Maryland is one of the best states in America at producing basketball talent, and there have been countless NBA players over the years who have hailed from the Old Line State. But today, we’ll take a look at the top five current NBA players who come from Maryland.
Disclaimer: this is only including players born in Maryland. There has to be criteria, and that is a definitive one. This means Kevin Durant is NOT eligible, as he was born in Washington, D.C.
Top 5 NBA Players From Maryland
5: Immanuel Quickley (New York Knicks)
Immanuel Quickly isn’t having the same impact so far in his sophomore professional season as he did as a rookie in 2020-21, but he’s still cemented himself solidly into the Knicks’ rotation.
The 22-year-old native of Bel Air, Maryland, honed his skills at Kentucky from 2018 to 2020 and was selected No. 25 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2020 NBA Draft. He was swiftly dealt to New York and had a positive first NBA season in 2020-21, scoring 11.4 points per game in 19.4 minutes per night. His stats are slightly down couple of months into the 2021-22 campaign, but he’s still one of the best NBA players from Maryland and is liable to move up this list in coming years.
4: Jeff Green (Denver Nuggets)
Jeff Green has been in the NBA since 2007, going No. 5 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft to the Boston Celtics before they shipped him to the Seattle SuperSonics, where he started his pro career. Green has played for 11 total NBA franchises since, currently suiting up for the Denver Nuggets at the age of 35.[stu alias="fivestar1"][/stu]
Green doesn’t have the same impact he used to, but he’s still serving a role for the Nuggets as his career appears to be dwindling down. The former Georgetown player has logged more than 1,000 NBA games and averaged 12.7 points per outing for his career. Right now, he’s putting up 9.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest while playing 24.7 minutes each night, which isn’t outstanding but proves the veteran still has something to say in the NBA.
3: Josh Hart (New Orleans Pelicans)
Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Josh Hart was an important part of Villanova’s 2016 national championship as a junior. He played for the Wildcats from 2013 to 2017, then went No. 30 overall to the Utah Jazz in the 2017 NBA Draft.
A couple trades later, Hart is hooping in New Orleans and taking on a regular starting role for the first time in his professional career in 2021-22. The 26-year-old has started in most of the Pelicans’ games so far, averaging 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per contest. Hart has played a role on every team he’s been on and is still improving as he’s beginning to hit his prime.
2: Will Barton (Denver Nuggets)
The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Will Barton with the No. 40 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, and the former Memphis Tiger played for the Blazers for two-and-a-half seasons before they sent him to the Nuggets in February 2015.
Barton has thrived in Denver, doubling his production and becoming one of the more key members of the team in the last few years. His deep shooting has steadily improved year on year, too, and he’s currently one of Denver’s best scorers. His 16.3 points per game is second on the team, and his 39.2 percent clip from deep is the best of any Nuggets player who has attempted at least 31 triples in 2021-22.
1: Victor Oladipo (Miami Heat)
It’s been a weird last couple of years for Victor Oladipo, with injuries and trades not allowing him to find the same footing in the league he had just a few years ago. But until he proves otherwise on the court, it feels like he has to be at the top of this list.
The former Indiana Hoosier and Silver Spring, Maryland native was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He played the first few seasons of his NBA career with the Orlando Magic, the team that drafted him, but has since bounced around among the Thunder, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, and now the Miami Heat after the most recent trade that moved him squads in March 2021.
Oladipo hasn’t played an NBA game since April 8, 2021, after suffering an injury to his right quadriceps tendon, which required surgery in May. But I’m giving the 2017-18 Most Improved Player, two-time All Star, All-NBA, and All-Defense player the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. In 2020-21, Oladipo averaged 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game while playing for three different teams, and that’s enough for me to name him the best NBA player to come from Maryland.
All stats as of Dec. 13, 2021.