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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Prince Grimes

Ranking the top 30 NBA players over 30 years old, with Anthony Davis among the newcomers

When I put together my first list of the top players over 30 years old, at the start of last season, the rankings were mostly based on what players had already accomplished in their careers. Predictably, the list was led by LeBron James, and players who were in the middle of obvious declines were also ranked a little too high as a result.

This year, I’m weighing those career accomplishments with some personal projection to try to get a more accurate picture of where players might finish the season. I’m also expanding the list from 20 to 30 names, because 30 over 30 has a better ring to it.

With that said, let’s get into it.

Related: Ranking the 23 best NBA players under 23 years old

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (35)

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Because of ability and team circumstances, I think Curry might be the only player on this list with another scoring title left in him. And this could be the season he claims it, which would be the third of his career.

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (30)

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

New to the 30-club, Davis showed his all-world potential in both in the regular season and playoffs last season, carrying the Lakers when he was healthy enough to do so. That health is the only thing stopping him from being a real MVP candidate.

Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns (35)

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Durant is still one of the NBA’s elite scorers, and he might finally have enough help to lighten his load and keep him on the floor for more games.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (38)

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

James isn’t the best player in the game any more, but he’s not far from it. Which is incredible for someone who will likely be the oldest player in the NBA this season.

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat (34)

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

There may be times during the regular season where people question Butler’s placement on this list. But all those people need to do is remember what Butler does in the playoffs.

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers (32)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Reliability is the best availability. That’s the only thing keeping Leonard from being a top-three player on this list.

Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks (33)

AP Photo/Sarah Phipps

There’s a reason folks are so excited to see Dame Time partner with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. Lillard pushes that team into another tier of great.

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers (34)

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Don’t let the unsavory headlines fool you, Harden is still a very good player in this league and he’ll make an impact somewhere if it isn’t Philadelphia.

Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers (33)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I almost want to place George higher, because the talent is undeniable, but he suffers from the same thing that knocked his Clippers teammate down a few spots.

Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks (31)

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Irving can give it to defenders however they want it, and he’ll make it look oh so sweet in the process. He’s poetry in motion on the court.

Nos. 11 thru 20

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

11. Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics (33)

12. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks (35)

13. Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors (38)

14. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (33)

15. Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves (31)

16. Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns (30)

17. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (34)

18. Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (32)

19. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks (32)

20. Al Horford, Boston Celtics (37)

Nos. 21 thru 30

AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer

21. Malcolm Brogdon, Portland Trail Blazers (30)

22. Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers (30)

23. Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers (34)

24. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors (33)

25. CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans (32)

26. Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers (31)

27. Bojan Bogdanovic, Detroit Pistons (34)

28. Mike Conley, Minnesota Timberwolves (36)

29. Kyle Lowry, Miami Heat (37)

30. Mason Plumlee, Los Angeles Clippers (33)

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