NBA Roundtable

Average Age Of Contending Teams

In General NBA on November 22, 2009 at 10:55 pm

How old are the contenders?

Okay, today we’re going to be looking at how old each of the contenders are.

I have chosen five legitimate contenders and one additional possible contender. Three in each conference. Those teams are:

  • Boston Celtics
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Orlando Magic
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Portland Trailblazers — the possible contender.

I’ll be looking at each team individually and checking these categories:

  • Players at or above 35 years of age
  • Players at or above 33 years of age
  • Players at or above 30 years of age
  • Average age of starting lineup
  • Average age of team’s 9/10 man rotation
  • Average age of squad overall

I’ll be looking at each separate section to both list the players who fit that category + the player’s ages + the player’s role.

I want to see both how old each team is respectively but also how dependent they are on some of their older players.

Boston Celtics

Thirty five years of age or older

The Celtics have one player in that age bracket and that’s Rasheed Wallace who is 35 years old.

Rasheed Wallace is the team’s sixth man.

Thirty three years of age or older

The Celtics have two players in this age group, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

Ray Allen is 34 years old. Kevin Garnett is 33 years old.

Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are both key individual players for the Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are two of their top four players.

Thirty years of age older

Three players here for the Celtics.

Paul Pierce is 32 years old while Brian Scalabrine and Eddie House are both 31 years of age.

Paul Pierce is one of the Celtics two best players while House is their lead backup guard and Scalabrine is one of their insurance big men (not in rotation).

Starting lineup ages + average age

Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are 23 + 25 years old respectively.

Rajon Rondo is one of Boston’s top four players and Perkins is a key glue guy.

Those two combined with Garnett, Pierce and Ray give Boston’s starting lineup an average age of 29.4 years.

Average age of 9/10 man rotation

Marquis Daniels and Glen Davis are 28 and 23 years old respectively.

Marquis Daniels is the first wing off the bench while Glen Davis is the team’s second big off the bench.

Those two players along with Eddie House, Rasheed Wallace and the Celtics starting lineup give Boston’s first choice rotation an average age 29.3 years.

Average age of team

The overall average age of the team is 25.9 years of age.

The final five players on the team were Sheldon Williams (26), Tony Allen (27), JR Giddens (24), Lestor Hudson (25) and Bill Walker (22).

Cleveland Cavaliers

Thirty five years of age or older

The Cavs have one player in that age bracket and that’s Shaquille O’Neal who is 37 years old.

Shaq was brought in to be the Cavs second best player. A legitimate sidekick to LeBron James.

Thirty three years of age or older

The Cavs have two players in this age group.

Anthony Parker and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are both 34 years old.

Parker is currently the team’s starting two guard and important rotation player. Whilst Big Z is the team’s backup center, second big off the bench, and important rotation player (role may decrease if Hickson continues to prove himself as a starter).

Thirty years of age older

No additional players here for the Cavs.

Starting lineup ages + average age

Mo Williams is 26 years old, LeBron James is 24 and JJ Hickson is a ripe old age of 21.

That gives the Cavs an average age of 28.4 years in their starting lineup. As we can see that’s considerably higher than three of their starters due to Shaq + Parker.

Average age of 9/10 man rotation

Four more rotation players here …

Daniel Gibson is the team’s backup point guard and is 23 years old. Delonte West has an uncertain role for now but let’s put him down as the team’s backup two guard. Delonte is 26 years old. Jamario Moon is the Cavs main wing off the bench and he is 29. Anderson Varejao is the team’s sixth man and first big off the bench and is 27 years of age.

That gives the Cavs ten man rotation an average age of 28.1 years.

Average age of team

The overall average age of the team is 26.9 years.

The five other players were Leon Powe (25), Daniel Green (22), Darnell Jackson (24), Jawad Williams (26) and Coby Karl (26).

Orlando Magic

Thirty five years of age or older

The Magic have one player in that age bracket and that’s Anthony Johnson who is 35 years old.

Anthony Johnson is Orlando’s third string point guard.

Thirty three years of age or older

The Magic have two players in this age group, Adonal Foyle and Jason Williams.

Both players are 34 years of age.

Adonal Foyle is Orlando’s third string center and Jason Williams is the club’s primary backup guard.

Thirty years of age older

Two more players here for the Magic, Vince and Rashard.

Vince Carter is 32 years old and Rashard Lewis is 30 years old.

Vince Carter is the club’s second best player and go-to guy offensively. Rashard Lewis is the team’s third or fourth best player.

Starting lineup ages + average age

Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus round out the starting lineup. They are 23, 27 and 27 years old respectively.

The average age of Orlando’s starting lineup is 27.8 years.

Average age of 9/10 man rotation

Orlando have five more players that should be mentioned as rotation possibilities. So we’re going with an eleven man rotation for the time-being (roles still in dispute).

JJ Redick and Matt Barnes are the club’s top bench players on the wing. They are 25 and 29 years of age respectively. Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass are competing for the backup power forward position. Anderson is 21 years old. Bass is 24 years old. Marcin Gortat is the club’s sixth man and backup center. He is 25 years of age.

The average age of Orlando’s rotation players is 27 years of age.

The only bench player that is above 30 years of age is Jason Williams. The starting lineup has two players, Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis.

Average age of team

The overall average age of the team is 28.1 years.

Los Angeles Lakers

Thirty five years of age or older

The Lakers have one player in that age bracket and that’s Derek Fisher who is 35 years old.

Derek Fisher is the starting point guard for the Lakers.

Thirty three years of age or older

The Lakers have no players in this group.

Thirty years of age older

Three players here for the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant is 31 years old while Lamar Odom and Ron Artest are both 30 years of age.

Kobe Bryant is the team’s best player. Lamar Odom is the team’s third or fourth best player and their sixth man. Ron Artest is the squad’s fifth best player and starting small forward.

Starting lineup ages + average age

Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol round out the starting lineup. They are 22 years old and 29 years old respectively.

That gives the Lakers starting lineup an average age of 29.4 years.

Average age of 9/10 man rotation

The Lakers have five more players worth mentioning here.

Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown are the team’s backup point guards and have been playing alongside one another fairly often too. They are 22 and 23 years old respectively. Sasha Vujacic was a pivotal bench player (backup off guard) two years ago but his poor play has him in danger of being phased out altogether. He is 25 years of age. Luke Walton is the team’s backup small forward and is 29 years of age. Josh Powell is the club’s second big man off the bench and he is 26 years old.

That gives LA’s rotation, eleven players, an average age of 27.5.

Average age of team

The overall average age of the team is 27.3.

Adam Morrison (25) and DJ Mbenga (28) are two other bench players that hadn’t been mentioned yet.

San Antonio Spurs

Thirty five years of age or older

The Spurs have three player in that age bracket.

Michael Finley and Theo Ratliff are both 36 years old. Antonio McDyess is 35 years of age.

Antonio McDyess is a key glue guy for the team. Michael Finley is a rotation player for the club (almost 20 min a night) while Theo Ratliff is battling for a rotation job (looks like he’ll be the fourth big in the rotation, but not a certainty).

Thirty three years of age or older

The Celtics have one players in this age group, Tim Duncan.

Tim Duncan is 33 years of age. He is the Spurs best player.

Thirty years of age older

One more player here for the Spurs.

Manu Ginobili is 32 years of age. He is the Spurs second best player.

Starting lineup ages + average age

The starting lineup is still unsettled for the Spurs … I’m going to go with their best five players for the time being.

That is Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess and Tim Duncan. Tony Parker is 27 years old and Richard Jefferson is 29.

The average age of that lineup is 31.2 years.

Side note: Tony Parker is the only player who is currently in their prime. Everybody else is declining (Manu is a question mark due to injuries, but likely declining).

Average age of 9/10 man rotation

Five players worth mentioning here.

George Hill is 23 years old and the team’s primary backup guard. Keith Bogans is the Spurs best wing defender amongst the role players and looks to be an important role player. He is 29 years old. Roger Mason Jr is the team’s backup two guard (along with Finley) and is 29 years of age.

DeJuan Blair is the club’s first big off the bench and he is 20 years old. Then there’s Matt Bonner who is also 29 years of age. That is a total of seven players (Finley/Theo) after the starting lineup … due to the Spurs unsettled rotation.

The average age of the rotation players is 29.8 years of age.

The Spurs supporting cast has three players that are 29 years of age and two more who are 36. One other is 27 … and two are young players (Hill/Blair).

Average age of team

The overall average age of the team is 28.7 years.

Three players who so far have gone unmentioned — Malik Hairston (22), Ian Mahinmi (23) and Marcus Haislip (28).

Portland Trailblazers

Thirty five years of age or older

The Blazers have one player in that age bracket and that’s Juwan Howard who is 36 years of age.

Howard is an insurance big man for the Blazers (not rotation player).

Thirty three years of age or older

The Blazers have one player in this age bracket, Andre Miller.

Andre Miller is 33 years of age.

Andre Miller is an important role player for Portland. Currently he is their starting point guard but that role is still up for grabs.

Thirty years of age older

One players here for the Blazers.

Joel Pryzbilla is 30 years of age. He is the club’s backup center and an important role player.

Starting lineup ages + average age

Only one starter mentioned so far, Andre Miller. The four others are Brandon Roy (25), Nicolas Batum (20), LaMarcus Aldridge (24) and Greg Oden (21).

The average age of the starting lineup is 24.6 years.

Average age of 9/10 man rotation

Steve Blake is 29 years old (backup point guard). Everyone else on the Blazers who hasn’t been mentioned by name is under the age of 25.

Other rotation players — Rudy Fernandez is the team’s main backup two guard and is 24 years old. Martell Webster is 22 years old and the squad’s backup three. Travis Outlaw is 25 years old and the club’s backup power forward.

Portland runs a ten man rotation with an average age of 25.3 years.

The Blazers have only three rotation players above the age of 25 — Blake + Miller + Przybilla.

Average age of team

The overall average age of the team is …

Rest of the team — Jerryd Bayless (21), Dante Cunningham (22), Jeff Pendergraph (22) and Patty Mills (21).

Portland has only four players above 25 and only three of them are in the rotation. The two point guards and the backup center.

Thoughts On Ages

(1) The Boston Celtics have only one truly old player (Rasheed Wallace) and his game is still effective with less athleticism/mobility. Two others to keep an eye on in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett (mostly due to the injury). The rest of the team is in good shape. A bunch of young players (Rondo, Perk, Davis) and a couple of well season vets (Marquis, House).

(2) The Cavaliers have three elderly players to watch out for. Their two centers, who are key offensive players for the team, who are 34 + 37 years old respectively. And Anthony Parker who’s role could be larger than expected due to Delonte West’s situation. The rest of the team is in good shape age wise.

Shaq and Big Z have been pivotal players for the Cavs this season (Shaq) and in past years (Z). Their contracts are up at the end of the season and they’ll need to be replaced by someone capable of being a star-like-figure (Hickson? Trade? Free Agency?) for the Cavs to remain a contender next season.

(3) The Magic have one old rotation player and that’s their backup point guard who is backed up by another old player. All in all, that’s a fantastic situation. Vince Carter is someone to keep an eye on in the future but not now.

(4) The Lakers key players are between 29-31 plus Bynum at 22 years of age. That’s a nice grouping. They have several years in them with this core. Only one rotation player who you would point out age-wise and that’s Fisher and Fish has two backup point guards behind him (solid depth).

(5) The Spurs really are quite old. Several role players who are getting on in years, two of whom are past their sell-by-date as rotation players. An old main five guys, only one of whom is in his prime. Only two young players in their rotation.

(6) Portland is amazingly young. Only three rotation guys above the age of 25 and only one of them could be considered past his prime, and that player is aging remarkably well.

Rambling on ….

  • The Blazers are set to be contenders for the next decade
  • The Lakers are good for another couple of years
  • The Magic have one key player to watch (Vince) and how they handle that situation will decide how long they last as a contender. But they’re good for the next two year’s of Vince’s contract.
  • The Cavs have uncertain player personnel issues. This will be the last hurrah for that core.
  • The San Antonio Spurs need to revamp their supporting cast and breathe some life into that team. They’re the oldest team here but they’re aging well (Manu’s injuries aside). They have another year or two or three left in them … but it’ll be the quality of the supporting cast around their main three guys that decides whether they get over the hump and actually win a ring or not.
  • The Celtics need to watched. Two of their Big Three may be aging too fast for the C’s to maintain their place in the East. They’re fine for this season … but next season? Maybe, maybe not. Something to watch closely. If they can make one clever trade they could open up a title challenge for the next 3-4 years though.
  • In terms of this season … only three teams are potentially vulnerable to age related situations (decline or increased chance of injury effected play) and they are the Spurs, Cavs and Celtics. The Spurs look the most vulnerable and it’s a toss up between the Cavs and Celtics for second place.
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  1. What about Hotlanta?

  2. Hey brgulker,

    I don’t consider Atlanta a contender. A very good team, a 55+ win team, if they can maintain their improvement throughout the season … but not a contender. A step below that.

  3. I agree, Dave.

    But, in a seven-game series, anything is possible 🙂 They certainly have the firepower to topple any of the big 3 in the East if they get hot.

    But yeah, really good but not elite. I agree.

  4. Brgulker,

    Oh, I’m with you 100% on that. The Hawks are good enough to beat anybody in a seven game series.

    I just don’t think they’re good enough to do so three/four times on the bounce.

  5. Dave and br,

    Agreed, re: the Hawks this season.

    It’s going to be very interesting to see what Atlanta decides to do with Joe Johnson next summer and what JJ decides to do, in return.

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