Top 10 Tallest Point Guards in NBA History

Top 10 Tallest Point Guards in NBA History

“Magic Johnson” by Kip-koech is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Basketball is a sport in that height comes in great advantage in rebounding, shooting over your opponents, and defense. The average height of an NBA player is 6’6″. The average height for a point guard is definitely lower since point guards are usually the shortest players on the team.

Does tall point guard have an advantage in the NBA?

The point guard’s role is to control the tempo of the team’s offense by getting the ball to the player, guard opponents’ point guards. They are the leader on the floor who works closely with the coach’s plan. Some point guards strength is in assisting teammates in finding the best shot, while others are great at scoring by themselves. But the core responsibility of a point guard role is to lead the team in offense, and they’re usually the shortest guy on the court.

The average height of the NBA point guard range from 6’1″ to 6’4″. Point guard may be the shortest player on the team, but oftentimes, they’re the best dribble on the court, good at finding strength and weaknesses in their teammates and opponents, great distributors, and great scorers. Stephen Curry (6’3″) and Kyrie Irving (6’2″) are such legendary point guards that dominate the court as a point guard position.

However, there are some exceptional tall NBA players who take up the role of point guard. No one would have expected such a tall point guard in the NBA, but their skill to prove that a tall player can exceed in a point guards position.
When you search who is the tallest point guard in NBA history, the result will most likely be Magic Johnson. In this article, we will go over the Top 10 Tallest NBA Point Guards in History. And some of these point guards became the NBA Hall of Famer.

You may also want to read Top 30 Shortest NBA players to Dunk In-Game

Who Is The Tallest Point Guard Now?

Ben Simmons is the most potential tall point guard who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. He is listed at 6’11”, and was listed in a point guard and power forward position.

Simmons originated from Australia and was selected by the 76ers in the 2016 NBA draft. He missed his debut in the 2016-17 season after he suffered a fracture of the right foot. Simmons starts his rookie season in 2017-18. He helped the 76ers move on to the second round of the playoff after defeating Miami Heat.

Simmons helped the 76ers with a 4-1 win against the Heat, and he became the first rookie after Magic Johnson in 1980 to have a triple-double in a playoff (17 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists win in Game 4).

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With his tall physique and large wingspan, he is great at the defensive and offensive end of the game. He was named rookie of the year and earned NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Maybe is still too early to put Ben Simmons on our list of the greatest point guards, But he has a lot of potentials to be on our list for the Top 10 Tallest NBA Point Guards in History. We just need time for him to demonstrate his skill as the tallest point guard in the current NBA era.

10. Paul Westphal

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Drafted: 1972 Round 1 10th overall pick by Boston
  • Teams: Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonic, New York Knicks
  • Career Stats: 823 Games, 12809 Points, 15.6 ppg, 4.4 apg, 1.3 spg, 50.4 fg%
  • Career History: NBA Championship 1974, 5x NBA All-Star, 3x All-NBA First team,

Paul Westphal‘s professional basketball player year from 1972-1984. At 6’4″, he became a great point guard who became the team’s leader in ball handling, sharpshooter off the ball, and great at defense.

Westphal joined the Boston Celtics in the 10th overall pick in the 1972 draft. He played three seasons for the Celtics, which included a championship in 1974. He was not the main player in the Celtics during the championship season. Westphal 19.3 minutes, 9.8 points, and 2.9 assists during the 1973-74 regular season.

He traded to Phoenix Suns in 1975 and became a major player for the Suns. He increased his playing time to average 36.1 minutes, 20.5 points, and 5.4 assists. Westphal led the Suns to their first NBA Finals against Celtics in 1976. During Game 5 of the series, Westphal helped the Suns stay on the series by leading the game to triple overtime. The Celtics eventually beat Suns in game 5 and won the series in game 6.

Throughout his career, Westphal averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals, and 50.4% field goal per game. He is well known for his effort in helping the Suns to their first NBA finals. He played for Seattle SuperSonic and New York Knicks in his late career, but he didn’t make a huge impact as he represented the Suns.

9. Derek Harper

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Drafted: 1983 Round 1, 11th overall pick by Dallas Mavericks
  • Teams: Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, La Lakers
  • Career Stats: 1199 Games, 16006 points, 13.3 ppg, 5.5 apg, 1.6 spg, 46.3 FG%
  • Career History: 2x NBA-All Defensive Second Team

Derek Harper was listed 6’4″ during the draft, and he can be considered tall for the point guard position. He was drafted by the Mavericks in 1983. He spends 10 years with the Mavericks, and 6 out of the 10 years Harper helped the team reach the NBA playoff. Harper was a strong offensive and defensive point guard, he averaged 15 points and 6.1 assists per game.

Along with All-Star Shooting guard Rolando Blackman, Mavericks made it to Western Conference Final in the 1987-88 season, but Harper and Blackman failed to repeat their success to bring the team back to the Western Conference.

Mavericks’ performance dropped tremendously during Harper’s last 3 seasons with Mavs. He still performed well in the team, but it’s not enough, Harper decided to leave for the Knicks in 1994 where he reunited with Blackman. He retired after 16 seasons.

8. Ron Harper

  • Height: 6’6″
  • Drafted: 1986 Round 1, 8th Overall pick by Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers, LA Clippers, Chicago Bulls, LA Lakers
  • Career Stats: 1009 Games, 13910 Points, 13.8 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.9 spg, 44.6 FG%
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  • Career History: 5x NBA Championship (Bulls 1996-98 & Lakers 2000, 2001)

Ron Harper‘s height at 6’6″ put him on our list for Tallest Point Guards in NBA History. But he initially started his career with the Cavaliers and Clippers as a shooting guard for 11 seasons. He is a great scorer during his rookie year with an average 22.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.8 apg, and 2.5 spg. He was placed second on the rookie of the year in 1987.

Harper spends most of his career as a shooting guard but was forced to adjust his playing style as a point guard when he joined the Bulls. He was listed as shooting guard during his first season with the Bulls and averaged 6.9 ppg, 2.0 apg, and 1.3 spg.

Harper’s score took a tremendous dropped from an average of 20 points per game as a shooting guard to single digits per game as a point guard in Bulls. He switched to a defensive point guard the following season to assist Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on their second three-peat runs.

Harper brought his new discovered talent as a point guard to La Lakers in 1999 with the same role in Bulls. He bought along defensive end as a backup point guard. He retired after he won two more championships alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

7. Dennis Johnson

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Drafted: 1976 Round 2, 29th overall pick by Seattle SuperSonics
  • Teams: Seattle SuperSonic, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics
  • Career Stats: 1100 Games, 15535 Points, 14.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 44.5 FG%
  • Career History: 3x NBA Championship (1979, 1984, 1986), NBA Final MVP 1979, 5x NBA All-Star, All-NBA First Team

Dennis Johnson was a late bloomer who begin to shine in his NBA career after the switch position from shooting guard to point guard. He falls under our 10 Tallest NBA point guard in history due to his above-average height for a point guard.

Johnson also nickname DJ spend half of his career with the Celtics as a defensive point guard with the main task of shutting down the opponent’s best backcourt player. Johnson was a great scorer when he played for Sonic. He helped Sonic won their first NBA championship in 1979. During Game 4, Johnson with 32 points along with Gus Williams 36 points defeated the Washington Bullets with a 3-1 series. He was named NBA Finals MVP in 1979.

He played solid defense against Magic Johnson during the 1984 NBA Finals. DJ had the task of smothering defense on Magic Johnson during the last four games of the series. He limited Magic Johnson to a sub-average of 17 points. The Celtics defeated the Lakers in 4-3 series. Celtics met Lakers in 1985 NBA Finals again, and DJ received the same task to shut down Magic Johnson, but the Lakers defeated Celtics with the helped of Abdul-Jabbar.

6. Penny Hardaway

  • Height: 6’7″
  • Drafted: 1993, Round 1, 3rd overall pick selected by Golden State Warrior
  • Teams: Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Miami Heat
  • Career Stats: 704 Games, 10684 Points, 15.2 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.6 spg, 45.8 FG%
  • Career History: 4x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA First Team

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway was known for his ability to score in a two-guard position. He started the first four seasons listed as a point guard position. Being 6’7″ does not hinder Hardaway to effective as a point guard. He averaged 21 points, 7.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds on his third season with Magic. Hardaway was a good point guard along with young Shaquille O’Neal.

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Hardaway had a lot of potential as a point guard, but the team thinks he has more potential in shooting guard. He switched to the shooting guard position during the 1997-98 season. But sadly, he had a series of knee injuries in 1996.

He eventually ends the 1997-98 season with 19 games, 16.4 ppg, and 3.6 spg. Since his knee injury, Hardaway was not as explosive as before, and his stats dropped. He ended his career with averages of 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.

5. Gary Payton

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Drafted: 1990 Round 1, 2nd overall pick selected by Seattle SuperSonic
  • Teams: Seattle SuperSonic, Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat
  • Career Stats: 1335 Games, 21813 Points, 16.3 ppg, 6.7 apg, 1.8 spg, 46.6 FG%
  • Career History: NBA Championship 2006, 9x NBA All-Star, NBA Defensive Player 1996, 2x All-NBA First Team, 5x All-NBA Second Team, 9x NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA Steal Leader 1996

If we talked about the top tallest point guard in NBA history, we have to include Gary Payton. Payton was one of the best point guards of all time with a nickname of “The Glove”. The nickname becomes famous after his defensive skill was demonstrated in 1993 against Phoenix in the Western Conference Final. Not only does he stopped his opponent physically, but he is also great at getting into his opponent’s head with his trash talk.

Payton averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Not only does Payton contribute points to the team, but he is also great at the defensive end of the court. He is the only point guard in history to received NBA defensive player of the year in 1996, along with NBA steal leader in the same year.

Payton played for Sonic, Bucks, Lakers, Celtics, and finally Heat where he won his first NBA championship in 2006. At aged 37, Payton reunited with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal in Heat. Although his minutes were limited to an average of 28.5 minutes, 7.7 points, and 3.2 assists per game in the regular season, Payton bought rich experience on the defensive and offensive end as a backup point guard to Jason Williams.

In the 2006 NBA Finals, Payton helped the Heat stay on the series by hitting the winning jump shot in Game 3.

4. Walt Frazier

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Drafted: 1967, Round 1, 5th overall pick by New York Knicks
  • Teams: New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Career Stats: 825 Games, 15581 Points, 23 Triple Double, 18.9 ppg, 6.1 apg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 spg, 49 FG%
  • Career History: 2x NBA Champion (1970, 1973), 7x NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP, 4x All-NBA First Team, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 7x NBA All-Defensive First Team

Walt Frazier is a Hall of Famer in 1987. He is one of the top Knicks players in history who helps the team won two NBA titles. Walt pick up his nickname “Clyde” after he wore a fedora during his rookie year.

Frazier is great in offenses and defense by scoring with 18.9 points per game, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists. He had a career-high 44 points against La Lakers on November 2. 1973, and 16 assists in a single game against Golden State Warrior on October 23, 1969.

Frazier single-handedly led the Knicks to NBA Champion in 1970 Game 7 against La Lakers. Willis Reed suffers a leg injury in Game 5, and he manages to return in Game 7 for two minutes before limping off the court. Frazier carried the team to victory with one of the most outstanding performances in NBA history with 36 points, 19 assists, and 6 steals.

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Frazier is definitely one of our top tallest point guards in NBA history with his outstanding point guards skill in scoring and defending. On December 15, 1979, Knicks retired his No. 10 Jersey.

3. Jason Kidd

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Drafted: 1994, Round 1, 2nd overall pick by Dallas Mavericks
  • Teams: Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks
  • Career Stats: 1361 Games, 17529 Points, 12.6 ppg, 8.7 apg, 6.3 rpg, 1.9 spg
  • Career History: NBA Champion 2011, 10x NBA All-Star. 5x All-NBA First Team, 4x NBA All-Defensive First Team, 5x NBA Assist Leader

At this moment, Jason Kidd is the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks.  He won his first NBA champion presenting Mavericks in 2011 along with Dirt Nowitzki.  At 6’4″, Kidd is by far one of the top point guards in NBA history with the quality as a leader, playmaker, clutch shooter, defensive stopper, and great rebounder for a point guard.  He is 2nd in NBA All-Time Assist leader with 12091 assists in 19 years.

Kidd averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, and 6.3 rebounds, with career-high 43 points against Houston on March 29, 2001, and 25 assist in a single game against Utah Jazz on February 8, 1996.

It was fun watching Kidd’s action on the court because of his incredible passing ability.  He is a great scorer and a clutch scorer where his teammate can rely on.  Not only is he a great scorer and passer, but he is also a great rebounder for his size.  He has a total of 107 triple-double in his career.

2. Oscar Robertson

  • Height: 6’5″
  • Drafted: 1960, selected by Cincinnati Royals
  • Teams: Cincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Career Stats: 1040 Games, 26710 Points, 25.7 ppg, 9.5 apg, 7.5 rpg, 1.1 spg
  • Career History: NBA Champion 1971, NBA MVP 1964, 12x NBA All-Star, 3x NBA All-Star Game MVP, 9x All-NBA First Team, NBA Rookie of The Year 1961, 6x NBA Assists Leader

If we talked about the Top tallest NBA Point Guards, we have to include Big O on our list. Standing at 6’5″, Big O is tall for average point guards in the NBA. Roberston was one of the first players in the NBA to average a triple-double during the first 11 seasons. He had the most triple-doubles during 1961-62 with 41 triple-double for the regular seasons.  He had a total of 181 triple-double in his 14 years of NBA career, he is second after Russell Westbrook (184) with the most triple-doubles in NBA history.

During the 1961-62 regular season, Roberston had career-high 22 rebounds and 22 assists in two separate games.  He had career-high 56 points won against La Lakers on December 18, 1964.

Not a lot of point guards can average triple-double in each season, it won’t be surprised Roberston racked up points, assists, and rebounds to assist his team’s victory.  Roberston’s great performance along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the Bucks to become NBA Champion in 1971. 

Robertson won his second NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1964 by scoring 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists to lead East victory.

Bucks retired in 1974, his No. 1 jersey was retired by the Bucks on October 18, 1974.  He became one of the greatest triple-threat players in the NBA who can score inside the paint, outside the arcs, and dish out a pass to assist his teammates.

1. Magic Johnson

  • Height: 6’9″
  • Drafted: 1979, Round 1, First overall pick by LA Lakers
  • Teams: La Lakers
  • Career Stats: 905 Games, 17707 Points, 19.5 ppg, 11.2 apg, 7.2 rpg, 1.9 spg, 52 FG%
  • Career History: 5x NBA Champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) 3x NBA Final MVP, 3x NBA MVP, 12x NBA All-Star, 9x All-NBA First team, 4x NBA Assist Leader, 2x NBA Steal Leader

Who is Magic Johnson?  He is considered one of the best point guards in NBA history because of his impact on the basketball world during the last 70s to early 90s.  With his height of 6’9″, Johnson can easily take up the small forward position. But he did not let his height stop him from becoming the best tallest NBA point guard in history.

Johnson was skillful at both ends of the court, his career averaged 19,5 points, 11.2 assists, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.9 steals.  He is 3rd on the NBA player with the most triple-double (138 triple-double) behind Russell Westbrook and Oscar Robertson.  One of his signatures moves no-look pass has become an art of passing which was a study by later generations.

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He had a career-high 24 assists won against Denver Nuggets on November 17, 1989, and 46 points won against Sacramento Kings on December 26, 1986.

Johnson’s skillful passing, ability to score, great leader, and high basketball IQ led LA Lakers to 5 NBA Champion titles.  He was recognized as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

Final Thoughts

‘The point guard position is not restricted to height, however, in the game of basketball, taller point guards have many advantages in offense, defense, and rebounds. Obviously, not every tall player can play in point guards position. But over the years, the average point guard height has increased due to the change in basketball games and players’ skills.  Many players are can play 2 guards position or even 3 guard position.

Do you think tall point guards have an advantage in basketball?

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