Basketball is a very quick and dynamic sport and quick players are more likely to thrive than. The ones who aren’t. As such, the NBA has a number of speedsters who entertain with their incredible feats of quickness and athleticism.
Speed and running ability allow players to get past defenders and free themselves up for uncontested shots. It’s also pretty important in transition.
As such, this list takes a look at the seven fastest players in the league, ranking them from No.7 to No.1.
- LeBron James
LeBron James turned 37 in December but is shockingly still one of the speediest players in the league. Of course, he’s slowed a bit and is no longer the player who delivered that chase-down block to help win the Cleveland Cavaliers a championship in 2016 but he’s still quite a specimen and is virtually unguardable when he charges at the basket.
While he’s also pretty big, King James runs the floor like a rookie guard and still isn’t a player anyone wants chasing them down on the fast break.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak, as he’s called, really is a freak of nature. Giannis Antetokounmpo can get up and down the floor at an incredible pace, thanks to his long legs, which allow him to cover ground in as few steps as possible.
Giannis is able to run the floor at breakneck speed despite his frame and is also unstoppable once he has a running start when attacking the rim.
The Milwaukee Bucks big man is one of the best two-way players in the NBA and helped his team win a championship last year, their first in 50 years. They’re among the favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy again at the end of the season and NBA betting sites have them at 15/2 to repeat last season’s feat.
- Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons hasn’t played for the Philadelphia 76ers, having tried to force his way out in 2021. Despite his shortcomings when it comes to shooting, Simmons is a very valuable piece as he can defend multiple positions and is one of the most athletic stars in the league.
He’s really a pest on defense, working hard to force turnovers and convert them into buckets. He gets down the floor pretty quickly after making a defensive play and is also one of the faster players in the pros.
While he shies away from shooting the basketball, his transition game is wild, given how fast he can get from one end of the floor to the other.
- Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine is one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA, especially when he takes off on a fast break. The Chicago Bulls shooting guard is agile and quick and has remarkable body control for someone who moves as quickly as he does. A two-time Slam Dunk champ, LaVine is one of the most incredible dunkers of basketball in today’s game.
The 26-year-old is part of a very exciting Bulls team that is actually a threat in the Eastern Conference for the first time in a very long time. The Bulls, who are so much better off for acquiring DeMar DeRozan, lead the conference and are legitimate contenders to get out of the East.
- Ja Morant
The 2020 Rookie of the Year is quite possibly the most electrifying player in the NBA right now and, recently pulled off the block of the season, jumping unbelievably high to snatch Avery Bradley’s layup out of the air during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Morant, who has the Grizzlies relevant again, can beat most players in a footrace whether he’s dribbling the ball or not.
He’s able to create easy scoring opportunities for himself as he could get wide open when he makes a quick dash to the basket.
- Russell Westbrook
Still the most aggressive player in the league, Russell Westbrook plays every game with passion, intensity, and unbelievable energy. He never slows down.
The Lakers guard’s explosiveness makes him unplayable at times and most of his highlights are plays of him running from one end of the court to the other at incredible speed after forcing a turnover or snagging a rebound.
Westbrook is having a pretty difficult season with the Lakers but, as long as they can figure it out before the playoffs, they’ll be a big threat in the West.
- De’Aaron Fox
De’Aaron Fox stands out as the fastest player in the NBA with the ball in his hands, edging Westbrook out because of his youth.
He’s lethal in fast-break situations as he embraces contact and, following his breakout 2017/18 season, continues to improve as an all-around player, though he’s averaging 20.7 points a game this season after finishing with an average of 25.2 last season.