Oldest Active NBA Players

11 Oldest Active NBA Players

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The average age of active NBA players in 2019 is 26 years old, while the average age of retirement is about the late 30s. All of the players on this list are technically at retirement age, or very close, and some of them do plan on leaving the NBA soon, while others show no signs of slowing down. These players have had careers spanning about two decades, while the oldest player, Vince Carter, has played in three, going on four, decades!

Please note that players who were unsigned free agents at the time of the this writing, around the start of the 2019 – 2020 season, were left off this list as they are not actually considered active, even if they have not yet formally retired.

As of October 2019, this information is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

11. LeBron James (December 30, 1984 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 34 years, 297 days
Current Team:  Los Angeles Lakers
Draft Year:  2003
Playing Career:  2003 – Present
Position:  Small forward / Power forward

LeBron Jamesphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison


Of all the players on this list, LeBron James is the most famous and is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players ever in history. James began playing organized basketball in the fifth grade and continued to play in high school. In 2003, James was selected by his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the first overall pick of that year’s draft.

James has gone on to have an impressive career and his accomplishments include three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals. Additionally, James won the 2008 NBA scoring title, is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader, and is fourth in all-time career points scored.

Did You Know?

In addition to basketball, LeBron James played football in high school and was even recruited by some Division I programs, including Notre Dame. Some sports analysts, football critics, high school coaches, former and current players have speculated that James could have played in the NFL.


10. J.J. Barea (June 26, 1984 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 35 years, 119 days
Current Team:  Dallas Mavericks
Draft Year:  Undrafted; joined NBA in 2006
Playing Career:  2001 – Present
Position:  Point guard

JJ Bareaphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

 

J.J. Barea hails from Puerto Rico and has been in the NBA since 2006. Barea briefly played professionally from 2001 – 2002 with Puerto Rico’s Indios de Mayagüez. However, he enrolled at Northeastern University and played for the school until he graduated in 2006. After going undrafted that year, Barea briefly played with the Golden State Warriors before being picked up by the Dallas Mavericks.

After failing to re-sign with the Mavericks, Barea signed a contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but moved back to the Mavericks in 2014.

Did You Know?

J.J. Barea was part of the Puerto Rican national team that won the gold medal in the 2006 and 2010 Central American and Caribbean Game.


9. JJ Redick (June 24, 1984 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 35 years, 121 days
Current Team:  New Orleans Pelicans
Draft Year:  2006
Playing Career:  2006 – Present
Position:  Shooting guard

JJ Redickphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

Jonathan Clay Redick, better known as JJ, has been in the NBA since 2006 when he was drafted by the Orlando Magic. Unlike a lot of the players on this list, Redick was kept by the team that drafted him and he was with the Magic until 2013. Later that year, Redick was briefly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, before he was acquired by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Redick also played for the Phildelphia 76ers for a few seasons and is currently with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Did You Know?

JJ Redick set many records during his collegiate basketball career, including most career points (record was subsequently broken by UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough in 2009) and most career ACC tournament points. Redick is still the all-time leading scorer for Duke University.


8. Thabo Sefolosha (May 2, 1984 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 35 years, 174 days
Current Team:  Houston Rockets
Draft Year:  2006
Playing Career:  2001 – Present
Position:  Shooting Guard / Small forward

Thabo Sefoloshaphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

Thabo Sefolosha is notable for being the first player from Switzerland to join the NBA. Sefolosha was invited to join the junior Swiss national basketball team and began his professional career at the age of 17. He played with Tege Riviera Basket, Switzerland’s top domestic league.

Sefolosha then went on to play in France and Italy before he was drafted to the NBA in 2006. So far, Sefolosha has played for the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz, and now the Houston Rockets.

Did You Know?

In 2015, Thabo Sefolosha’s leg was broken by the New York Police Department after for allegedly interfering with police after Chris Copeland of the Indiana Pacers was stabbed by someone outside of a nightclub in New York City.


7. Andre Iguodala (January 28, 1984 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 35 years, 268 days
Current Team:  Memphis Grizzlies
Draft Year:  2004
Playing Career:  2004 – Present
Position:  Shooting guard / Small forward

Andre Iguodalaphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Andre Iguodala looked up to Michael Jordan as a kid and decided he wanted to become a professional basketball player when he grew up. Iguodala played basketball in high school and went on to play for the Arizona Wildcats while he attended college.

At Arizona Iguodala joined future NBA players Channing Frye, Luke Walton, Mustafa Shakur, Salim Stoudamire, and Hassan Adams. Iguodala was drafted to the NBA in 2004 and has played with the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, and currently the Memphis Grizzlies.

Did You Know?

Andre Iguodala has won three NBA Championships while he was with the Golden State Warriors and was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2015.


6. Tyson Chandler (October 2, 1982 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 37 years, 21 days
Current Team:  Houston Rockets
Draft Year:  2001
Playing Career:  2001 – Present
Position:  Center

photo source: Wikimedia Commons via Tim Shelby

Tyson Chandler has been playing in the NBA since 2001, when he was that year’s 2nd overall pick. Chandler was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers and immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he stayed for five seasons. Chandler went on to play for the New Orleans Hornets, Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and currently the Houston Rockets.

Did You Know?

As part of the Dallas Mavericks, Tyson Chandler played an integral role in helping the team win its first NBA Championship in 2011.


5. Nenê (Hilário) (September 13, 1982 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 37 years, 40 days
Current Team:  Houston Rockets
Draft Year:  2002
Playing Career:  1999 – Present
Position:  Center / Power forward

Nenephoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

Nenê, formerly Nenê Hilário (he legally changed his name to just Nenê in 2003), is a Brazilian-born NBA player who has been playing professionally since 1999. Before being drafted to the NBA in 2002,  Nenê the professional Brazilian team Vasco de Gama for a few years.

Although Nenê was drafted by the New York Knicks, he was traded to the Denver Nuggets and played with the team until 2010. Nenê also played for the Washington Nuggets before he joined the Houston Rockets in 2016.

Did You Know?

Nenê was the first Brazilian ever to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft – he was the 7th pick.


4. Kyle Korver (March 17, 1981 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 38 years, 220 days
Current Team:  Milwaukee Bucks
Draft Year:  2003
Playing Career:  2003 – Present
Position:  Shooting guard / Small forward

Kyle Korverphoto source: Wright-Patterson AFB via R.J. Oriez

Like all of the players on this list, Kyle Korver grew up playing basketball and both of his parents even played the sport at Central College in Pella, Iowa. After playing college basketball for Creighton University, Korver was drafted in 2003 by the New Jersey Nets. The team immediately sold Korver’s draft rights to the Philadelphia 76ers for $125,000.

After playing with the 76ers for a few seasons, Korver was with the Utah Jazz, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Did You Know?

Kyler Korver is married to singer Juliet Richardson.


3. Pau Gasol (July 6, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 109 days
Current Team:  Portland Trail Blazers
Draft Year:  2001
Playing Career:  1998 – Present
Position:  Center / Power forward

Pau Gasolphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Howcheng

Spanish-born Pau Gasol currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers and has been in the NBA since 2001. Gasol comes from a family that has always played basketball – his younger brother is Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors and their parents played basketball with organized leagues.

Although Gasol was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and stayed with the team until 2008. Gasol also played with the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and was briefly signed to the Milwaukee Bucks, but did not play due to an injury.

Did You Know?

Although Pau Gasol grew up playing various sports, he did not initially wish to make it a career.  Instead, Gasol was inspired to become a doctor (like his mother) and find a cure for AIDS after basketball legend Magic Johnson announced he was HIV-positive in 1991.


2. Udonis Haslem (June 9, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 136 days
Current Team:  Miami Heat
Draft Year:  Undrafted
Playing Career:  2002 – Present
Position:  Power forwad

Udonis Haslemphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

Udonis Haslem has been playing professional basketball since 2002 and is the second oldest active NBA player. Haslem was not drafted, but began his career with French team Chalon-Sur-Saône. After playing in France for year, Haslem was picked up by the Miami Heat and has remained with the team since 2003.

Did You Know?

Udonis Haslem attended Miami Senior High School and played for its basketball team along with former NBA player Steve Blake.


1. Vince Carter (January 26, 1977 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 42 years, 270 days
Current Team:  Atlanta Hawks
Draft Year:  1998
Playing Career:  1998 – Present
Position:  Shooting guard / Small forward

Vince Carterphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via chensiyuan

 

Vince Carter, at 42 years of age, is the oldest active player in the NBA. Carter is slated to play with the Atlanta Hawks through the 2019-2020 season and has announced that it will be his last. If Carter does go on to play all the way through this season, he will be the first NBA player to play in four different decades.

Carter played basketball in high school and college. He was drafted to the Golden State Warriors in 1998, but was traded to the Toronto Raptors. Carter went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Sacramento Kings.

Did You Know?

Vince Carter is one of only six players in NBA history to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 3-point field goals.


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