Do you ever wonder how many players are in the NBA? If so, you are not alone.
The NBA is an organization full of basketball players that it’s hard to keep a count on as it consists of 30 teams.
From Steph Curry, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and many more.
So, how many players are in the NBA? In this article, I will discuss the number of basketball players in detail.
How Many Players Are In The NBA?
There are around 450 players in the NBA. Each NBA team consists of 15 basketball players on their active roster.
Considering the 30 NBA teams that make up the entire NBA organization, it would add up to around 450 players.
However, that’s not all.
Each NBA team can waive, replace or remove players on its active roster for reasons such as injuries, poor performances, or contracts not getting renewed.
NBA Teams can also sign two players under two-way contracts from the NBA G League on contracts that aren’t fully guaranteed for the entire season.
As a result, an NBA team can go for around 15 to 17 maximum players depending on the status of players on their active roster and players on two-way contracts.
During the NBA regular season, the number of active players from each team varies a lot because of the following reasons:
- Poor performances
The 2020-2021 NBA season saw approximately 540 NBA players who played at least one official game in the NBA.
So, if we’re going to sum it up, the number of players in the NBA can go up to more than 500 in a single season, with two-way players included.
What Is the Minimum Number Of NBA Players In One Team Roster?
Throughout the NBA season, NBA teams are allowed to have a minimum of 14 players on their active rosters that can go as high as 15 players before the NBA game tips off.
In addition, the bare minimum for a team with the least number of players on their roster should not go below 13.
Note: If the team drops players, they must fill in the void within the next two weeks, or they will be penalized by the league.
How Many Players Have Played An NBA Game?
In NBA history, 4,374 players have played at least a single game.
However, it is hard to get the total player count if you consider the NBA’s 75 long years of existence, changes in its rules, and the number of players allowed in a team.
How Many NBA Players Does Each NBA Team Have?
As I have mentioned above, a team can have fewer than 15 players on its roster or lineup.
Note: During the offseason, the number of players is subject to change as the offseason progresses with trades, free agent signings, and contract renewals. This includes two-way players.
According to the NBA, the following are the number of players for each team as of the time I wrote this article:
- Atlanta Hawks – 20 players
- Boston Celtics – 15 players
- Brooklyn Nets – 16 players
- Charlotte Hornets – 15 players
- Chicago Bulls – 19 players
- Cleveland Cavaliers – 19 players
- Dallas Mavericks – 14 players
- Denver Nuggets – 16 players
- Detroit Pistons – 18 players
- Golden State Warriors – 15 players
- Houston Rockets – 19 players
- Indiana Pacers – 19 players
- Los Angeles Clippers – 18 players
- Los Angeles Lakers – 16 players
- Memphis Grizzlies -17 players
- Miami Heat – 15 players
- Milwaukee Bucks – 19 players
- Minnesota Timberwolves – 17 players
- New Orleans Pelicans -19 players
- New York Knicks – 15 players
- Oklahoma City Thunder – 14 players
- Orlando Magic – 17 players
- Philadelphia 76ers – 18 players
- Phoenix Suns – 15 players
- Portland Trail Blazers – 15 players
- Sacramento Kings – 16 players
- San Antonio Spurs – 14 players
- Toronto Raptors – 21 players
- Utah Jazz – 17 players
- Washington Wizards – 16 players
Players In The NBA Who Have Played The Most Seasons
Staying healthy is one of the most important factors for having a long NBA career. Here’s the list of basketball players who played the most NBA seasons.
Here are the top 15 basketball players who played the most NBA seasons.
- Vince Carter – 22 seasons, 1541 games played
- Dirk Nowitzki – 21 seasons, 1521 games played
- Kevin Garnett – 21 seasons, 1462 games played
- Kevin Willis – 21 seasons, 1424 games played
- Robert Parish – 21 seasons, 1611 games played
- Jamal Crawford – 20 seasons, 1327 games played
- Kobe Bryant – 20 seasons, 1346 games played
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar – 20 seasons, 1560 games played
- Carmelo Anthony* – 19 seasons, 1260 games played
- Udonis Haslem* – 19 seasons, 872 games played
- LeBron James* – 19 seasons, 1366 games played
- Tyson Chandler – 19 seasons, 1160 games played
- Jason Terry – 19 seasons, 1410 games played
- Paul Pierce – 19 seasons, 1343 games played
- Tim Duncan – 19 seasons, 1392 games played
(*) – denotes that the player is still playing and is on an active NBA roster.
In addition, Vince Carter of the Toronto Raptors played the most NBA seasons to date with eight different teams.
Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics played the most NBA games in history.
Of all the players who made the list on this exclusive club, only Carmelo Anthony and Jamal Crawford haven’t appeared in the NBA finals yet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I have collated some frequently asked questions that I have received with regards to NBA teams and NBA rosters.
How Many Players Is An NBA Team Allowed To Have?
During the regular season, an NBA team is allowed to have a minimum of 14 players that are on the active roster.
The league-wide average is around 14, but teams can have a maximum of 15 players on their roster.
However, 13 of those are on active roster spots, while two are on inactive roster spots.
Are G League Players Good?
The G League is the NBA’s development league, which means young players have the opportunity to be signed up by NBA teams that can guarantee them full-time contracts.
Players coming from the G League teams are those who weren’t able to crack a spot on an NBA team immediately.
As a result, they grind their way through and hope that one day an NBA team will notice them and give them contracts.
Here are the five franchises that constantly get players from their G League affiliate teams:
- San Antonio Spurs
- New York Knicks
- Miami Heat
- Washington Wizards
- Atlanta Hawks
General managers also play an essential role in choosing the suitable G League players to fit their team’s needs and roster adjustments.
How Many NBA Players Have Won An MVP?
The NBA MVP award started in 1956 and the first-ever MVP awardee was Bob Pettit.
Over the 75 seasons, there are only 35 NBA players who won the NBA season MVP award. Out of this bunch, 14 of them were multiple MVP winners.
Besides Bob Pettit, five other players won the MVP twice; the list includes:
- Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
- Karl Malone – Utah Jazz
- Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs
- Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns
- Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
Notable Multiple Season MVP Players:
- 3-time MVPs: Moses Malone, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson
- 4-time MVPs: LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain
- 5-time MVPs: Michael Jordan and Bill Russell
- 6-time MVP: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
How Many Players Have Won MVP And DPOY Awards?
For 75 seasons, only five players in league history have won both the MVP (Most Valuable Player) and DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year) awards in their respective NBA careers.
Also, some of these players were able to win it in the same season.
Only three players in history won these awards in the same season. They are:
- Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1988 season
- Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets in the 1994 season
- Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2020 season.
In addition, some players didn’t win these awards in the same season, but their accolades are no less than impressive.
- David Robinson won the MVP award in 1995, while he won the DPOY award in 1992.
- Kevin Garnett also won the MVP award in 2004 while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the DPOY award in 2008 while playing for the Boston Celtics.
Are Teams Allowed to Acquire Players During the Season?
Yes. Teams can sign free agents, waive players, and sign guaranteed contracts throughout the season.
However, they are not allowed to reacquire players that are recently traded.
What Are The Teams to Never Win A Championship?
11 teams in NBA league history have never won a championship. The list includes:
- Charlotte Hornets
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Brooklyn Nets
- Denver Nuggets
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Indian Pacers
- Phoenix Suns
- Orlando Magic
- Utah Jazz
In addition, six of these franchises haven’t been to the finals, namely the Nuggets, Grizzlies, Clippers, Suns, Pelicans, and Timberwolves.
The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have the most championships in history, with 17 apiece.
The league consists of 30 NBA teams, and the number of players who play on each team varies every season.
In any given NBA season, I’ve found out that the total player count can go up to more than 450 players.
I hope I’ve helped you better understand how players, teams, and the league go about their rosters and lineup.