5 heaviest NBA players heading into the 2021-22 season

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans

If you ask regular followers of the NBA who the heaviest players in the league are, many would probably suggest New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has one. He’s only 6' 7", but he’s as wide as any player who has ever graced a basketball court.

NBA players are some of the biggest, and therefore, some of the heaviest athletes in any sport, making their accomplishments on the court all the more astounding. But the tallest players aren’t necessarily the heavies,t as some, like the Dallas Mavericks’ 7' 3" center Kristaps Porzingis, are pretty light for their size.


The heaviest NBA players

If you guessed that Zion Williamson is one of the heaviest players in the NBA, you are absolutely correct. But is he the heaviest or at least one of the top five? Since there are players who are much taller than Williamson and are also quite hefty, there may be some who might outweigh the Pelicans’ rising star.

But enough with speculations. Let’s look at the five heaviest NBA players as we head into the 2021-22 season:

*Note that the basis for the weights listed here are the officially registered weights of the players.


#5 Nikola Jokic (284 pounds)

Nikola Jokic (#15) of the Denver Nuggets scores on a lay-up.
Nikola Jokic (#15) of the Denver Nuggets scores on a lay-up.

At 284 pounds, Nikola Jokic is tied with the next player on this list in terms of weight. But I decided to place Jokic fifth because he revealed previously that he lost some weight on his way to his 2020-21 MVP season.

Nevertheless, he’s still in the list of five heaviest NBA players based on his registered playing weight.

The 6' 11" big man is an immovable object in the post, and uses his wide body to create space for himself underneath the basket, throwing up hook shots or floaters in the lane with deft precision. But even with his strong upper body strength, Jokic has a soft touch from the outside, and is capable of knocking down shots from all the way to the three-point arc.

Last season, he averaged career-highs in points (26.4) and assists (8.3), and tied his career-best in rebounds per game (10.8).


#4 Zion Williamson (284 pounds)

Zion Williamson (#1) warms up before the start of an NBA game.
Zion Williamson (#1) warms up before the start of an NBA game.

Zion Williamson is the other 284-pounder on the list of heaviest NBA players. Just by looking at the 6' 7", 21-year-old forward, it’s easy to assume that he could tip the scales at close to 300 pounds.

But even for his weight, Williamson is a high-flying forward who soars through the air for powerful dunks. His second and third jumps are extremely quick, impressing many NBA observers. He has converted most of his observers into believers, by the way.

When he enters the painted area, only three things can usually happen: he will make a layup/dunk, get fouled, or both. That’s a testament to how well Williamson uses his body.

A once-a-generation talent, Zion Williamson averaged 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in his sophomore 2020-21 campaign.

Also check out: Latest NBA News, Rumors and Updates

#3 Jusuf Nurkic (290 pounds)

Jusuf Nurkic (#27) shoots against Michael Porter Jr. (#1).
Jusuf Nurkic (#27) shoots against Michael Porter Jr. (#1).

At close to 300 pounds, NBA big man Jusuf Nurkic anchors the Portland Trail Blazers’ interior defense. His presence underneath gives the Blazers a deterrent for opponents who dare not enter the shaded lane.

Though he’s not as nimble as some NBA players his height (6' 11"), Nurkic has a good touch around the basket, and knows how to generate a few baskets to help out his teammates in offense.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum need him to put up a couple of points on the board aside from hauling down rebounds at last season’s rate of nine per game. His average of 11.5 points per contest was his lowest since the 2016-17 NBA campaign. But that’s only because injuries kept him from playing more games in optimum fitness last season.


#2 Boban Marjanovic (290 pounds)

Boban Marjanovic (#51) catches a pass while under pressure from Anderson Varejao (#17).
Boban Marjanovic (#51) catches a pass while under pressure from Anderson Varejao (#17).

The second heaviest NBA player at the moment is Boban Marjanovic of the Dallas Mavericks. At 290 pounds, he’s the same weight as Nurkic, but taller at 7' 4". Though he doesn’t play much for the Mavs (only 8.2 minutes a night), Marjanovic makes good use of his time on the court.

It’s difficult to pinpoint how someone as big as Marjanovic can shoot the ball easily, but he does it nevertheless. He’s a career 77.4% shooter from the line, and last season, he averaged a career-high 81.6%.

Whenever this jovial giant of a man gets the ball near the basket, it’s almost an automatic two points, as he oftentimes just tiptoes his way to a layup or jumps just a tiny bit to dunk the basketball.

Off the court, Marjanovic is a funny guy, and spends time on social media, bringing laughter and joy to NBA fans.


#1 Tacko Fall (311 pounds)

Former tennis player John McEnroe greets Tacko Fall (#99) before a game.
Former tennis player John McEnroe greets Tacko Fall (#99) before a game.

The heaviest NBA player heading into the next season is none other than the tallest NBA player in the game. At 7' 5" and 311 pounds, Tacko Fall is massive and definitely intimidating. In just 7.2 minutes per game last season, the 25-year-old swatted away 1.1 enemy missiles per game.

He’ll be the only NBA player to weigh in at 300 pounds or more in the upcoming 2021-22 season. Because of his height, Fall doesn’t look like he weighs that much, as his weight is evenly distributed.

It’s unfortunate, though, that Fall hasn’t played much in the NBA, appearing in only 26 games in two seasons.

He signed a two-way contract with the Maine Celtics of the NBA G League. In his rookie campaign, he was named to the 2019-20 NBA G League All-Defensive Team, averaging 12.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks for the Maine Red Claws.

You may also like: 3 things Giannis Antetokounmpo must do to become a top-5 NBA player of all time.

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