Philadelphia is one of the best basketball cities in the world, and it’s a big part of why The Keystone State is a premier basketball hub. But it’s not all Philadelphia – there have been many players to reach the NBA who have hailed from Pennsylvania, Philly or otherwise.
Heads up: this is only including players who were born in Pennsylvania. I have to use specific criteria, and this is a definitive one.
Top 5 NBA Players From Pennsylvania
5: Cameron Johnson (Phoenix Suns)
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Cameron Johnson with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, then immediately traded him to the Phoenix Suns. He’s been with the Suns since, now in his third season in the NBA at age 25.
A product of Pitt and North Carolina and a native of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Johnson has found himself a nice role in Phoenix. Coming off the bench for one of the best teams in the NBA, Johnson is averaging 10.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 40.9 percent from deep. He does what is asked of him well, and he’s a piece of the puzzle that makes the Suns go.
4: T.J. McConnell (Indiana Pacers)
The point guard didn’t get drafted in 2015 after finishing his college career at Arizona, but that didn’t stop him from finding a way into the NBA. Now, T.J. McConnell is an important part of the Indiana Pacers backcourt.
The Pittsburgher first started with the Philadelphia 76ers but came to Indiana in 2019 via free agency. He’s been a vital distributor for the Pacers, assisting on about 34 percent of his teammates’ buckets while he’s on the floor since joining the team. He also contributes a lot defensively, leading the team in steals and offering 2.2 defensive win shares in 2020-21. So far in 2021-22, McConnell is posting 8.4 points, 4.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per night.
3: Marcus Morris (Los Angeles Clippers)
An NBA veteran at this point, 32-year-old from Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, to be exact – has played for six different teams since the Houston Rockets drafted him No. 14 overall in 2011. Now, Marcus Morris is balling for the Los Angeles Clippers and has been since 2019.
Morris has found a starting role with the Clippers and has been one of the team’s more productive players this season when healthy. He’s scored in double figures in every NBA season dating back to 2014-15, played in almost 700 total games, and shot 37.8 percent from beyond the arc for his career. In 2021-22, Morris is scoring 12.9 points per game while hauling in 4.5 rebounds per outing.
2: Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns)
Mikal Bridges, a two-time NCAA champion at Villanova, has been an important of the Suns’ revitalization the last few years since the team drafted him No. 10 overall in 2018. His role has grown as he’s aged, starting all 72 of Phoenix’s 2020-21 regular season games and so far doing the same in 2021-22 at age 25.
The Philly native is pretty efficiently offensively, with an effective field goal percentage of .643 last season, a true shooting percentage of .667, and a massive 5.4 offensive win shares in 2020-21. So far in 2021-22, Bridges is shooting 41.8 percent from three and scoring 12.3 points per game, while also chipping in 1.5 steals per night for the Suns. He has cemented himself as one of the best NBA players from Pennsylvania and should only improve as he nears his prime.
1: Kyle Lowry (Miami Heat)
The long-time Toronto Raptor is in his first season with the Miami Heat after joining as a free agent in the summer. Hailing from Philadelphia, Kyle Lowry’s body of work in the NBA and continued production makes him the best player from Pennsylvania for me.
Lowry has been named an NBA All-Star six times, earned an All-NBA nod in 2015-16, and was crucial to the Raptors winning the title in 2019. The 35-year-old is not producing the same as he did when he was in his prime, but at 13.8 points, 8.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per night, he’s still an impact player in this league. And with almost 1,000 games played, 750 games started, and a long history in the league dating back to 2006, the former Villanova standout and first-round pick is undeniable.
All stats as of Dec. 14, 2021.