They say the NBA is no longer a big man’s league, and it’s partially true. However, there are still giants way above 7-foot roaming the hardwoods, and in the case of the four tallest NBA players right now, all of them happen to be rookies: Boban Marjanovic, Tibor Pleiss, Kristaps Porzingis and Walter Tavares.
One player worth a mention is Sim Bhullar who played a bit for the Sacramento Kings last season. He’s currently unattached to any NBA team and playing in the D-League, hoping to get recalled. The 23-year old Canadian is 7’5 (2.26), which would make him the tallest player in the NBA since Yao Ming retired.
1) Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
The only player on this list who is a meaningful part of this team, Porzingis is 7’3 (2.21 meters), doing very well for the Knicks in his rookie season for the team after being a controversial 4th overall pick back in June. He’s averaging 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, showing that the worries about being too raw and rough for the NBA at 20 years of age were needless. He’s got a lot of work to do in order to become the franchise player the Knicks want him to, but he’s exceeded expectations and quickly established himself as the number 2 player on the team, and quite a hit with Knicks fans, trying to hang on to anything regarding a sliver of hope.
2) Tibor Pleiß, Utah Jazz
Pleiß is a German 26-year old who is 7’3 (2.21 meters) and played for a number of European teams, including Barcelona last season, before finally heading to the NBA. He was a 2010 second round pick by the Brooklyn Nets (New Jersey back then). For the Jazz, he’s a developmental project. In 12 games with the team this season (his first in the NBA) he logged only 82 total minutes, scoring a total of 24 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Right now he’s playing for the Idaho Stampede in the D-League. He’s signed on for two more seasons, but the 2017-2018 year isn’t guaranteed. He last played an NBA game on January 27.
3) Walter Tavares, Atlanta Hawks
Tavares is the first Cape Verde national to play in the NBA, joining the Hawks this season after being a 2014 draft pick (43rd overall). He’s also 7’3 like the two previous players, and is also in the D-League right now, playing for the Austin Spurs. For the Hawks, he has a total of 11 games in which he has played 73 total minutes and scored 25 points. He last played for them on March 4.
4) Boban Marjanović, San Antonio Spurs
While Marjanovic hasn’t had the impact Porzingis has in his rookie season (5.1 points, 3.3 rebounds in 8.1 minutes per game), he’s become something of a fan favorite for the Spurs during the games and minutes Gregg Popovich gives him, and slowly becoming known around the league. The 7’4 (2.24 meters) Serb is the tallest active player in the league, already 27 after bouncing around European teams, mostly in his native Serbia. Usually a garbage time player, he’s already had 11 games of 10 points or more and has picked up two double doubles.