This season’s list of 10 oldest NBA players (if they don’t get cut before the season starts) includes two players from the San Antonio Spurs (not surprising), and only four players remaining who were born in the 1980’s: Vince Carter, Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry.
10. Kyle Korver, Cleveland Cavaliers: March 17, 1981
The veteran sharpshooter is entering his 15th NBA season and starting out his second with the Cleveland Cavaliers. A career 43.1% shooter from beyond the arc, Korver played 24.5 minutes a night for the Cavs last season, averaging 10.7 points per game. He’s signed through the 2019-2020 season, although the last year on the deal is partially guaranteed.
9. Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder: October 26, 1980
Collison played only 6.4 minutes per game last season, featuring in only 20. He’s on the team to be a leader, and maybe a connection to the Supersonics. He has played for the franchise his entire career, starting in 2004-2005, four of those seasons still in Seattle. He ranked third on the franchise’s all-time list in games played.
8. David West, Golden State Warriors: August 29, 1980
After you chased a ring and got it, are still called a ring-chaser? Those questions and more will be answered in David West’s 15th NBA season and second with the Warriors. He played 12.6 minutes per game, scoring 4.6, and it’s probably going down this season. West is a two-time All-Star (last one in 2009) and the Warriors are his fourth team in his NBA career.
7. Pau Gasol, San Antonio Spurs: July 6, 1980
Pau Gasol will start his second season with the Spurs and 17th in the NBA in 2017-2018. He played 25.4 minutes a night last season, averaging 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds. A two-time NBA champion and 6-time All-Star, Gasol might need a bit more rest than others at the start of the season after playing with Spain in the 2017 Eurobasket, failing to capture the gold medal despite early expectations.
6. Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat: June 9, 1980
Like Collison, Haslem is on the team mostly as a mentor. A Heat for life who grew up in Miami and played college basketball in Florida, he’ll begin his 15th NBA season. He played 16 games, averaging 8.1 minutes a night last season. Like Dwyane Wade, he has been part of all three Heat championship seasons.
5. Damien Wilkins, Indiana Pacers: January 11, 1980
Wilkins, the son of Gerald Wilkins and nephew of Dominique, hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013. Since then he appeared for the Beijing Ducks, Indios de Mayaguez, Guaros de Lara, Greensboro Swarm, Iowa Energy and Brujos de Guayama. Not exactly a career trajectory leading back to the NBA. But here he is, signed on a partially guaranteed deal with the Pacers, approaching his 38th birthday. He played 563 games in the NBA for the Sonics/Thunder, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons and 76ers, averaging 6.3 points per game.
4. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks: June 19, 1978
Still here, stretching more and more Mavs franchise records beyond reach. Nowitzki will begin his 20th NBA season, all in Dallas, following a pay cut he took to make things easier for the team. He’ll make $5 million this season, and there’s a team option of $5 million for the next one, if he decides he wants to keep playing. Nowitzki is a 13-time All-Star, 1-time MVP, 1-time Finals MVP and a 2011 NBA champion with the Mavs.
3. Jason Terry, Milwaukee Bucks: September 15, 1977
Terry was a big part of the Mavs winning that championship in 2011 along side Nowitzki. He’ll be starting season number 19 in 2017-2018, his second with the Bucks. He played 18.4 minutes last season, averaging 4.1 points per game. It won’t surprise anyone if this his last.
2. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: July 28, 1977
Ginobili seems like he’s about to retire after every postseason, and then he comes back for another ride. Is this his last one? He’s signed for the next season as well, but who knows what happens this year. Ginobili will kick off season number 16 with the Spurs, averaging 18.7 minutes a night last season, averaging 7.5 points per game. He hasn’t appeared in over 70 games in one season since 2010-2011, making the All-Star game that year. He’s a 4-time NBA champion with the Spurs and 2-time All-Star.
1. Vince Carter, Sacramento Kings: January 26, 1977
The oldest player in the NBA, Carter joins the Kings to start his 20th NBA season. Sacramento is his 7th stop in his long NBA career, which included 8 All-Star selections. He averaged 8 points per game last season for the Grizzlies, and will make $8 million from his one-year deal with the Kings. He is 22th all-time on the NBA’s scoring list, and needs 638 points to get in the top 20. He hasn’t scored that many in a season since 2013-2014.