Perhaps the most bittersweet part of the 2020-21 NBA season is that some of this generation’s greatest players are getting older.
Aging is a natural part of life, but it is still sad to realize that LeBron James isn’t getting any younger. James is closer to 40 years old than he is 30, and that should be a wake-up call for all NBA players.
Let’s look at who the oldest NBA players for the 2020-21 season are.
10. Trevor Ariza, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
Barring a last-second trade, Trevor Ariza will open the 2020-21 season on the Oklahoma City Thunder. After a slow start in Sacramento and a trade to Portland, Ariza, 35, averaged 11 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21 games for the Trail Blazers.
9. Chris Paul, G, Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul isn’t the first future Hall of Fame player on this list, which is sure to make all sorts of basketball fans feel old. By the time Paul turns 36 next May, he’ll hope the Suns will still be alive in the Western Conference playoffs.
8. P. J. Tucker, F/C, Houston Rockets
A second-round pick in 2006, P.J. Tucker has carved out an excellent career for himself since returning to the NBA from Germany in 2012. Tucker turns 36 next May.
7. Paul Millsap, F, Denver Nuggets
Paul Millsap’s 11.6 points and 5.7 rebounds last year were his fewest since the 2007-08 season, when he still came off the bench in Utah. However, it is clear that Millsap remains an important part of what the Denver Nuggets have built, both on and off the court. Millsap turns 36 in February.
6. Marc Gasol, C, Los Angeles Lakers
Marc Gasol will open the 2020-21 season on his third team in as many years. A longtime Memphis Grizzlies star big man, Gasol signed with LeBron James and the Lakers this offseason. Older fans will remember the Lakers drafted Gasol in 2007, then traded him and Kwame Brown in February 2008 to the Grizzlies for his brother, Pau.
5. LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James turns 36 on December 30, but don’t you dare call him old. James remains arguably the league’s top player and just won his fourth NBA championship. Even as he continues aging, James is a fearsome threat and the game’s biggest star.
4. JJ Redick, G, New Orleans Pelicans
Although JJ Redick turned 36 in June, he is still an elite sharpshooter. Redick made 45.3% of his three-point shots last year, his highest mark from beyond the arc since drilling 47.5% in 2015-16 with the Clippers.
3. Carmelo Anthony, F, Portland Trail Blazers
Carmelo Anthony turns 37 next May, which is a frightening thought. Anthony revived his career in Portland last year, averaging 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds on 43% shooting from the field.
2. Andre Iguodala, F, Miami Heat
At this stage in his career, Andre Iguodala is an excellent reserve who can play impactful defense. The end could soon be coming for Iguodala, who turns 37 on January 28.
1. Udonis Haslem, F/C, Miami Heat
So long as Jamal Crawford remains a free agent, Udonis Haslem is the oldest active NBA player. Haslem, who turned 40 in June, is the ultimate reserve and an unofficial coach for a rising Miami Heat team. Haslem has only played in 44 games since the 2016-17 season began.