This list attempts to sort through all the NBA's most popular and famous current players to find the most talented, and the players who are the most essential to have on a winning team to truly determine who is the best active player in the NBA today. LeBron James and Stephen Curry, two of the most iconic and celebrated players to ever compete, dominated in the early rankings, but a number of other challengers for the title—such as Houston Rockets phenom James Harden and the legendary Russell Westbrook—have become favorites as well.

Top 10 Best NBA Players In The World (2020)


The 10 Best NBA Players In The World 2020

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LeBron James
  • Stephen Curry
  • Kevin Durant
  • James Harden
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Chris Paul
  • Anthony Davis
  • Kyrie Irving

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo


Giannis Antetokounmpo

Born: 6 December 1994, Athens, Greece
Height: 2.11 m
Salary: 24.16 million USD
Teams: 2012–2013: Filathlitikos, 2013–present: Milwaukee Bucks
Position: Forward

Born in Greece to Nigerian parents, Antetokounmpo began playing basketball for the youth teams of Filathlitikos in Athens. In 2011, he began playing for the club's senior team before entering the 2013 NBA draft, where he was selected 15th overall by the Bucks. Antetokounmpo's combination of size, speed and ball-handling skills led to his nickname the "Greek Freak".

In 2016–17 he led the Bucks in all five major statistical categories and became the first player in NBA history to finish a regular season in the top 20 in all five statistics of total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He received the Most Improved Player award in 2017. He has received four All-Star selections, including being selected as the Eastern Conference captain for 2020, and led the Eastern Conference in voting in 2019. In June 2019, he was named the NBA Most Valuable Player.

2. Kawhi Leonard


Kawhi Leonard

Born: 29 June 1991, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 2.01 m
Wingspan: 2.21 m
Salary: 32.74 million USD (2019)
Current team: Los Angeles Clippers (#2 / Small forward, Shooting guard)

Kawhi Anthony Leonard is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. He played two seasons of college basketball for the San Diego State Aztecs and was named a consensus second-team All-American as a sophomore.

With the Spurs, Leonard won an NBA championship in 2014, where he was named the Finals Most Valuable Player. After seven seasons with the Spurs, Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2018. In 2019, he led the Raptors to their first NBA championship in franchise history and won his second Finals MVP award. He subsequently moved to Los Angeles and signed with the Clippers as a free agent in July 2019.

3. LeBron James

LeBron James

Born: 30 December 1984, Akron, Ohio, United States
Height: 2.06 m
Current team: Los Angeles Lakers (#23 / Power forward, Small forward)
Salary: $37.44 million

James is widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players ever. In February 2016, he was ranked fifth by Sports Illustrated; in March 2016, he was ranked third by ESPN; in February 2017, he was ranked second by CBS Sports; in December 2017, he was ranked second by Fox Sports; in February 2018, he was ranked second by Slam Magazine; and in 2019, he was ranked second by Bleacher Report. NBA analyst Brian Windhorst, who spent his career covering James, said, "No one has ever had as much hype as James has had to live up to, and James has delivered on every last drop." On December 29, 2019, the Associated Press named James as its Male Athlete of the Decade for the 2010s.

4. Stephen Curry


Stephen Curry

Born: 14 March 1988, Akron, Ohio, United States
Height: 1.91 m
Current team: Golden State Warriors (#30 / Point guard, Shooting guard)
Salary: 37.46 million USD

Wardell Stephen "Steph" Curry II is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. A six-time NBA All-Star, Curry has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player twice and won three NBA championships with the Warriors.

5. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

Born: 29 September 1988, Maryland, United States
Height: 2.08 m
Weight: 109 kg
Shoe size: 18
Salary: 26.54 million USD
Current teams: Brooklyn Nets (#7 / Power forward, Small forward), United States of America

Durant was a heavily recruited high school prospect who was widely regarded as the second-best player in his class. In college, he won numerous year-end awards and became the first freshman to be named Naismith College Player of the Year. As a professional, he has won two NBA championships, an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, two Finals MVP Awards, two NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Awards, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and two Olympic gold medals. Durant has also been selected to nine All-NBA teams and ten NBA All-Star teams.

Off the court, Durant is one of the highest-earning basketball players in the world, due in part to endorsement deals with companies such as Foot Locker and Nike.

6. James Harden


James Harden

Born: 26 August 1989, Bellflower, California, United States
Height: 1.96 m
Salary: 38.2 million USD (2020)
Current team: Houston Rockets (#13 / Point guard, Shooting guard)

Harden was traded to Houston before the 2012–13 NBA season. He became one of the NBA's most prolific scorers and earned recognition as the best shooting guard in the NBA, as well as one of the top overall players in the league. In 2018, Harden led the league in scoring and was named the NBA Most Valuable Player. He is an eight-time NBA All-Star and has earned All-NBA Team honors six times, including five first-team selections.

7. Russell Westbrook


Russell Westbrook

Born: 12 November 1988, Long Beach, California, United States
Height: 1.91 m
Current team: Houston Rockets (#0 / Point guard)
Salary: 38.51 million USD (2020)

He is a nine-time NBA All-Star and earned the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for the 2016–17 season. He is also an eight-time All-NBA Team member, led the league in scoring in 2014–15 and 2016–17, and won back-to-back NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player awards in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, the year he won the league MVP award, Westbrook became one of two players in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season, along with Oscar Robertson in 1962. He also set a record for the most triple-doubles in a season, with 42. He went on to average a triple-double the following two seasons also, as well as lead the league in assists and become the first player to lead the league in points and assists in multiple seasons. He is currently second all time in career triple-doubles in NBA history.

8. Chris Paul


Chris Paul

Born: 6 May 1985, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Height: 1.83 m
Spouse: Jada Crawley (m. 2011)
Salary: 38.51 million USD (2019)
Current team: Oklahoma City Thunder (#3 / Point guard)

On July 16, 2019, the Houston Rockets traded Paul, 2024 and 2026 first round picks, and 2021 and 2025 second round pick swaps to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook.

He debuted for the Thunder in a 100–95 loss to the Utah Jazz on October 23, 2019, putting up 22 points and 8 rebounds in 30 minutes of play. On December 16, Paul recorded a near triple-double, posting 30 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in a 109–106 win over the Chicago Bulls. He also fell just shy of a triple-double on December 29, as he recorded 25 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, in a 98–97 win over the defending champion Toronto Raptors. On January 30, 2020, Paul was selected to his tenth All-Star nod, and first since 2016, being named a Western Conference reserve. On February 11, Paul scored a season-high 31 points in a 114–106 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

9. Anthony Davis


Anthony Davis

Born: 11 March 1993, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 2.08 m
Wingspan: 2.27 m
Salary: 27.09 million USD (2019)
Current team: Los Angeles Lakers (#3 / Power forward, Center)

Davis left college for the NBA after one season and was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans, then known as the New Orleans Hornets, and was selected that summer to play in the 2012 Olympics. After his rookie season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The next season, he became an All-Star for the first time and led the NBA in blocked shots per game. He has since become a seven-time All-Star and the youngest player to score at least 59 points in an NBA game. In 2017, he was named the recipient of the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award after setting an All-Star Game scoring record of 52 points en route.

10. Kyrie Irving


Kyrie Irving

Born: 23 March 1992, Melbourne, Australia
Height: 1.88 m
Wingspan: 1.93 m
Salary: 20.1 million USD
Current teams: Brooklyn Nets (#11 / Point guard, Shooting guard)

Irving played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils before joining the Cavaliers in 2011. He won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the 2014 All-Star Game. In the 2016 NBA Finals, he made a three-point field goal with 53 seconds remaining in a tied Game 7 to help lead the Cavaliers to a championship over the Golden State Warriors. After losing a rematch with the Warriors in the 2017 Finals, Irving requested a trade and was dealt to the Boston Celtics. He played as a Celtic for two seasons, after which he signed with the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent in 2019.

Career highlights and awards



Names Awards
Giannis Antetokounmpo NBA Most Valuable Player (2019) 4× NBA All-Star (2017–2020) All-NBA First Team (2019) 2× All-NBA Second Team (2017, 2018) NBA All-Defensive First Team (2019) NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2017) NBA Most Improved Player (2017) NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2014) Euroscar European Player of the Year (2018)
Kawhi Leonard 2× NBA champion (2014, 2019) 2× NBA Finals MVP (2014, 2019) 4× NBA All-Star (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020) NBA All-Star Game MVP (2020) 2× All-NBA First Team (2016, 2017) All-NBA Second Team (2019) 2× NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2015, 2016) 3× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2015–2017) 2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2014, 2019) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2012) NBA steals leader (2015) Consensus second-team All-American (2011) 2× First-team All-MWC (2010, 2011) No. 15 retired by San Diego State Aztecs California Mr. Basketball (2009)
LeBron James 3× NBA champion (2012, 2013, 2016) 3× NBA Finals MVP (2012, 2013, 2016) 4× NBA Most Valuable Player (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) 16× NBA All-Star (2005–2020) 3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2006, 2008, 2018) 12× All-NBA First Team (2006, 2008–2018) 2× All-NBA Second Team (2005, 2007) All-NBA Third Team (2019) 5× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009–2013) NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2014) NBA Rookie of the Year (2004) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2004) NBA scoring champion (2008) J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (2017) 3× AP Athlete of the Year (2013, 2016, 2018) 2× Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year (2012, 2016) USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2012) 2× Mr. Basketball USA (2002, 2003) Naismith Prep Player of the Year (2003) McDonald's All-American Game MVP (2003) 2× First-team Parade All-American (2002, 2003) 3× Ohio Mr. Basketball (2001–2003)
Stephen Curry 3× NBA champion (2015, 2017, 2018) 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2015, 2016) 6× NBA All-Star (2014–2019) 3× All-NBA First Team (2015, 2016, 2019) 2× All-NBA Second Team (2014, 2017) All-NBA Third Team (2018) NBA scoring champion (2016) NBA steals leader (2016) 50–40–90 club (2016) NBA Three-Point Contest champion (2015) NBA Sportsmanship Award (2011) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2010) AP Athlete of the Year (2015) Consensus first-team All-American (2009) Consensus second-team All-American (2008) NCAA season scoring leader (2009) 2× SoCon Player of the Year (2008, 2009)
Kevin Durant 2× NBA champion (2017, 2018) 2× NBA Finals MVP (2017, 2018) NBA Most Valuable Player (2014) 10× NBA All-Star (2010–2019) 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2012, 2019) 6× All-NBA First Team (2010–2014, 2018) 3× All-NBA Second Team (2016, 2017, 2019) NBA Rookie of the Year (2008) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2008) 4× NBA scoring champion (2010–2012, 2014) 50–40–90 club (2013) Consensus national college player of the year (2007) Consensus first-team All-American (2007) Big 12 Player of the Year (2007) No. 35 retired by Texas Longhorns FIBA World Championship MVP (2010) 2× USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2010, 2016) McDonald's All-American Game MVP (2007) First-team Parade All-American (2006)
James Harden NBA Most Valuable Player (2018) 8× NBA All-Star (2013–2020) 5× All-NBA First Team (2014, 2015, 2017–2019) All-NBA Third Team (2013) NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2012) 2× NBA scoring champion (2018, 2019) NBA assists leader (2017) NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2010) Consensus first-team All-American (2009) Pac-10 Player of the Year (2009) 2× First-team All-Pac-10 (2008, 2009) No. 13 retired by Arizona State Sun Devils Second-team Parade All-American (2007)
Russell Westbrook NBA Most Valuable Player (2017) 9× NBA All-Star (2011–2013, 2015–2020) 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2015, 2016) 2× All-NBA First Team (2016, 2017) 5× All-NBA Second Team (2011–2013, 2015, 2018) All-NBA Third Team (2019) 2× NBA scoring champion (2015, 2017) 2× NBA assists leader (2018, 2019) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2009) Third-team All-Pac-10 (2008) Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year (2008)
Chris Paul 10× NBA All-Star (2008–2016, 2020) NBA All-Star Game MVP (2013) 4× All-NBA First Team (2008, 2012–2014) 3× All-NBA Second Team (2009, 2015, 2016) All-NBA Third Team (2011) 7× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009, 2012–2017) 2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2008, 2011) NBA Rookie of the Year (2006) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2006) 4× NBA assists leader (2008, 2009, 2014, 2015) 6× NBA steals leader (2008, 2009, 2011–2014) Consensus first-team All-American (2005) First-team All-ACC (2005) ACC Rookie of the Year (2004) No. 3 retired by Wake Forest Demon Deacons USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2004) First-team Parade All-American (2003) North Carolina Mr. Basketball (2003)
Anthony Davis 7× NBA All-Star (2014–2020) NBA All-Star Game MVP (2017) 3× All-NBA First Team (2015, 2017, 2018) NBA All-Defensive First Team (2018) 2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2015, 2017) 3× NBA blocks leader (2014, 2015, 2018) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2013) NCAA champion (2012) NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2012) Consensus national player of the year (2012) Consensus first-team All-American (2012) NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2012) USBWA National Freshman of the Year (2012) SEC Player of the Year (2012) NCAA blocks leader (2012) SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2012) SEC Rookie of the Year (2012) Jordan Brand Classic co-MVP (2011) First-team Parade All-American (2011)
Kyrie Irving NBA champion (2016) 6× NBA All-Star (2013–2015, 2017–2019) NBA All-Star Game MVP (2014) All-NBA Second Team (2019) All-NBA Third Team (2015) NBA Rookie of the Year (2012) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2012) NBA Three-Point Contest champion (2013) USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2014) FIBA World Cup MVP (2014) First-team Parade All-American (2010)

Best NBA Players from every team



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