As we near the end of the regular season and ramp up for the postseason, I wanted to highlight a player trait that is debatably one of the most important and that is portability. What is portability?
To me it is the ability to fit into any number of situations or rotations and through their play, maximize the surrounding players and team success without interfering.
One of my favorite all time examples of portability is Kevin Garnett whom I believe to be one of the most portable stars ever. Offensively he’s capable of spacing the floor, he’s a willing passer and his defensive peak goes without saying as he is in the pantheon for defensive anchors and versatility. When looking for a portable player you generally want to look for a player who is a floor spacer, good passer and good defender.
Today I want to take CraftedNBA’s portability formula and look at the 10 most portable players at each position as of this point in the season and add some quick fire thoughts! (CraftedNBA’s portability formula draws inspiration from Ben Taylor of Thinking Basketball and takes into account factors like scoring efficiency, shooting ability, defensive ability/versatility, passing ability and usage. “Players are penalized for being too on ball dominant or for being completely unable to operate with the ball.” – CraftedNBA glossary).
I also put a filter of minimum of 1000 minutes played as well for good sample sizes.
- Stephen Curry
- Tyrese Haliburton
- Chris Paul
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Darius Garland
- Damian Lillard
- Fred VanVleet
- Kyrie Irving
- Mike Conley
- Monte Morris
- LOTS of stars on this list! Safe to say we aren’t shocked to see flamethrowers like Steph and Dame on here nor elite passers like Tyrese, CP and Garland.
- 6MOY frontrunner Malcolm Brogdon!
- Super cool to see Monte Morris sneaking on here as the only non-former All Star. Monte is having a stellar shooting season, 48/41/81 splits (101 TS+) and is a net plus for a Wizards team fighting for the playoffs.
- James Harden
- Desmond Bane
- Derrick White
- Buddy Hield
- Grayson Allen
- Donovan Mitchell
- Donte DiVincenzo
- Damion Lee
- Tyler Herro
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- James Harden, All-Star snub? His portability holding up into the playoffs will determine how far Philly goes.
- Tons of high level starters and role players here! Derrick White, yet another Celtic popping up. Bane, Allen, DiVincenzo, Lee, Herro and KCP are all contributing big minutes to teams vying for title contention.
- Buddy Hield still remains one of the most ideal players to have in your rotation in today’s NBA. High volume and efficiency for his shooting is comparable to guys like Steph and Dame.
- Paul George
- Josh Richardson
- Jayson Tatum
- Royce O’Neale
- Kawhi Leonard
- Mikal Bridges
- Luka Doncic
- Josh Hart
- Trey Murphy III
- Nicolas Batum
- PG is dishing out a season on par efficiency wise with his other LAC seasons but on lower usage. That being said his efficiency as a whole is average relative to league average. What’s working for him is his capability to still be a high level perimeter defender. His deflections per 36 minutes and versatility grade amongst the highest in the league.
- More stars on playoff contenders like Tatum, Kawhi and Luka.
- Nice selection of role players here! Lots of 3&D guys. Biggest name to jump out to me is Josh Hart who is making an immediate splash for a Knicks team that is absolutely cruising right now.
- Mikal Bridges potentially making that leap to stardom in Brooklyn? He’s averaging 25/6 on 53/50/92 shooting since becoming a Net.
- Georges Niang
- Draymond Green
- Kevin Durant
- Kyle Anderson
- Lauri Markkanen
- Pascal Siakam
- Santi Aldama
- Christian Wood
- Jerami Grant
- Kyle Kuzma
- Niang!! Why is he here? He’s playing about 19 minutes for a Philly team vying for the Finals. He brings to the table a high 3-point rate and a high shot quality. He brings spacing and is incredibly non-invasive on the offensive side of the ball. He’s not the greatest defender but his size makes him a serviceable defensive rebounder and an important piece for the Sixers.
- Who said Draymond was washed? Did we expect anything less? I think we’ve gotten to the point where he is insanely underrated and disrespected. This year he’s grading as one of the best passers in the league from both a passer rating and box creation standpoint. On defense he’s grading in the top percentile. His rim defense is as valuable as ever, opponents shooting nearly 15% worse against his defense than they would against any other opponent.
- If KD stays healthy… then Phoenix is gonna be tough. BIG if.
- Lauri’s All-Star jump is not a blip! His portability is a big reason why Utah is staying so feisty even 60 games in.
- Nikola Jokic
- Al Horford
- Kelly Olynyk
- Domantas Sabonis
- Kristaps Porzingis
- Joel Embiid
- Nikola Vucevic
- Brook Lopez
- Chris Boucher
- Myles Turner
- Jokic. Do I need to say anything else?
- Celtics with yet another starter grading high in portability. Their strength is without a doubt their depth.
- Sabonis checks all the boxes you’d want in a portable player. Shooting efficiency, offensive load, high quality passing, play making, active rim defense and a fantastic rebounder. LIGHT THE BEAM.
- Chris Boucher is an incredibly talented offensive rebounder and shot blocker. Deserving to be on this list.
- BROOK LOPEZ! Debatably the best rim protector in the entire league. His Rim Defense % and BLK% are amongst the tippy top in the league and as if that weren’t good enough he’s shooting 38% from 3 and has an above average TS%.
What stands out to you guys? Who are you surprised to see here? Who aren’t you surprised to see? What teams have several of these players? What teams are noticeably absent? Let’s hear your thoughts!