Due to the sheer number of NBA players and the demands on them by the league's franchises, they are constantly on the move. Some, such as recent champion Giannis Antetokounmpo, may stay with their franchise for much of their career, while others become nomads, rarely being able to call one organization home.
In this article, we will look at five active players that have played with the most teams in the league, though they have to have played at least one game.
Which NBA players have played for the most teams?
Player moves can happen for a multitude of reasons and most often do not represent something they have done wrong. Teams may be trying to bring in a bigger star, therefore use their current assets to create a trade package. Or the players may be free agents, as many on our list are, and are seeking a new ball club. Alternatively, they could force a move if they are unhappy with the team they have moved to.
All of these reasons amount to plenty of movement during the NBA offseason.
#1 Ish Smith (11 teams)
Ish Smith is our joint-leader having played for 11 NBA teams in his career and is also the youngest player on our list. He has featured for as many sides as he has spent years in the league, only recently finding consistency with the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons.
Smith may even take the outright lead for most teams represented by an active NBA player this summer as he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Staying healthy and playing considerable minutes as a backup guard has helped Smith solidify his game, with his best campaign coming in 2016 for the Philadelphia 76ers when he averaged 14.7 points and seven assists across 81 games.
The 33-year-old has had multiple seasons cut short by injury but will be hoping there will be a minimum contract on the table for him with various teams around the NBA looking for depth in their backcourt at an affordable price.
#2 Anthony Tolliver (11 teams)
Veteran forward Anthony Tolliver is tied with Ish Smith, having played for 11 teams throughout the NBA. After playing just 19 games in his rookie season with the San Antonio Spurs, Tolliver played arguably his best basketball with the Golden State Warriors, averaging 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in the following campaign.
Tolliver has never spent more than two years with a franchise but has played with the Detroit Pistons for three seasons, though over two separate stints. After struggling with injuries early on in his career, Tolliver has been a very durable player off the bench, yet has been utilized in trades over and over again.
Despite playing just eleven times in the 2020-21 season for the Philadelphia 76ers, the 36-year-old could stay with the franchise for another year and help their young talent. His contract includes a second year if the organization decides to retain him.