The Tallest Point Guards in NBA History (2021): That Were Also Good
Ben Simmons (6'10")
Magic Johnson (6'9")
Oscar Robertson (6'5")
Jason Kidd (6'4")
Walt Fraizer (6'4")
The average height of a point guard ranges between 6'2" and 6'4." They are typically the shortest player on the court. Although point guards help facilitate the teams' offense, this is an entirely different story regarding defense.
As a result of their height, the opposing teams' taller players (i.e., basically every other position besides point guard) can take advantage of their height and create a mismatch between them and the point guard, leading to easy post-ups. In addition, point guards might as well be useless when it comes to rebounding.
That's why the only point guard ever to win the Defensive Player of the Year award was Gary Payton. He was on the taller side for a point guard (6'4"), but even then, he was known for his perimeter defense. It's hard to be a good post-defending point guard if you're short.
However, that doesn't apply if the teams' point guard IS tall. In this article, we'll go over some of the tallest point guards in NBA history and see how good they were! Did being tall help them on defense? Did it make their offense even better?
Keep on Reading to Find Out!
These are not the tallest point guards in NBA history. These are point guards that are TALL but also happen to be AMAZING.
The only exception is Ben Simmons.
I included Simmons as an exception because although he's nowhere near the players listed here, he IS the TALLEST point guard in NBA history. Also, this sounds like I'm shitting on Ben Simmons, but he's also an outstanding player.
Walt Fraizer (6'4")
The fifth tallest point guard in NBA history is Walt Fraizer... kind of. Fraizer ties with Kidd as the fourth (or fifth) tallest point guard as they're both 6'4." However, I put Kidd above Fraizer because Kidd's career was better than Fraizer's.
Nonetheless, Fraizer was one of the best point guards in the 80s. During his time with the New York Knicks, Fraizer averaged:
19.3 Points, 6.1 Rebounds, 6.3 Assists, 2.0 Steals, and 0.2 Blocks
49.2 FG%, 78.3 FT%
Alongside Willis Reed and Dave Debusschere, Fraizer would win the only two championships that the Knicks have won so far (1970 and 1973).
If it weren't for Fraizer's performance in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, it's almost certain that the Knicks would have only won one championship.
With it being Game 7 of the Finals, the stadium was tense. It was the final game of the playoffs. This game would decide whether the Lakers would win their SIXTH ring or the Knicks were going to win their FIRST!
During the game, the Knicks' then star player, Willis Reed, only scored four points and had three rebounds within twenty-seven minutes. This was someone who, in the first round, had 36 POINTS and 36 REBOUNDS.
Thankfully, Walt Fraizer turned up for probably one of the best performances in a Game 7 of the Finals. Fraizer had:
36 Points, 19 Assists, 7 Rebounds
12/17 FG, 12/12 FT
Besides this legendary performance, Fraizer was also one of the BEST defensive guards during the 70-80s.
Just so I don't become repetitive, almost EVERY player on this list was an amazing defender.
Fraizer attributed his amazing defense not to his height but the speed of his hands. Instead of making contact with the opponent, Fraizer would try and swipe the ball away, and it typically worked! Fraizer would be selected to the All-Defensive Team SEVEN times!
Unfortunatley, during the first half of Fraizer's career, steals were not a recorded stat, so we'll never know the extent to how well Fraizer was at stealing the ball. However, during the 1974-75 NBA season, Fraizer had 2.4 STEALS per game! That might not sound like a lot, but this year, the steal leader, Jimmy Butler, is averaging 2.1 steals per game!
Jason Kidd (6'4")
The fourth (or fifth, semantics idk) tallest point guard is Jason Kidd at 6'4."
During his time with the New Jersey Nets, which in my opinion, was the prime of Jason Kidd's career, Kidd averaged:
14.6 Points, 7.2 Rebounds, 9.1 Assists, 1.9 Steals, and 0.3 Blocks
39.7 FG%, 34.2 3P%, 80.7 FT%
I have Kidd above Walt Fraizer and a player like Gary Payton because of how well-rounded Kidd was. He was literally able to do everything on the court. Kidd could have a down-day on shooting but would make up for it with his elite playmaking ability. He knew how to get the ball in a position that would be favorable for his teammates.
Similar to Chris Paul, Kidd was also a surprisingly amazing defensive rebounder and played brilliant defense. Kidd knew when to switch and help play defense and would even guard bigger wing players successfully. In addition, his on-ball defense was pretty good as well!
Although earlier in his career, Kidd was never the best three-point shooter, during his time with the Dallas Mavericks, Kidd developed into an above-average three-point shooter.
With the Mavericks, Kidd would average 36.3% from the three-point line. In the 2009-10 NBA season, Kidd would average 42.5% from the three-point line on 5.2 threes a game!
Unlike Fraizer, Kidd would see playoff success late in his career. Kidd would win his first and only ring in 2010-11 at the age of 37. You would think that he would only serve as a role player, but even at his old age, he was, without a doubt, the teams' best facilitator and perimeter defender.
Kidd would lead the team in assists (7.3) and steals (1.9). During the first round in Game 5 against the Portland Trailblazers, Kidd had 14 ASSISTS! During that game, Kidd assists 60% of the teams' field goals and only had a 20.2% turnover rate. What's even crazier is that Kidd had more assists than the entire opposing team (13).
This wasn't Kidd's only good performance. In the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kidd averaged 3.4 STEALS per game!
Oscar Robertson (6'5")
The third tallest point guard is Oscar Robertson at 6'5."
I could literally just write that Oscar Robertson was a 6'5" version of Russell Westbrook and move on, but that would be boring. Instead, let's dive into his stats during his time with the Cincinnati Royals because I had NO IDEA that Robertson played for the Bucks:
29.3 Points, 10.3 Assists, 8.5 Rebounds
48.9 FG%, 83.7 FT%
Before Westbrook beat Robertson for the MOST triple-doubles, Robertson led the league in triple-doubles with 181 career triple-doubles.
In his sophomore season, Robertson had FORTY-ONE TRIPLE DOUBLES. That means that out of the 79 games he played that season, 52% of them had Robertson averaging a triple-double. In addition, this was also the season that Robertson became the FIRST NBA player to average a triple-double in the regular season.
That isn't the only impressive fact about Robertson. Robertson led the league in assists for seven different seasons. Within a fourteen-seasons timespan, 50% of the time, Robertson was the assists leader.
In addition, in the 1967-68 NBA season, Robertson led the league in points (29.2), assists (9.7), and free-throw percentage (87.3%).
Due to Robertson's size, he has also played as a shooting guard, small forward, and power forward! However, although he was quite big for his size, we have no idea whether he was a good defender. There weren't that many "good" defenders during that time period since everybody just played run-and-gun offense.
Adding onto his mediocre defense (maybe?), we'll never know if Robertson was a good three-point shooter.
Robertson was an amazing mid-range shooter, but since the three-point line was not established in the NBA until the 1979-80 NBA season, we'll never know if Robertson could have been a good three-point shooter. If he was, he would have probably held onto his triple-double record.
Magic Johnson (6'9")
The second tallest point guard is Magic Johnson at 6'9." Not only is he one of the tallest point guards, but arguably, the best point guard in NBA history (it's either him or Steph Curry).
For the entirety of his thirteen-season career, Johnson played for the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged:
19.5 Points, 11.2 Assists, 7.2 Rebounds, 1.9 Steals, and 0.4 Blocks
52 FG%, 30.3 3P%, 84.8 FT%
During the 90s, the Lakers were one of the most dominant teams in the NBA. Their dominance had a lot to do with Johnson. In his rookie year, Johnson was already leading the league in assists (9.4) and steals (3.1). From the 1980 to 1990 NBA season, the Lakers won FIVE rings. Of those five rings, Johnson was the Finals MVP in three of them!
Before Johnson, there was NEVER someone as tall as him with the same agility and laser-accurate passing skills as Johnson. Johnson had amazing court vision due to his height, which was why Johnson was so good at executing extremely precise passes.
In addition, because of his height, he was able to play ALL FIVE positions (including Center)! In Game 6 of the 1979-80 NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had to sit out due to a sprained ankle. As a result, Johnson, who remember, was ONLY A ROOKIE, filled in as the starting Center.
And it wasn't like the Center that Johnson was faced up against was just some role player. Johnson had to go up against Daryl Dawkins. Dawkins was two inches taller and thirty-five pounds heavier than Johnson. Also, during that season, Dawkins was averaging a then-career-high in ALL box score stats.
Even then, Johnson would go absolutely NUTS that game. Johnson put up:
42 Points, 15 Rebounds, 7 Assists, 3 Steals, and 1 Block
14/23 FG, 0/1 3P, 14/14 FT
Again... as a ROOKIE, Johnson led that game in points, rebounds, and steals! He out-rebounded his opponent by ELEVEN REBOUNDS (Daryl Dawkins only had four rebounds)!
Although this isn't specific to Johnson, during that game, FOUR players on the Lakers had more than ten rebounds that game:
Magic Johnson (15)
Jim Chones (10)
Jamaal Wilkes (10)
Mark Landsberger (10)
And because of his amazing performance, Johnson would be awarded Finals MVP! To this day, Johnson is the ONLY rookie to win Finals MVP, and I doubt any other player will beat that record any time soon.
Besides his rookie season, Johnson was Top 3 in Assists EVERY YEAR! In the 1985-86 NBA season, Johnson was assisted 45.1% of his team's field goals! Considering his points, Johnson was probably involved in 70% of the teams' field goals!
If it weren't for Johnson's early retirement, I'm pretty sure that Johnson would have won another MVP and Championship.
Ben Simmons (6'10")
And finally, the tallest point guard in NBA history is Ben Simmons! Although he is not as good as the players on this list, since he is the tallest point guard in NBA history, I feel inclined to include him here.
Also, he's only four years into his career! Simmons has a LONG way to go before we can definitively conclude whether he belongs in the "Top Point Guard" conversation.
There will be some bias here because, unlike the rest of the players on this list, Simmons is still actively playing. I'm also a newish NBA fan, so Simmons is the only player I've actually seen play out of all the players here.
So far, with the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons has averaged:
15.9 Points, 7.7 Assists, 8.1 Rebounds, 1.7 Steals, and 0.7 Blocks
56.0 FG%, 59.7 FT%
First off, let's start with the positives. Simmons is an ELITE passer and probably one of the best passers in the game right now. As a result of his height, Simmons is also one of the best all-around defenders. Since Simmons is 6'10," he can guard every position with ease.
Around 40% of Simmons' defensive assignments are at the three-point line, while the other 60% are inside the arc. Players only shoot 42.2% from the field when guarded by Simmons. In addition, Simmons was in contention for Defensive Player of the Year this year (2020-2021). Although he did not win the award, he was second in the voting and will definitely make the All-Defensive Team for the second time within five seasons.
Finally, he's tied for SIXTH in Defensive Win Shares and has the SEVENTH highest Defensive Box +/-. In his third season in the NBA, Simmons led the league in steals (2.1)!
Now... the negatives. As we all know, Simmons simply can not shoot. If this were back in the 80s, this wouldn't be a problem. In fact, Simmons would have probably been as dominant as Magic if he played during the 80s. However, today's game emphasizes shooting, a skill that Simmons does NOT have.
Simmons can not shoot three-pointers, mid-range shots, or free-throws and almost always relies on post-ups and layups. Thankfully, since he is as tall as he is, he's able to get past just having post-ups and layups in his scoring arsenal, but if he wants to become EVEN BETTER, he NEEDS to develop a jump shot.
His lack of a jump shot is why I said that Simmons was a good 'passer,' but not a good 'playmaker.' Running a pick-and-roll becomes much harder when the opposition knows the roller can not shoot and can easily force them (i.e., Simmons) to take a crappy shot.
Currently, Simmons and the 76ers are in the second round of the 2020-2021 NBA Playoffs. Besides Game 1 of the First Round against the Washington Wizards, Simmons has played how he normally plays.
In the most recent Game 2 of the Second Round against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons was able to clamp up Trae Young to 21 points. Although that is a lot, in Game 1 of the Second Round, when guarded primarily by Danny Green, Young had 35 points and shot 48/36/100. With Simmons guarding him, Young shot 37/14/89.