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NBA

The NBA’s tallest and shortest players in 2023-24

The list of the tallest players in the NBA has been updated with Victor Wembanyama’ arrival - the most promising prospect in recent years

Update:
San Antonio Spurs' French forward #01 Victor Wembanyama (C) jis guarded by Miami Heat' US power forward #17 Drew Peterson (L) during the NBA preseason game between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on October 13, 2023.
TIMOTHY A. CLARYAFP

The best basketball league in the world tips off next week - after a summer in which the Denver Nuggets have been able to enjoy the first ring in their history and the other candidates have rearmed themselves to be able to compete with Jokic and company this new season.

Some of the big summer moves included the departure of Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks and the arrival of Victor Wembanyama to the league, among another great cast of rookies who promise to be one of the most outstanding draft classes in recent years. With each start of the season, uncertainties and curiosities arise among NBA fans. In a sport in which height can make a big difference, we will find out who are the tallest and shortest players this season.

The tallest players in the NBA 2023/24

1. Victor Wembanyama

It has been many years since the landing of a rookie in the NBA has aroused so much expectation, but Wembanyama deserves no less. A physique never seen before in the league has arrived to crown the list of tallest players, beating Boban Marjanovic with his 7.4 feet (2.24 meters). Together with his great height, he has a very slim frame and very long limbs make up a very particular physiognomy.

Seeing a player with those characteristics dribble the ball up the court, attack with a dribble from eight meters, shoot from long distance, create his own shots with ease and endless offensive resources of his own of an outside player (and normally of much less height) has been the most shocking thing about the Frenchman. To all these skills is added his ability to intimidate, block and cover a lot of space in defense that his height gives him, which can make him an important piece in the defensive structure of his teams.

Victor Wembanyama.
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Victor Wembanyama.Scott WachterUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Wembanyama has enjoyed good performances in the preseason and, if his own physique respects him, we could be looking at a player who will mark an era in the NBA. At the moment, it seems that having landed in a franchise like the San Antonio Spurs, with a coach like Gregg Popovich and a basketball culture more than adequate to acclimatize and help young people progress, can be a great advantage.

2. Boban Marjanovic

The Serbian center has earned the affection of NBA fans for his affable and fun character, which, for example, made him known in Spain after establishing a great relationship with Luka Doncic. On the fields, Boban and his 7 ft 4 in (2.23m) height have never had an excessively leading role in his teams, but he has had a place in the rotation of several squads and has enjoyed minutes in which he has able to contribute within a specific role: rebounding, intimidation and ease of scoring near the basket. For this season he is part of the Houston Rockets roster.

3. Kristaps Porzingis

The Lithuanian is the third tallest player in the NBA, at 7 foot 3″ (2.21m). His transfer to the Boston Celtics has been one of the most talked about of the summer, and gives another leap in quality to a team that was already a candidate. We will have to see how he fits into the green system along with the Tatums, Browns, Holidays... but on paper he is promising to say the least.

The shortest players in the NBA 2023/24

1. Markquis Nowell

The Kansas State guard was not selected in the 2023 draft, but in July he signed a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors franchise. He is on the Canadians’ roster, although the point guard will have minutes in the Raptors 905 of the G League. His performances in the NCAA, with high-scoring games and many assists, have earned him, despite his 5 ft 8 in (1.70m) height, which makes him the smallest player in the league, to carve out a niche that he will fight to maintain when the season begins.

2. Jacob Gilyard

This 5′ 9″ (1.75m) American point guard signed a two-way contract in April 2023 with the Memphis Grizzlies, Santi Aldama’s team, after having played minutes with the Memphis Hustle of the G League. Although the Grizzlies have the point guard position well covered, Gilyar will be able to fight for a place on the NBA roster this season.

3. Fred VanVleet

His 6ft (1.83m) height has not been an impediment for the American point guard, who has made a name for himself as an NBA star, even playing in an All-Star and winning a ring with the Toronto Raptors in 2019. VanVleet has achieved seasons of more than 20 points per game, being an important offensive talent on his teams. Last summer he signed a great contract with the Houston Rockets as a free agent, becoming one of the great faces of a franchise in full reconstruction.

Fred VanVleet.
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Fred VanVleet.Nick TurchiaroUSA TODAY Sports

There are other players of the same height in the league, such as Kyle Lowry, the veteran Miami Heat point guard who has had a great career in the NBA and was a champion alongside VanVleet with the Raptors, as well as others like Zavier Simpson and José Alvarado.

The NBA's tallest players in history

  1. 7 foot 7 in Gheorghe Muresan  
  2. 7 foot 7 in Manute Bol
  3. 7 foot 6 in Shawn Bradley
  4. 7 foot 6 in Yao Ming
  5. 7 foot 5 in Chuck Nevitt
  6. 7 foot 4 in Mark Eaton
  7. 7 foot 4 in Rik Smits
  8. 7 foot 4 in Ralph Sampson
  9. 7 foot 4 in Boban Marjanovic
  10. 7 foot 4 in Victor Wembanyama