: the Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, New Jersey Nets, and Los Angeles Lakers.

Joe Smith: 12 teams

Joe Smith’s 16-year NBA career began when the Golden State Warriors chose him in the 1995 draft. The 1995-96 All-Rookie represented 12 teams in total: the Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey Nets.

Kevin Ollie: 11 teams

Drafted in 1997, Kevin Ollie played for 11 teams before retiring in 2010. The point guard/shooting guard represented the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, and New Jersey Nets.

Ollie served as the Timberwolves’ team captain in 2009. His leadership has also been credited with benefiting the team culture for the Thunder.

Current NBA players who have played for the most teams

Ish Smith: 12 teams

Ish Smith entered the NBA via the Developmental League in 2010. The undrafted point guard made his NBA debut with the Houston Rockets during that same season. Since then, the 6’0″ athlete has also played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Golden State Warriors.

Anthony Tolliver: 11 teams

Memphis Grizzlies player Anthony Tolliver reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Atlanta Hawks
NBA player Anthony Tolliver | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The undrafted forward began his NBA career in 2008 and still plays to date. Anthony Tolliver has represented the Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, and Memphis Grizzlies.

All stats and team info courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

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