NBA / Dec 8, 2008 / 12:07 pm

Top 10 Most Versatile NBA Players

Shawn MarionHas Marion gotten bumped off the list?

Versatility is inherently one of the toughest qualities to compare in NBA players. Though it’s easy to see that a guy has the ability to put the ball on the floor, hit the glass, block shots, and score anywhere from two-to-23 feet, it’s hard to choose one guy from among a group who all excel in every one of those categories.

That’s why we’re going for the Top 10 Most Versatile NBA Players. Some of these guys are riding a reputation this season (Marion), and others have been so impressive across the board that they’re now on the list (Wade, Roy). Ultimately, they all deserve to be considered among the Top 10 Most Versatile NBA Players.

* Lamar Odom
* Shawn Marion
* Gerald Wallace
* Tayshaun Prince
* AK-47
* Dwyane Wade
* Stephen Jackson
* LeBron
* Jason Kidd
* Brandon Roy

Other names to consider: Rasheed Wallace, Rudy Gay, Amare, Caron Butler, ‘Melo, Marvin Williams, Jason Thompson, Rashard Lewis, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, Danny Granger

What’s your list of the Top 10 Most Versatile NBA Players?

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  • Banga

    In No Particular Order

    Lamar Odom
    Shawn Marion
    AK 47
    Danny Granger (only a matter of time until he has a 2 3ptm, 2 STL asnd 2 BLK Season)
    Joe Johnson
    Brandon Roy
    Rasheed Wallace

  • P_Dizzle

    Probably the top 3 most versatile players in the league this season are:

  • marcus the great

    i dont know about ‘melo on that list

  • Gerard

    T-Mac. 6’9 playing the point.
    I like Wade, I just think he’s perfect at his position (SG), not really versatile and able to fit other positions.

    All versatile line up:


    How exactly is Joe (No D)Johnson versatile again. And J-Kidd WTF and LMAO dude can only play point and can’t even shoot

  • justice(knicks fan)

    Lamar Odom
    Hedo Turk
    Grant Hill

    honarable Mention:
    Ak-47,Al Horford,J.Kidd, Josh Howard,Tim Duncan(this guy somehow makes every list)

  • justice(knicks fan)

    joe Johnson is actually a very capable point guard and he can play both spots on the wing and give you some boards


    yup keep telling yourself that homie

  • MSkittle

    How do you forget about T-Mac?

  • srb

    kidd’s on the list as versatile because he rebounds like a forward. at least i hope that’s why he’s on the list.

  • karizmatic

    Lebron is probably the most versatile player in the league
    D Wade,
    Kobe (if you’re one of the top 2 players in the league doesn’t that almost imply that you are inherently one of the most versatile?)
    Ron Artest
    Joe Johnson
    Brandon Roy
    Jason Kidd
    Chris Bosh
    But for me most versatile really means guys who can play and defend more than on position effectively, the more positions you can play and defend the more versatile you are.
    Magic Johnson (he could play multiple positions and not defend any.)
    and Scottie Pippen are probably the most versatile players all time to me.


    Josh Smith or Prince
    Joe Johnson

    Honorable mention: Vince, Captain Jack, Granger, CB4, D-Howard

  • Jah

    Ron Artest
    Josh Smith

  • fiyaman

    WTF where is Josh Smith??? (probably the most versatile of them all)

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Josh Smith definetely makes the list and Kevin Durant should at least be on the players to consider list. What’s so versatile about J-Kidd?

  • that’s whats up

    Wittman is out, McHale ???????? is in???

    McHale? What in the hell are the Timberwusses thinking???

  • McCaff


  • fallinup

    Eddy Curry can eat a sandwich in one hand and a donut in the other at the same time. Isn’t that versatility?

  • Ian

    smith on the list
    get melo out

    if roy is on the list so should manu

    but dime the only list melo should be on is top ten jackers

    of the honorable mentions u have i can go with three of them but not kidd
    he cant score

  • Ian

    the big o is the most versatile ever easy

  • dLee

    where’s kobe? he has longggg been both the league’s best player and best overall player.

  • http://www.geocities.com/dimemag Dagomar

    Every list should have Bron at #1.

    Every list should also include KG. 20-10-5 for a record number of years; that’s an automatic inclusion.

    And no, Melo doesn’t qualify yet. Not even close.

  • http://www.geocities.com/dimemag Dagomar

    By the way this video kills it:


  • fallinup

    @ Dagomer

    The info the author provided was a great read. I scream about this all the time…the 90’s era defenses and rules were far better than the ticky tack wimpy shit of today. Let the teams play real defense, let the great offensive players truly be great and break those defenses. Touch fouls have ruined the NBA game.

    It’s “sissyfied.”

    And of course…all of the Jordan footage totally made my day. GOAT

  • Kudabeen

    I know everyone is down on him because of his offense set backs to begin the season, but you can’t deny Andre Iguodala is one versatile dude. What don’t he do other than be aggressive 100% of the time. That is a major sin, but 10+ assist games, 10+ rebound games, stls, blocks, decent D, finishing, avg O…In the same breath…Thadeus Young is gaining stem…

    Healthy Tracy…

  • Patrick

    No Dirk anywhere on this page? Dude plays pretty weak D but he is still one of the top 5 in the league for versatility. How about Boris Diaw or any of the other small forwards Mike D convinces they can play center.

    Top 5

  • karizmatic

    Ian it depends how you look at it as far as variety of stats, sure no one can compete with Big O, but how many positions could he really play and defend well? 1? 2? he might have been a decent small forward in his time as well but that was basically my only reason for not putting him up there. I did kind of cringe when I left him off though Big O would probably be the next on that list for me, or maybe over Pippen.

  • Vinny

    top ten based on the above criteria
    1-Labron-by the time he retires he will be the best ever in this category imo
    2-artest-his defensive versatility sets him apart.
    3-joe johnson-watch him take over a game in the 4th quarter
    4 Kobe-same as above- i cant believe he’s not mentioned in the atricle
    5- prince
    6-tim duncan-man he can grab a rebound and go coast to coast, he’s a great passer for a big and can shoot with range!and post your ass up!
    7-Garnett- all of the above except for the post part.
    10-posey-he’s smart, plays d- and can rebound and hit the big 3! Marion is not as good outside the 7 seconds system, smith doesnt create for others or shoot from the outside very well-plus he makes some dumb ass mistakes sometimes! roy would be my 11th choice, wallace is so overrated!!

  • Michael

    How are Stephen Jackson and Brandon Roy on the List and not Kobe. Over the last ten years he’s averaged 28points 5.8 rebounds 5.3 assists and 1.8 steals. How is he not versatile.

  • loot

    marvin williams? :S

  • Ian

    sorry thought u forgot the big o i didnt think u had him under consideration
    but one thing i dont like is when u guys say he can play multiple positions. for example marion people go oh he can guard duncan and then guard parker sure he gets torched by duncan then by parker that doesnt really mean much. its like magic (the greatest ever tied with wilt imo and i hate the lakers) sure he can play all 5 but can he guard them??

  • Brown

    Caron Butler should be more than an honorable mention. He’s better than Odom and S-Jack.

  • smokez4Dayz

    You guys all have different ideas of what versatility is. I don’t think you’re versatile, just because you can play 3 positions. Versatility is when the opposing team can’t stop you from imposing your will on the game, whether its scoring, defense, passing, etc.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    smokez– that’s just being offensively dominant.

    versatility would be “if your team needs _____ ” you can do that.

    i.e. if your team needs someone to distribute and play point, you can do it;

    if your team needs someone to get to the FT line, you can do it;

    if your team needs someone to block shots and board, you can do it;

    if your team needs someone to sublimate their game for other players, you can do that. etc . . .

    that’s my definition at least . . . a pretty good example of that has been Kirilenko, as he leads the team in FTA/game, hardly ever takes a lot of shots, has had to play the PG this season (actually, if it’s a pissing contest, sloan has used him at the 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 this season due to injuries), and so forth.

    being versatile isn’t the same thing as being offensively diverse — which is what i think you mean. (i.e. being able to kill a team in a variety of ways)

  • http://www.geocities.com/dimemag Dagomar

    I’m with you, fallinup

  • LakeShow84

    Wow Damn Dime you fools MAKE me back Kobe all the time..

    How in the hell is the Mamba not in the list?? He can play 1-3 and occasionally play defense on an undersized Power Forward.. And by versatile what do you mean? U mean playing in an run’n’gun AND half court sets?? U mean stats?? because your most versatile players dont have ANYTHING in common.. u got defenders who can only play TWO positions (Gerald Wallace & Tayshaun, put Prince on a good PF and tell me how it goes), u got guards who would be abused in the paint by a good Small Forward (BRoy & Jkidd) and so on.. Plus Jkidd is not versatile unless your talking systems.. and even then he isnt that versatile..


    But most versatile goes to Lebron.. I think he could play center if he wanted to.. thats just nasty.. 1-5 damn..

  • http://sgausney@gmail.com Ses

    I am going to disagree with D Wade being on that list. Madador defense, turnovers under pressure and a shakey J from beyond 15 feet. The Bulls proved it, you cut off his penetration and he’s ineffective. Call me crazy but, that to me doesn’t mean versatile!!!!….

  • http://sgausney@gmail.com Ses

    …also, how can you not have Artest on this list?, he does it all. He’s not a one-track player at all unlike your boy “Flash”…

  • karizmatic

    No doubt, that’s why I put that in with Magic, he couldn’t guard anyone at any position. But then no one could guard him either. I don’t think Marion is versatile I think he’s the best tweener out there and I think there is a difference between a tweener and a versatile player. A tweener is a guy that plays a position, unfortunately the position he plays doesn’t exist in basketball. Marion is a power forward in a small forward’s body, he really can only play one way. To me that doesn’t make him versatile, it makes him genetically unsuited to play any real position. lol. That’s the next list we should have top tweeners. Guys’ who play one position when genetics dictates they should play another. lol.

    Marion pf in sf body
    AI sg in pg body
    Nowitski sf in pf body
    Terry sg in pg body
    Garnett sf in pf body

  • Skywalker

    Josh Smith and ‘Danger’ Granger have to be in the Top 10

  • Ravi

    Seriously, no Boris Diaw? What the heck, he’s one of the few players to average at least six rebounds and six assists from the forward spot for a season in NBA history(along with LeBron James, Larry Bird, Grant Hill and a few esteemed others). He surely deserves to be there over Amare. How is Amare versatile? He can shoot, he can finish…and what else? He doesn’t rebound consistently; he’s a sieve on defense except for blocking shots. He doesn’t pass, he has a ridiculous assist to turnover ratio…Boris should be there over Amare, Jason Thompson at the very least…

  • Shaun

    Rashard Lewis was a starting SG his first few years in Seattle, and he’s a PF Orlando

    If you’re going to argue that defense, and the ability to cover multiple positions, Rodman covered every position on the court.

    They weren’t great players, but weren’t Billy Owens and Walt Williams supposed to be part of Pat Riley’s vision of 5 6’9 guys running around and interchangable for awhile?

    Steve Smith before he busted up his knees.

    Grant Hill, Penny, Scottie for sure.

    Jeff Green is doing pretty well at that.

    The Raptors play Joey Graham at 2 through 4, and he’s equally clueless at all.

  • Shaun

    And you could make an argument for Wilt, purely on the basis that after leading the league in scoring and rebounding, he was criticized for being selfish, so he DECIDED he would lead the league in assists the next year and did. (name another center who could have done that!).

    Also S-Jackson is pretty damn versatile. He was the default pg at the beginning of the year, but he matches up against guys like Bosh all the time.

    Derrick McKey, Detlef Schremph, Clyde Drexler, Ron Harper, Jamal Mashburn, ….



    He can play the point and guard the PF

  • JZ

    I know probably %100 of you will disagree w/ this however, when healthy, and when utilized properly, Boris Diaw fits the bill, I think. I mean, he was drafted by Atlanta as a Point Gaurd, ended up playing as a Center for the Suns (I know, it was D’Antoni’s “kind of Center”, but still), and he has now been shipped off to the Bobcats as a Power Forward. He may not be great at any 1 position, but he can play most of them adequately.

  • Tom

    Ok so where is D-Will?

  • confused

    wait a sec can someone tell me what makes j kidd and brandon roy, versatile players?

  • Bullsfan

    earl boykins

  • Crazy mayne

    dude, you wack?

    ur all crazy actually

    u guys forgot stephen curry, he can play 4/5 positions