The “top 10” of the NBA’s oldest players heading into the 2018-2019 season includes plenty of international flair, 5 future hall of famers (probably) and two guys already in their 40’s: Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter.
Nene Hilario, Born September 13 1982
The big Brazilian is entering his 17th NBA season and 3rd with the Houston Rockets, part of the 3-year deal he signed in 2017. He played in 52 games last season (in the lineup 4 times), averaging 6.5 points in 14.6 minutes per game. In the postseason he was used more sparingly (averaged 9.8 minutes in 11 appearances). He hasn’t played in more than 67 games during a season since 2010-2011.
Tony Parker, Born May 17 1982
With his offensive production and time on the court rapidly declining in recent years, Tony Parker made a huge change: Left the San Antonio Spurs after 17 seasons and 4 NBA champions, joining the Charlotte Hornets on a 2-year, $10 million deal. Last season he appeared just 55 times (21 in the lineup) averaging 19.5 minutes a game and 7.7 points a night. His per minute scoring numbers were the lowest since his rookie year.
Dwyane Wade, Born January 17 1982
Whether this is the last season for Wade in Miami Heat uniform or not, it’s nice to see a franchise legend likely to retire with the team he’s played for most of his career. After his stints in the Midwest, Wade returned to South Beach last season to average 12 points in 21 games and getting a much bigger role in the short-lived first round series against the Sixers with 16.6 points. It’ll be Wade’s 16th NBA season.
Jose Calderon, September 28 1981
Calderon is back with the Detroit Pistons, who he played for in 2012-2013, commanding his highest single-season salary with $11 million back then. This time? He signed a 1-year veteran minimum deal, following short escapades with the Lakers, Hawks and Cavaliers in recent years. Entering his 14th NBA season, the Spanish point guard averaged 4.5 points in 16 minutes per game last season on the Cavs.
Zach Randolph, July 16 1981
Starting his 2nd season with the Kings and 18th in the league, Randolph remains an effective big man who is very difficult to handle in the paint. He averaged 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds in just 25.6 minutes per game last season with the Kings while shooting 47.3% from the field.
Kyle Korver, March 17 1981
Korver, the man and the 3-point shot (43.6% beyond the arc last season, 43.1% for his career) begins another season with the Cavaliers, this time with no LeBron James to find him when he’s open. Entering his 16th year in the league, he’s coming off another solid year of catch-and-shoot antics, averaging 9.2 points through 73 games.
Pau Gasol, July 6 1980
Our second Spaniard on the list, Gasol is into his third season with the Spurs, with another year left on his 3-year, $48 million deal. The 38-year old averaged 10.1 points and 8 rebounds a game in 23 minutes a night, staying healthy throughout the year (77 games) after missing significant time in his first season with the Spurs. It’ll be his 18th season in the NBA, which began way back in 2001 with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Udonis Haslem, June 9 1989
Haslem, a 3-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, who has played high school ball in Miami, college ball in Florida and his entire pro career back in Miami, begins his 16th season, once more mostly focusing on leadership and mentoring. A tough power forward for the first half of his career, Haslem doesn’t do much playing in recent years, appearing only 67 times in the last 3 years, averaging 1.5 points in under 7 minutes an outing.
Dirk Nowitzki, June 19 1978
Nowitzki was just over 20 when he made his NBA debut. And now, in the 5th decade of his life, he’s still going, entering his 21st year in the league, and for the first time since his rookie year, will likely come off the bench most nights. Nowitzki averaged 12 points in 24.7 minutes last season, but in contrast to the injury riddled 2016-2017 year, he appeared in 77 games for the Mavs. He’ll be aiming to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016 in a usually-crowded Western conference.
Vince Carter, January 26, 1977
And the oldest NBA player for 2018-2019 is…. Vince Carter, who if will stay healthy the entire season, will likely become the 5th oldest man to play in the NBA, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Carter will celebrate his 42nd birthday around the midpoint of the season, playing for the 8th team of his career, following one season in California’s capital city, where he averaged 5.4 points in 17.7 minutes per game.