Top 6 Shortest NBA Players in 2024 – Short Kings of the League

NBA short players list 2024

Let’s be real for a moment: the NBA is a league dominated by giants, especially in the last couple of seasons when MVPs were players Like Jokic, Embiid, and Antetokounmpo.  When the average height of an NBA player hovers around 6’7”, being shorter than 6 feet seems like an insurmountable disadvantage.

Yet, every season, a select few manage to defy expectations and make their mark.  In 2024, we have some impressive players who might be short in stature but are anything but when it comes to talent. Here are the short kings that are managing to stand out among the trees in the NBA.

A Quick Look

  1. Markquis Nowell (Toronto Raptors) – 5’8″
  2. Jacob Gilyard (Memphis Grizzlies) – 5’9″
  3. Kennedy Chandler (Brooklyn Nets) – 5’11”
  4. Keifer Sykes (Detroit Pistons) – 5’11”
  5. Jordan Walker (Boston Celtics) – 5’11”
  6. McKinley Wright IV (Dallas Mavericks) – 5’11”

The Six-Footers

  • Chris Paul (Golden State Warriors)
  • Fred VanVleet (Houston Rockets)
  • Kyle Lowry (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Jose Alvarado (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • Mike Conley (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Aaron Holiday (Houston Rockets)
  • T.J. McConnell (Indiana Pacers)
  • Jordan McLaughlin (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Davion Mitchell (Sacramento Kings)
  • Xavier Moon (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Zavier Simpson (Memphis Grizzlies)

The Shortest Among the Short

1. Markquis Nowell – 5’8″

Shortest NBA players 2024

Standing at a mere 5’8″, Markquis Nowell is officially the shortest player in the NBA for the 2023-24 season. Yes, you read that right: 5’8″. The guy is practically invisible next to the league’s skyscrapers, yet here he is, proving height is just a number.

Nowell went undrafted in 2023 but didn’t let that stop him. He signed a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors, showing grit that bigger players often lack.  His college days at Kansas State and Little Rock laid a solid foundation, but his journey to the NBA has been anything but typical.

2. Jacob Gilyard – 5’9″

Next on our list is Jacob Gilyard, standing at a relatively towering 5’9″. Gilyard plays for the Memphis Grizzlies and has a knack for stealing the ball.

With an NCAA Division I record for total career steals at 466, he’s the kind of player who makes point guards sleep with one eye open.  The 2020 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year, Gilyard’s defensive skills are a nightmare for opponents.

3. Jordan McLaughlin – 5’11”

Shortest basketball players 2024

Jordan McLaughlin, at 5’11”, might feel like a giant compared to Nowell and Gilyard, but he’s still considered short in the NBA world.

Playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, McLaughlin’s defense and ability to dish out assists make him a crucial part of his team. His journey through the G League to secure a two-way contract is proof that perseverance really pays off in the NBA.

The Six-Foot Club

Alright, let’s talk about those who barely make the cut to be considered “short” in the NBA. Standing exactly at 6 feet are some notable players who might not be the shortest but certainly aren’t towering over anyone.

4. Chris Paul

NBA players under 6 feet

Chris Paul, aka CP3, aka Point God, is one of the most celebrated point guards in NBA history. Now, with the Golden State Warriors, Paul’s leadership and vision on the court are unmatched.

Despite being 6 feet tall, he’s managed to carve out a legendary career filled with numerous accolades, including two Olympic gold medals and selection to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. He’s also one of the oldest active players, proving age, like height, is just a number.

5. Fred VanVleet

Fred VanVleet’s story is the epitome of an underdog. Like many others, he is undrafted out of Wichita State, VanVleet worked his way up to become an NBA All-Star in 2022.

Now playing for the Houston Rockets, he’s a key player with exceptional skills as a point guard. His journey is a beacon of hope for every short player dreaming of NBA glory.

6. Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry, now with the Philadelphia 76ers, is known for his ability to draw charges – some might even call him the king of flopping. But hey, it’s a skill, right?

A six-time All-Star and NBA champion, Lowry’s contributions to his team go beyond just scoring and defense; his leadership on and off the court is invaluable.

The Other Notables

  • Jose Alvarado (6’0”): Known as “Grand Theft Alvarado,” his steal-creating ability is his hallmark. He plays a crucial role for the New Orleans Pelicans.
  • Mike Conley (6’0”): An NBA All-Star point guard with a history of sportsmanship, now playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Aaron Holiday (6’0”): A skilled point guard with All-American recognition from UCLA, currently with the Houston Rockets.
  • T.J. McConnell (6’0”): Known for his defensive prowess and setting the record for most steals in a half, McConnell plays for the Indiana Pacers.
  • Jordan McLaughlin (6’0”): His journey from the G League to a two-way contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves is proof of his talent.
  • Davion Mitchell (6’0”): An NCAA champion and the NBA Summer League MVP in 2021, he plays for the Sacramento Kings.
  • Xavier Moon (6’0”): On a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, Moon brings international experience to the team.
  • Zavier Simpson (6’0”): After a brief stint with the Lakers, Simpson made his NBA debut with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • Zavier Simpson (6’0”): Currently with the Memphis Grizzlies, his defensive skills are noteworthy.

Historical Perspective

It’s impossible to talk about short NBA players without mentioning the legends who paved the way. Muggsy Bogues holds the record for the shortest player in NBA history at 5’3″.

Earl Boykins, the second shortest, stood at 5’5″. And who could forget Spud Webb, who, at 5’7″, won the Slam Dunk Contest?  These players showed the world that height isn’t everything and paved the way for the likes of Nowell and Gilyard.

Defying the Odds

Shorter players in the NBA continually challenge the traditional norms that associate basketball success with towering height. They bring a different kind of energy and skill to the game, proving that you don’t need to be a giant to make a big impact.

The Underdog Spirit

So, what’s the takeaway? Never count out the little guy. In a sport dominated by height, the shortest players show that skill, determination, and heart are just as important.  They remind us that greatness can come in any size.

Sure, they may be overlooked in a crowd, but put a basketball in their hands, and they’re anything but. In a world that often emphasizes the importance of being bigger, stronger, and taller, the shortest players in the NBA serve as a powerful reminder: sometimes, the best things come in small packages.