NBA Statistics: What Is The Average NBA Player Height?

Everybody knows the NBA is a league full of giants. The average height of an NBA player is a whopping 6’6.5″ inches. This means the average player on an NBA court will tower 9.5 inches above an average male in the crowd.

In this article, we’ll look at the average NBA player height by position, the average height of players over the years, and the average height of teams in the NBA vs their win rate.

Average NBA Height By Position

There are five traditional positions on a basketball team. Point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. In general, any “short guy” in the NBA is a point or shooting guard, while centers are usually the tallest players on the court.

Graph showing average NBA height of players by position graph showing average NBA height by position

Average NBA Point Guard Height: 6’2.5″

As of 2022, the average height of an NBA point guard was 6’2.5″. Although this is shorter than the overall average height for NBA players, it’s still over five inches taller than the average man.

Of course, there are still lots of examples of successful NBA players under this height.

All time greats Allen Iverson (6’0”), John Stockton (6’1”) and Chris Paul (6’1”) all played at point guard (and shooting guard in the case of Iverson) in the NBA. This is because the point guard position often favors ball handling, agility, speed and game IQ over height.

In the 2023-24 season, the shortest player in the league is the Toronto Raptors Markquis Nowell, who stands at just 5’7”. The next shortest is Jacob Gilyard of the Memphis Grizzlies, who is just 5’8”. Both players are point guards.

NBA Shooting Guard Average Height: 6’4.5″

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, two of the most exciting and talented players to ever grace the NBA hardwood, were both primarily shooting guards. They were both 6’6″, which is slightly bigger than the 2022 average of 6’4.5″.

On average, shooting guards are two inches taller than points guards, and two inches shorter than small forwards. They are often required to combine the skills associated with both positions.

Especially in the modern era of the NBA, it’s not unusual to see “swingmen” who can play multiple positions with a range of skills. These include shooting guards like James Harden, Tracy McGrady, Klay Thompson, and of course Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

Average Height Of A Small Forward In The NBA: 6’6.4″

Despite being named “small” forwards, NBA players in this position have an average height of 6’6.4″. This is slightly above the overall average NBA player height. Maybe the league could consider renaming them “above average” forwards instead?

The greatest small forwards in the history of the NBA have combined outstanding basketball skill and athleticism with height and power to give their opponents nightmares. These include LeBron James (6’9″), Larry Bird (6’9″), and Scottie Pippen (6’8″).

Image of LeBron James (6’9″) and Carmelo Anthony (6’7″): Erik Drost/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Average Height Of A Power Forward In The NBA: 6’8.2″

Like the name suggests, power forwards generally have a pretty intimidating stature. On average, power forwards in the NBA have a height of 6’8.2″, which is nearly a foot bigger than the average American male.

Due to their height, power forwards are expected to rebound, set screens and generally play closer to the basket than guards and small forwards. However, in the modern game, it’s not uncommon to see a power forward with the skill of a guard, but the height of a center.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (6’11”), Kevin Garnett (6’11”), Kevin Durant (6’11”) and Dirk Nowitzki (7’0″) are all giants that had a combination of ball handling, shooting, passing and IQ that was generally reserved for smaller players in eras gone by.

Kevin Durant
Image of Kevin Durant: Tim Shelby/Wikipedia Commons

Average NBA Center Height: 6’10.3″

Centers are on average the tallest players on any basketball court. Centers and power forwards can interchange, and as previously mentioned, some of the greatest power forwards in the modern era are bigger than centers, but on average an NBA center is 6’10.3″.

They generally play closest to the basket of any position, and their primary responsibility is to rebound, set screens, block the opposing team’s shots, and to score in the paint.

Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs and Boban Marjanovic of the Houston Rockets are the two tallest players currently active in the NBA. They are both 7’4″ and play as centers (although Wembanyama can also play as a power forward).

The tallest player in NBA history was Gheorghe Mureșan (pictured below), who was a whopping 7’7″, and you guessed it, played as a center.

Former NBA player Gheorghe Mureșan tosses a basketball to a child
Image of Gheorghe Mureșan: DoD News/Flickr, PDM 1.0

Average Height In The NBA By Year

Over the centuries, the average height of humans has steadily risen thanks to improvements in healthcare, nutrition and living conditions. In the US, the average height of a man increased by 1.5 inches between 1960 and 2002. So, ​​has the average basketball player height continued to increase in the same way?

The graph below shows the average height of an NBA player per decade, starting from the 1960s.

Graph showing average NBA height of players by year graph showing average height in NBA history by decade

The average player height in the 2002/2003 NBA season was 6’6.9″, which was exactly 1.5 inches taller than in 1960, like the general population.

However, the NBA has not seen a taller decade since the noughties.

The mid 80s was known as the era of the big men, so it makes sense that average NBA player height peaked in 1986/87 (at 6’7.2″). Since then and over time, the league has moved away from an overreliance on height, and is more focused on skill.

Average NBA Height By Team

In the table below, we list the average height of each NBA team alongside the team’s win rate. All data is for the 2023/24 season:

TeamAverage HeightWin Rate
Denver Nuggets6’7.9″41.3%
Phoenix Suns6’7.4″57.4%
Boston Celtics6’7.2″77.1%
Orlando Magic6’7.1″56.8%
Utah Jazz6’7″49%
San Antonio Spurs6’6.9″21.3%
Los Angeles Lakers6’6.8″49%
Brooklyn Nets6’6.7″42.1%
Minnesota Timberwolves6’6.7″70.3%
Washington Wizards6’6.7″19.6%
Los Angeles Clippers6’6.6″66.7%
Houston Rockets6’6.6″47.8%
Milwaukee Bucks6’6.6″68.1%
Oklahoma City Thunder6’6.6″68.1%
Portland Trail Blazers6’6.6″29.8%
Dallas Mavericks6’6.4″55.3%
Sacramento Kings6’6.4″60%
Indiana Pacers6’6.3″56.3%
Miami Heat6’6.3″51.1%
Philadelphia 76ers6’6.3″63%
Chicago Bulls6’6.3″45.8%
Atlanta Hawks6’6.2″42.6%
Detroit Pistons6’6.2″13%
New Orleans Pelicans6’6.2″55.3%
Cleveland Cavaliers6’6.1″63.6%
Toronto Raptors6’6″39.5%
Memphis Grizzlies6’6″37.8%
Charlotte Hornets6’5.8″22.9%
New York Knicks6’5.7″64.6%
Golden State Warriors6’5.4″45.5%

The tallest NBA team is the Denver Nuggets, who clock in at 6’7.9″ on average. That’s 1.4 inches taller than the 6’6.5″ league average, and a significant 2.5 inches more than the shortest team in the league, the Golden State Warriors.

The below graph shows the teams in order of average height (starting with the tallest), plotted against the season’s current win rate percentage. graph showing 2022/23 win rate percentage vs average team height graph showing 2022/23 win rate percentage vs average team height (starting with the tallest)

There is only a slight correlation to be seen when plotted on a graph (shown by the trend line). However, notably, the team with the highest win rate, the Boston Celtics, is the third tallest team. This is also the team with the most NBA rings.

Golden State Warriors line up pregame vs Pistons
Image of “shortest” NBA team, Golden States Warriors: Mike D/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Does Size Really Matter?

Size absolutely matters in the NBA, but it’s not everything. As this article has shown, different positions have different average heights and things have changed from one era to another. There are scores of players who don’t conform to the averages that have had amazing careers. But what are your odds of making it in the NBA?

Average NBA Height FAQs

How many NBA players are 7 feet tall?

In the 2023/24 season, 31 players are listed as 7 feet or taller. The tallest players in the NBA are Victor Wembanyama and Boban Marjanovic. They are both 7’4″.

Does the NBA have a height limit?

No, there is no height limit in the NBA for tall or short players. The tallest player in NBA history was Gheorghe Mureșan (7’7″) while the shortest was Muggsy Bogues (5’3″).

Is 6’3” short for the NBA?

6’3” is shorter than the NBA average of 6’6”, but taller than the average height of a point guard (6’2.5”). So it depends on the position and skill of the player.

How tall are NBA players at 16?

Often tall NBA players have reached a significant level of height by the time they are 16. However, each individual is different and some have growth spurts earlier or later than 16. As a sophomore in high school, Michael Jordan was reportedly 5’11”, while Wilt Chamberlain was 6’0″ by 10.

What is the average height of an NBA player?

In the 2023/24 season, the average height of an NBA player is 6’6.5”. The average height of an NBA player has stayed at 6’6” since the 1980s.

Enjoyed this? Check out our article on the players with the biggest hands in the NBA.